Converged Infrastructure
Drive the New Style of IT with HP Converged Infrastructure. Old networking, storage, servers and security silos come together into a simply-managed, business-oriented datacenter.

"Best of Both Worlds" - Bringing Mission Critical to HP Converged Infrastructure

Right now I am in China talking with APJ customers as a follow-on to our recent announcement - delivering the first Mission-critical Converged Infrastructure. It's been interesting. I've been asked by several IT managers if this is real. So let me just state this for the record ... HP Converged Infrastructure it is real and can be delivered today! Assuming others have this same question, let me expound a bit. What this announcement does is "bullet proof" your infrastructure by bringing our proven Mission Critical Intellectual Property to the Converged Infrastructure. This 'integration by design' brings the best of both worlds - all based on openness so you get choice and the benefit of industry standards for designing your Data Center of the future. It's not about the chip per se, rather about bringing in Mission Critical across the full technology stack. Let me give you a few examples:



  • Mission Critical Flex-Fabric and Always-on Resiliency (video) - The Crossbar Fabric in Superdome 2 eliminates any single point of failure in the data path of systems to give 450% boost in server reliability.

  • The Blade Link using Intel's Quick Path Interconnect (QPI) high performance link technology enables you to scale up your Integrity blades from 2 to 4 sockets or 4 to 8 sockets.

  • Superdome 2 Analysis Engine provides predictive error detection and recommendations and fixes errors where appropriate.

  • HP Serviceguard provides high availability clustering and metro clustering delivering redundancy and rapid recovery for SAP and Oracle environments.

  • Enhanced Mission Critical services are available for consolidation, business continuity, modernization and shared services Private Cloud projects. This includes the services to design, deploy and maintain your toughest mission critical environments for maximum resiliency.


I was actually surprised how some of the modular IP innovation was of interest - having common components from power supplies, fans, Virtual Connect and enclosures to new features of HP UX 11i v3.  They seemed genuinely impressed with this Mission Critical version of the HP Converged Infrastructure.  "Speed & Agility" was important to them, especially for their business critical applications, but one person said it best: "Run fast with confidence". Maybe we should adopt that as our tagline.


Thanks,
Duncan


You can follow the CI conversation on twitter  (#HPCI):  www.twitter.com/HPConverge


 

Tech@Work - Were you there?

Grusse aus Deutschland! Yes, I was there, presented and thoroughly enjoyed the show. In fact, Tech@Work is one of my favorite events of the year because I get to fully interact with our customers and partners - always bringing me incredible insight and a reality check.


There was a lot of excitement and buzz generated by the coming out of new HP Converged Infrastructure products and service proof points. But the big news may have been how the Volcano Gods were smiling down on what turned out to be a wonderful four days.  But back to the 'BIG' Announcements.


Bringing Mission Critical to the Converged Infrastructure


In case you missed it, HP unveiled the Next Generation Integrity Server (NGIS). This was big news as press and our customers packed in to hear how HP has ushered in its Mission Critical Servers - from "x86 to Superdome". This impressive line-up delivers a common infrastructure for mission critical and non-mission critical applications. You can even use MC DB Integrity (2-8 sockets - delivering 9x the performance in ½ the footprint), blade servers, and x86 App blade servers all sharing common Converged Infrastructure architecture components - with common management delivered through the Matrix Operating Environment and tightly tying in power & cooling and Virtual Connect networking.


The customer choice points are many including the massive Superdome 2 consolidation server based on the new Intel 9300 series, and all the new Integrity products use the existing HP UX 11i v3 that work with the existing application and ISV solutions.


Talking about ISV solutions. This was also the coming out Party for HP AllianceONE. This program creates a common program for ISVs, IHVs and System Integrators to support the HP Converged Infrastructure. Unifying the multiple ISV programs under one umbrella provides a simpler way to access marketing and technical information across all of the HP server, storage and networking products for partners.


Making it real - The Messe in Frankfurt it was buzzing with the 'Realize the Future' breakouts & tracks


The event was jam-packed with many HP Converged Infrastructure solutions that help our clients find better ways to deal with "IT Sprawl". These were made real through the use of multiple Use Cases & Customer Success stories that addressed both transformational initiatives and step wise "building block" approaches with clear ROIs.


All-in-all for me, probably the best perspective that summed it all up was when a key Gartner Analyst called the trend of convergence, "unstoppable".


There was so much buzz that I doubt anyone could absorb it all. Feel free to re-live some of the key messages with podcasts from one of the top IT journalist and blogger Stephen Pritchard, or if you need information about the many collaborative workshops, or help getting started with our 'assessment' tools, please contact me or look me up at HP TechForum in Las Vegas this June!


