Taking a virtual approach

Hewlett-Packard Co. and Terraspring Inc. are touting new products to help IT managers wring improved efficiency from their data centres and other IT environments.

Designed for data centre and service provider environments, HP UDC (utility data centre) and Terraspring’s software platform wrap IT asset resource utilization into a centralized location.

HP UDC consists of software to activate and manage a data centre infrastructure, consulting services and managed services from Palo Alto, Calif.-based HP to support and keep solutions running, said HP officials. HP UDC can be used to support servers, storage and networking equipment.

The “wired once” network topology of HP UDC requires that all components it controls are wired to support virtual allocation of resources for an enterprise. This allows users to easily integrate and add new applications and hardware without the reconfiguration burden of shutting down systems or hampering service levels for customers.

The Terraspring 1.0 software allows customers to create a programmable infrastructure that can manifest itself in various “drag and drop” IT visibility and control logic forms, said Ashar Aziz, CTO of Terraspring in Fremont, Calif.

Aziz said the software runs on three to five servers and integrates with off-the-shelf vendor products, such as storage, SAN (storage area network) switches, and load balancers.

Because most enterprises lack streamlined computing, Web site operation, storage, CRM, and ERP applications can needlessly draw critical infrastructure usage, said Andrew Schroepfer, president of Tier 1 Research in Plymouth, Minn.

“If you could share a single computing resource, then you significantly have the chance to save your utilization,” Schroepfer said. “This hits home on one of the biggest pain points in the enterprise.”

Paul Ho-Sing-Loy, CTO of Wells Fargo & Co.’s PCS (private client services) division in San Francisco, is beta testing the software that must support the bank’s brokerage services, investment management, and private banking for its customers, he said.

Ho-Sing-Loy said the product enhanced IT asset efficiency for PCS’ NT and Unix platforms. “You have these systems sitting out there doing nothing,” Ho-Sing-Loy said. “With this kind of configuration, you can create a shared pool of resources that would allow you to minimize the amount of extraneous disaster-recovery measures you need to support your entire business.”

A new grip on IT assets:

    One-time wiring approach virtually manages active infrastructure requests “on the fly.”Storage and server capacity components can be changed or increased on demand.Computing infrastructures are templated to maximize usage of resources and systems.

Active server farms are put in standby to free high-priority resources.