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Analysis

In remaking itself, HP delivers the IT means for struggling enterprises to remake themselves
Dana Gardner By: Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst, Interarbor Solutions
Published: 12th December 2013
Copyright Interarbor Solutions © 2013
Logo for Interarbor Solutions

HP, taking a new leap in its marathon to remake itself, has further assembled, refined and delivered the IT infrastructure, big data and cloud means by which other large enterprises can effectively remake themselves.

This week here at the HP Discover 2013 conference in Barcelona—despite the gulf of 70 years but originating in the same Silicon Valley byways—has found a kindred spirit in … Facebook. The social media juggernaut, also based in Palo Alto, is often pointed to with both envy and amazement at its new-found and secretive feats of IT data center scale, reach, efficiency and adaptability. It’s a mantle of technological respect that HP itself once long held.

So for Facebook’s CIO, Tim Campos, to get on stage in Europe and declare that, "A partner like HP Vertica thinks like we do” and is a “key part” of Facebook’s big data capabilities, is one the best endorsements, err … “likes,” that any modern IT infrastructure vendor could hope for. With Facebook’s data growing by 500 terabytes a day, this is quite a coup for HP’s analytics platform, which is part of its HAVEn initiative.

I fully expected HP to shout it all day from the verdant ancient hilltops with echoes through the crooked 12th century streets and across the packed soccer stadium in this beautiful Mediterranean port city: “Facebook runs on HP Vertica."

However odd it is that the very newest of California IT gold rush denizens rubs off its glow on the very oldest, HP has nonetheless quickly made itself a key supplier of some of the most important technologies of the present corporate era: cloud computing and big data processing.

And while the punditry often fixates on the vital signs—or lack of—in the Windows PC business, HP is rightfully and successfully chasing the bigger long-term vendor opportunity: the all-purpose software-defined yet hardware-optimized data center.

News you can use
Announcements here at Discover show how HP is advancing these core technologies that will prove indispensable in helping enterprises and service provider alike to master their data centers, exploit big data, expand mobile, and prepare for cloud adoption.

Among the innovations and updates announced at the conference were HP’s Converged System, Converged Cloud System, new Cloud Service Automation, a Hybrid Cloud Management platform, and Propel for acquiring and using new applications. [Disclosure: HP is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]

HP Vertica also scored a major goal with the announcement an innovative collaboration with Conservation International (CI)—a leading non-governmental organization dedicated to protecting nature for people—to dramatically improve the accuracy and speed of analysis of data collection in environmental science.

The initiative, called HP Earth Insights, uses the Vertica platform to deliver near-real-time analytics and is already yielding new information that indicates a decline in a significant percentage of species monitored. The project serves as an early warning system for conservation efforts, enabling proactive responses to environmental threats.

HP Earth Insights applies big data technology to the ecological research being conducted across 16 tropical forests around the world by CI, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Wildlife Conservation Society, as part of the Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring (TEAM) Network. Data and analysis from HP Earth Insights will be shared with protected area managers to develop policies regarding hunting and other causes of species loss in these ecosystems.

Converged system
The new HP ConvergedSystem products deliver a total systems experience that simplifies IT, enabling clients to go from order to operations in as few as 20 days. With quick deployment, intuitive management, and system-level support, IT organizations can shift their focus from systems integration to delivering the applications that power their business. 

HP ConvergedSystem, a new product line engineered from the ground up, was built using HP Converged Infrastructure’s servers, storage, networking, software and services.

  • HP ConvergedSystem for Virtualization helps clients easily scale computing resources to meet business needs with preconfigured, modular virtualization systems supporting 50 to 1,000 virtual machines at twice the performance, and at an entry price 25 percent lower than competitive offerings.
  • HP ConvergedSystem 300 for Vertica speeds big data analytics, helping organizations turn data into actionable insights at 50 to 1,000 times faster performance and 70 percent lower cost per terabyte than legacy data warehouses.
  • HP ConvergedSystem 100 for Hosted Desktops, based on the award-winning HP Moonshot, delivers a superior desktop experience compared to traditional virtual desktop infrastructure. This first PC on a chip for the data center delivers six times faster graphics performance and 44 percent lower total cost of ownership.

HP ConvergedSystem products also come with a unified support model from HP Proactive Care, providing clients with a single point of accountability for all system components, including partner software. HP also offers consulting capabilities to plan, design and integrate HP ConvergedSystem offerings into broader cloud, big-data, and virtualization solutions, while mapping physical and virtual workloads onto clients’ new HP ConvergedSystem.