Thanks again,


Duncan


 

Systems Integrators & Outsourcers… and the HP Converged Infrastructure

Greetings.  I thought I'd take this opportunity to share a few of the highlights from the HP and its Americas Systems Integrators and Outsourcers (SI/Os) Symposium held last month. With the theme centered on HP Converged Infrastructure, we explored how customers can more quickly benefit from convergence through synergies from these partnering entities. The focus was on two of the most topical transformation areas top-of-mind with customers - Data Center Transformation (DCT) and Application Modernization.


 This collaboration is critical because of the unique industry knowledge, application expertise and delivery capabilities available from SI/Os. When that is combined with HP DCT and Application Modernization solutions, and convergence of the underlying infrastructure, customers can accelerate the value they need (e.g. significantly lowering the cost of operations, better control risk, and increase their speed to market for new applications and services).


 DCT provides a transformational approach to a service-centric, next-generation model. This can be done through a comprehensive, holistic plan or through the deployment of individual projects that modernize, consolidate, and virtualize their technology environment; reduce energy costs and remove energy/space limits to growth; achieve business service-driven and lights-out automation; and, provide continuity of operations and data protection.


 Customer Example:  EMEA Telecom company


With HP DCT solutions, this customer was able to consolidate 17 data centers into two data centers and modernize and virtualize their infrastructure for efficiency and sustainability. It lead them to be able to achieve 100x increase in time to market for new services, 10x increase in server utilization, 1.4M watts saved to date and 22M € savings projected over three years. >> Send me a comment if you want more detail about this deployment.


 Application Modernization has its own challenges due to technology that is proprietary, 'brittle', and silo'ed - with teams that are local and/or dedicated. For customers to truly untangle and modernize their application environment, they are looking to HP and our SI/Os to bring our expertise and technology building blocks to deliver a more open, flexible, integrated, and modular environment. It starts by deploying Converged Infrastructure technologies that provide the optimal foundation for modernized or transformed application infrastructures. Combine that with our joint HP & SI/O partner solutions, tools, workshops and services, customers can more quickly modernize their IT and focus on business value delivery. One thing we all agree on is that 'doing nothing is not an option' (watch this Application Modernization video delivered by HP's Paul Evans).


 The bottom line:  HP is a "partner zealot", with SI/O partnering inherent in our DNA. This is critical for our customers to accelerate achieving the benefits of a Converged Infrastructure - with open integration across their existing environments and applications. Only then can they truly reduce the cost of operations and spend more of their IT budget on innovations that impact business success.


 Duncan Campbell

My Top 10 from the Gartner Group Data Center Conference

Greetings and Happy Holidays!  


I thought I would send out 2009 with a quick recap from the very 'informative' Gartner Group Data Center Conference held in Las Vegas earlier this month. I always enjoy this event, but given the crazy year, I was concerned that there might be a heightened sense of "Fear & Loathing". However, I was pleasantly surprised by the immense amount of positive energy and optimism. Much was learned as we exit the year.


My "Top 10" insights from the event:



  • 1. Thank goodness 2009 is over - many see an unpredictable business climate for 2010. The CIO theme for the coming year can be summed up with this: IT infrastructure optimization and business agility.

  • 2. Transformation is out ... restructuring is in - Green field opportunities exist, but the emphasis will be to extend the life of the existing Data Center. Consider application and infrastructure modernization, or technologies that increase capacity within the same power and energy budget.

  • 3. Manage the IT portfolio dynamically - Geoffrey Moore in "Dealing with Darwin" paints this well: Dynamically move your investments to the growth areas of business. Good advice. Think about hybrid sourcing strategies and IT optimization so more of the budget can be spent on innovation that drives more value to the business.

  • 4. Converged infrastructure is "unstoppable" - the new HP Converged Infrastructure, Cisco's UCS, and now Dell are all jumping into this new category. The economics are compelling, but be careful of those that require a rip and replace strategy. Watch for key vendor evaluation points: A) Breadth, depth, and history of Intellectual Property (e.g. servers, storage, networking, energy and management); B) Extensive Partner community engagement (including ISVs); C) Services expertise (e.g. for on-site, outsourced and cloud services); and, D) Stay with vendors that support industry standards across heterogeneous environments.

  • 5. 'Data Deluge' continues - Unstructured data is still the one to watch. Look for low hanging fruit around data deduplication, Thin Provisioning, and automating data tiering by usage. And don't forget about virtual tape.

  • 6. Server virtualization is yesterday's news - Rethink your virtualization plans now and stop the sprawl - include the heterogeneous management elements. It is about virtualizing the entire infrastructure including the desktop. Yes, even the desktop ... HP Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is a great example.

  • 7. "IT for Green" - focus on the business benefits of Green IT by applying more virtual conferencing, improved document management, and look to the consumption of energy trends and not just the technology. An example from HP is the new HP ProLiant G6 servers with ROI in less than 3months.

