Wednesday, November 4, 2009

HP takes converged infrastructure a notch higher with new data warehouse appliance

Hewlett-Packard (HP) on Wednesday announced new products, solutions and services that leaves the technology packaging to them, so users don't have to.

HP Neoview Advantage, HP Converged Infrastructure Architecture, and HP Converged Infrastructure Consulting Services are designed to help organizations drive business and technology innovations at lower total cost via lower total hassle. [Disclosure: HP is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]

HP’s measured focus

HP isn’t just betting on a market whim. Recent market research it supported reveals that more than 90 percent of senior business decision makers believe business cycles will continue to be unpredictable for the next few years — and 80 percent recognize they need to be far more flexible in how they leverage technology for business.

The same old IT song and dance doesn't seem to be what these businesses are seeking. Nearly 85 percent of those surveyed cited innovation as critical to success, and 71 percent said they would sanction more technology investments -- if they could see how those investments met their organization’s time-to-market and business opportunity needs.

Cost nowadays is about a lot more than the rack and license. The fuller picture of labor, customization, integration, shared services suppport, data-use-tweaking and inevitable unforeseen gotchas need to be better managed in unison -- if that desired agility can also be afforded (and sanctioned by the bean-counters).

HP said its new offerings deliver three key advantages:
  • Improved competitiveness and risk mitigation through business data management, information governance, and business analytics

  • Faster time to revenue for new goods and services

  • The ability to return to peak form, after being compressed or stretched.
The Neoview advantage

First up, HP Neoview Advantage, the new release of the HP Neoview enterprise data warehouse platform, which aims to help organizations respond to business events more quickly by supporting real-time insight and decision-making.

HP calls the performance, capacity, footprint and manageability improvements dramatic and says the software also reduces the total cost of ownership (TCO) associated with industry-standard components and pre-built, pre-tested configurations optimized for warehousing.

HP Neoview Advantage and last year's Exadata product (produced in partnership with Oracle) seem to be aimed at different segments. Currently, HP Neoview Advantage is a "very high end database," whereas Exadata is designed for "medium to large enterprises," and does not scale to the Neoview level, said Deb Nelson, senior vice president, Marketing, HP Enterprise Business.

A converged infrastructure

Next up, HP Converged Infrastructure architecture. As HP describes it, the architecture adjusts to meet changing business needs, specifically what HP calls “IT sprawl,” which it points to as the key culprit in raising technology costs for maintenance that could otherwise be used for innovation.

HP touts key benefits of this new architecture. First, the ability to deploy application environments on the fly through shared service management, followed closely by lower network costs and less complexity. The new architecture is optimized through virtual resource pools and also improves energy integration and effectiveness across the data center by tapping into data center smart grid technology.

Finally, HP is offering Converged Infrastructure Consulting Services that aim to help customers transition from isolated product-centric technologies to a more flexible converged infrastructure. The new services leverage HP’s experience in shared services, cloud computing, and data center transformation projects to let customers design, test and implement scalable infrastructures.

Overall, typical savings of 30 percent in total costs can be achieved by implementing Data Center Smart Grid technologies and solutions, said HP.

With these moves to converged infrastructure, HP is filling out where others are newly treading. Cisco and EMC this week announced packaging partnerships that seek to deliver simiar convergence benefits to the market.

"It's about experience, not an experiment," said Nelson.

BriefingsDirect contributor Jennifer LeClaire provided editorial assistance and research on this post.

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