Hybrid cloud
As enterprises embrace new delivery models, one of the biggest decisions chief information officers (CIOs) need to make on their cloud journey is determining where applications or workloads should live—on traditional IT or in the cloud. Often, applications will continue to live across multiple environments, and hybrid delivery becomes an imperative. Solutions announced this week at HP Discover in Barcelona build on this strategy, including the introduction of the next-generation HP CloudSystem, HP’s flagship offering for building and managing private clouds.

This includes a new consumer-inspired user interface, simplified management tools, and an improved deployment process that enable customers to set up and deploy a complete private cloud environment in just hours, compared to weeks for other private cloud solutions. As the foundation of a hybrid cloud solution, HP CloudSystem bursts to multiple public cloud platforms, including three new ones: Microsoft Windows Azure, and platforms from Arsys, a European-based cloud computing provider, and SFR, a French telecommunications company.

HP CloudSystem integrates OpenStack-based HP Cloud OS technology,  providing customers a hardened, tested OpenStack distribution that is easy to install and manage. The next-generation CloudSystem also incorporates the new HP Hybrid Cloud Management Platform, a comprehensive management solution that enables enterprises and service providers to deliver secure cloud services across public or private clouds, as well as traditional IT.

The Hybrid Cloud Management platform integrates HP Cloud Service Automation (CSA) version 4.0 and includes native support for both HP CloudOS with OpenStack and the open-source standard TOSCA (Topology and Orchestration Specification for Cloud Applications), enabling easier application portability and management of hybrid and heterogeneous IT environments.

HP is also adding a new hybrid-design capability to its global professional services capabilities. HP Hybrid Cloud Design Professional Services offer a highly modular design approach to help organizations architect a cloud solution that aligns with their technical, organizational, and business needs. The new consulting services help customers evolve their cloud strategy and vision into a solution based on delivering business outcomes and ready for implementation.

Also expanding is the Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) offering, which helps customers take advantage of the economics of a public cloud with the security and control of a private cloud solution. The new HP VPC Portfolio provides a range of VPC solutions, from standardized self service to a customized, fully managed service model.

All HP VPC solutions deliver the security and control of a private cloud in a flexible, cost-effective, multitenant cloud environment. The latest version of HP Managed VPC now allows customers to choose among virtual or physical configurations, multiple tiers of storage, hypervisors, and network connectivity types. 

As part of its overall hybrid delivery, HP offers HP Flexible Capacity (FC), an on-premises solution of enterprise-grade infrastructure with cloud economics, including pay-for-use and instant scalability of server, storage, networking and software capacity. This allows for treating cloud costs as operating expenses, rather than capital expenses. It also supports existing customer third-party equipment for a true heterogeneous environment.  HP CloudSystem also can burst to HP FC infrastructure for customers needing the on-demand capacity without the data ever leaving the premises.

Self-service capability
HP is also offering HP Propel, a cloud-based service solution that enables IT organizations to deliver self-service capabilities to end users, with an eye toward improved service delivery, quicker time to value, and lower administration costs.

Available on both desktop and mobile platforms, the free version of HP Propel includes a standard service catalog; the HP Propel Knowledge Management solution, which accelerates user self-service with immediate access to information needed; and IT news feeds delivered via RSS.

The premium version extends those capabilities with an enhanced catalog; advanced authentication methods, such as single sign-on; and access to the extended Propel Knowledge Management solution. Clients also can integrate their on-premises service management solutions through the HP-hosted Propel Service Exchange.

Propel is built on an open and extensible service exchange, with the ability to add catalogs and services as clients’ demands evolve. To further simplify configuration, administration and maintenance of the solution, HP and its worldwide partners provide comprehensive and strategic assessment and transformation services.

Propel will be available in the Americas and Europe, the Middle East and Africa in January and in Asia Pacific and Japan in March. Additional information is available at www.hp.com/go/propel.

HP further announced Converged Storage innovations that restore business productivity at record speed, reduce All Flash Array costs significantly while increasing performance and quality-of-service (QoS) capabilities, and expand agility by enabling cloud storage application mobility.

Additions to the HP Converged Storage portfolio include the next generation of HP StoreOnce Backup and HP StoreAll Archive systems to reduce risk as well as enhancements to HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage with cost-reduced flash technology, performance improvements, and software QoS enhancements to meet the needs of IT-as-a-service environments.

In other HP news, HP has announced a new lineup of servers designed to save space and reduce cost, but more importantly cut energy usage. The Moonshot servers are small servers that can be packed into dense arrays and aid with heavy workload computing.

The web servers are designed and tailored for specific workloads to deliver optimum performance. These low power servers share management, power, cooling, networking, and storage. This architecture is key to achieving 8x efficiency at scale, and enabling 3x faster innovation cycle. The power-saving feature addresses the problem cause by power consumption in cloud operations.

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Published by: IT Analysis Communications Ltd.
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