  • 8. Interest in Cloud for the enterprise is increasing - not many like the term 'Cloud", but this style of computing creates scalable and elastic IT capabilities provided "as a service" using internet technologies. This can provide big-time agility. Virtualization is an 'in-ramp', not an immediate switch over. Classify your applications based on Core and Context SLAs and risk ... with implementation 'one step at a time'.

  • 9. Unified Communication and Collaboration - PDAs are the forgotten children that are rapidly growing up. When thinking about a common platform, include PDAs. And don't forget about security and the back-up plans that should be in place.

  • 10. Social Media ... what to do? - Many CIOs are still struggling with a way to embrace select pieces of social media to truly and tangibly help the business. Think about the parameters and governance, but don't lock out the 'Y generation'.


Best wishes to you in 2010 ... and have a Happy Holiday!!


Duncan Campbell

Did you read the news today, oh boy! HP Converged Infrastructure.

HP is making headlines today with the introduction of an impressive new strategy and architectural framework: HP Converged Infrastructure (click here to view the news release). The timing couldn't be better. I've heard from a lot of CIOs lately who have indicated they have more aggressive plans to invest in infrastructure innovation to attract new customers and tap new markets to combat economic conditions. This is exactly how convergence of new and existing technologies can, and is, creating exciting opportunities.


Converging the infrastructure isn't a new concept, but being able to convert that vision into reality today, is. This is where the breakthrough HP Converged Infrastructure architecture has me excited. In my mind, it's the most thorough and complete framework - all built through the pioneering work of the HP Adaptive Infrastructure - by which customers can gain the pure benefits of a services-centric IT approach that has been elusive for years.


Why a converged infrastructure ... a look back in time?


I know time flies, but if you look back a few decades, IT organizations have been adding servers, storage, and networking in silos to keep pace with business demand for applications and the terabytes of data they generate. The problem is, because of this sprawl, those resources are tangled up in legacy architectures that have created inflexible stacks of IT.


This sprawl has wide-reaching implications that are driving businesses to a breaking point - starting with cost. It's a fairly well known fact that the average business spends around 70% of their IT budget on operations versus innovation. This is unacceptable in today's market. The effects of sprawl have caused business to suffer from a lack of agility ... sluggish time to revenue ...lost opportunity and higher costs to operate through lost time ... and the lack of integration with business processes. This has placed IT under tremendous pressure. Because of sprawl, these rigid, aging infrastructures have all led to over-provisioning and underutilization ... complex physical and virtual management ... stranded capacity ... and exponential opportunities for error. Plus, back to my earlier point ... the amount of money it takes to operate and manage all of this has put a noose around the already slim IT budget.


The solution to sprawl lies in a converged infrastructure that unifies business, application, and infrastructure functions to optimally deliver faster time to business value, simplified management, increased utilization, and lower power cost across a scaling set of applications. This balances the 'cost-innovation' ratio - among the many other benefits - because it both addresses IT cost optimization and provides new value that directly impacts business results!


Imagine being able to deliver any application anywhere, on the fly, in the cloud; have ready resources that flex 'on demand' in an optimized way; unleash the trapped & strapped productivity of administrators, systems and facilities; have complete predictability and continuity of service; and achieve all this now while working from your current IT investments and infrastructure (we are not talking about rip & replace like other vendors).


Why I believe the HP approach is optimal for our customers?


For customers to truly benefit from a Converged Infrastructure - in ways never achieved or seen before - it's about bringing "innovation" into the game ... and not in a small way. As more and more businesses begin to rely on fewer, more strategic vendors (and selective partner solutions), they need the best products, the best services, and the expertise and track-record that delivers the biggest bang for the lowest cost ... and at lowest risk. This is exactly what CIOs told me at the recent HP IT forum in Hong Kong (see my last blog).


Simply put, it requires the convergence of servers, storage systems, network, management software, and energy optimization, which is no small feat. It requires an architectural approach where all technologies and services come together - having been designed for convergence from the get-go - through years of experience delivering IT infrastructure solutions to our customers.


The HP approach uses a unique value proposition and infrastructure requirements that are Virtualized  (heterogeneous and end-to-end), Resilient, Orchestrated, Optimized and Modular (needs to scale).


The bottom line: All the core areas that need to merge and converge - based on standards - cannot simply be loosely assembled or pulled out of thin air. No business I know has that kind of extra budget or resources available for long implementation cycles - or the business security and solvency to even take that risk. What HP is announcing today is very exciting with the new introduction of the HP Converged Infrastructure strategy and architectural framework.


I invite you to take a look for yourself and "break through to the other side" with HP Converged Infrastructure!


www.hp.com/go/convergedinfrastructure


Duncan Campbell, HP Converged Infrastructure

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  • 25+ years experience around HP Storage. The go-to guy for news and views on all things storage..
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