Hewlett-Packard Monday is set to unveil server, software, and service offerings that it says can help organizations transform expensive, underutilized datacenters into virtualized, energy-efficient facilities that support business needs as they change.
The company, which is making these product announcements at its Technology@Work 2007 conference in Spain, is playing up its own experience of scaling down 85 datacenters into three redundant, optimized pairs, explaining that this enabled it to prep services and products that its customers can now use to consolidate their computing environments and take virtualization management to a new level.
"All of the major vendors are pushing the simplification of IT for their customers," says Mary Turner, senior analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group. "HP, which has had a big outsourcing business for some time, is leveraging its knowledge base from customers and its own datacenter consolidation experiences to say, 'Here is a way to do this that yields results.' Enterprise IT shops today want to hear that type of unified story."
Among the new service options -- which cover critical facilities planning, datacenter consolidation, and virtual deployments -- is HP's Adaptive Infrastructure as a Service (AIaaS), which represents a new outsourcing model for HP. AIaaS delivers enterprise applications such as SAP and Exchange installed in HP's datacenters and managed by HP. In the past, HP offered this type of utility computing model more for things like processing and compute power.
"HP has high-performance, high-availability computing, power, and cooling and a host of other technologies up and working in their datacenters," says Jean Bozman, research vice president of the Enterprise Platforms Group at IDC. "By offering use of these optimized environments, HP is giving the customer choices as to how they can adopt next-generation technologies, maybe as a service to start, until they get a handle on the technologies in their environments."
For customers looking to consolidate datacenters and virtualize systems on their own, HP has developed a new server called the ProLiant DL785 G5 that's designed to consolidate many workloads onto fewer boxes. Scheduled to ship in May and priced at $17,000, the server will be compatible with virtualization technology from VMware, Oracle, and Microsoft, and support Windows, Linux, and Solaris operating systems. The eight-socket x86 server with quad-core AMD Opteron processors isn't the only product of its kind -- IBM and HPC Systems also offer such boxes -- but industry watchers say virtualization drove HP to add it to its portfolio.(See more details on the server here.)