HP touts transformative investments

At Interop, an HP exec talked up the need for tech companies to move away from maintenance and toward innovation

HP wants to transform IT by tipping the balance of spending more toward innovation and away from infrastructure maintenance.

That was the message delivered by Marius Haas, senior vice president and worldwide general manager for HP Networking, during his keynote address Tuesday at Interop. HP showcased its $3 billion 3Com acquisition and its own IT transformation as evidence that it has the right stuff to inject more innovation into enterprise IT.

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"Converged infrastructure is a big piece of what we're doing," Haas told the audience during his address. He said that 70 percent of money spent on IT is for infrastructure maintenance, while only 30 percent is on innovation.

"We're looking to drive innovation at the application layer," he said, rather than maintaining the networking, storage and server infrastructure.

With that, Haas said HP spent nine months evaluating technologies with which to fill out its own networking portfolio, especially at the core. He said customers were demanding HP to broaden its offerings from the network edge and help lower the cost of building out an entire network infrastructure.

"Enterprises were telling us [HP's edge portfolio] is not everything," Haas said. "And I want everything from HP. I want server-like economics in networking."

Haas claims 3Com's core switching and router lines added to HP's ProCurve lineup will "transform the industry and make this truly a two-horse race" between it and Cisco. "3com completes our end-to-end, edge-to-core [lineup]," he said.

As a proof point of the transformative capabilities and economics of the HP/3Com union, Haas and HP CIO Randy Mott gave an overview of HP's $1.5 billion IT transformation project. The company consolidated 85 data centers in 29 countries into six "next-generation" data centers in three locations.

One is in Houston, where HP deploys 34 3Com core routers, more than 300 ProCurve switches, and four TippingPoint intrusion detection/prevention systems to double switching capacity while cutting power consumption in half.

Overall, HP's IT transformation has reduced the number of servers by 40 percent while increasing processing capacity by 250 percent, Mott said.

Haas said the IT transformation enables HP to produce favorable business results each quarter.

It's a critical component of our success," he said.

Read more about data center in Network World's Data Center section.

This story, "HP touts transformative investments" was originally published by Network World.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.