Eye on Blades Blog: Trends in Infrastructure
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HP and Microsoft Ring in the New Year with Infrastructure-to-Application Innovation

By Scott Farrand


Complex data center infrastructures are heightening risks for many organizations, who are struggling with constantly evolving technologies and computing methods. With increasingly heterogeneity, growing virtualization across the data center to the desktop and rising demands for private clouds, organizations are often overwhelmed with their management requirements to keep IT under control. To address these concerns, the need for convergence solutions and simplified management will be stronger than ever this year – and a new year’s resolution for many CIOs. 


Significantly expanding on our 25-year Frontline Partnership, HP is working with Microsoft towards a shared vision of eliminating complexity within the data center to help organizations drive faster time to business value.  This is the most comprehensive technology alignment in the industry to date, through our unparalleled level of joint investment in engineering, integrated solutions and go-to-market support. The HP team is excited about the journey ahead with Microsoft and the ability to dramatically simplify the use of technology for customers. 


This $250 million agreement will enable HP and Microsoft customers to protect current technology investments, while enabling them to leverage next-generation application models that combine on-premise computing with cloud-based services.


As a result of this agreement, the more than 32,000 HP and Microsoft Frontline Partners will benefit from increased business opportunities through a combination of infrastructure and application packages as well as services.  The HP and Microsoft Frontline Partnership is based on rigorous focus to understand each other and the segments of the markets we address – which thereby allows us to better understand our customers and their IT challenges. We share long term strategic plans across businesses and regions and have built a shared view of our customers with a top to bottom commitment to offer them technologies at affordable prices that help them run their business.


Teaming up with Microsoft’s leading virtualization solution Hyper-V, HP is building on our converged infrastructure strategy by enabling customers to achieve a business-ready infrastructure that creates the foundation for cloud computing.  Our new integrated virtualization solutions will allow businesses to significantly improve server utilization, decrease implementation time and reduce network as well as cabling infrastructure costs. In addition, HP’s Insight Software and Business Technology Optimization solutions are deeply integrated with Microsoft’s System Center suite to offer heterogeneous data center management solutions for virtualization environments that improve administration productivity and simplify management.


For Microsoft Exchange customers, HP and Microsoft will deliver joint solutions based on HP’s converged infrastructure and deliver infrastructure optimized for Microsoft Exchange 2010.  These infrastructure solutions will drive higher levels of availability, performance and redundancy at a lower cost per mailbox. Combined with HP professional services, Exchange 2010 upgrades are further simplified with best practice methodology, tools and templates offered globally, speeding deployment while managing risk as well as reducing costs to our customers.


To help customers quickly access the information needed to make critical business decisions, HP will collaborate with Microsoft to develop a comprehensive portfolio of optimized data management solutions and appliances. Along with a full range of professional services, these solutions will ease implementation. Driving faster-time-to-application value, HP is also offering services for application modernization of large scale online transaction processing implementations as well as customized Business Intelligence services. Customers will be able to increase business flexibility and reduce technology costs more than ever before.


Through this alliance, HP will reduce risk and datacenter complexity in the delivery of virtualization, data management and application solutions to our customers. 

Labels: HP software

Swifter, higher, stronger… It’s not just the Olympics’ motto anymore

By Nick van der Zweep


Director of Product Management, HP Insight Software



I hope you’ve heard some of the recent noise we’ve made around key enhancements to our Converged Infrastructure story.  If not, I urge you to check out the news.  We’re accelerating the creation of the industry’s first ‘Infrastructure Operating Environment’ with several cool enhancements to our HP Insight Software portfolio.  Swifter, higher, stronger…! 



As you might guess, Insight Software portfolio plays a critical role and I’m pleased to share several great enhancements for both Insight Control and Insight Dynamics.  We’re now delivering even more value with our 2 core offerings:  Insight Control for essential server management and Insight Dynamics for advanced infrastructure management. Insight Control now includes unlimited server migrations to streamline consolidation.  Likewise, Insight Dynamics now includes infrastructure orchestration and recovery management.  Finally, both Insight Control and Insight Dynamics now include the System Center and vCenter integration resulting from our joint development with Microsoft and VMware ensuring our customers receive the ProLiant and BladeSystem experience they’ve come to expect regardless of their management platform.



Provisioning is another area we’ve concentrated on this round.  Just one cool thing to mention is the ability to provision more than just infrastructure. We now have the ability to provision applications on top of the infrastructure as well. We do this by integrating with HP Server Automation.


 We also want you to be able to optimize your Converged Infrastructure confidently.  Hence, some key enhancements to our capacity planning arena, the main thrust of which is making the whole process faster and even more aligned to business.  We’ve added a host of useful reports that allow you to spot the most likely consolidation candidates, give you a big picture view of how much resources all the workloads are consuming, and even figure our how much each is using to more easily slip into a charge-back process.  


Last-but-not-least is trying to help customers save on disaster recovery costs by now allowing disaster recovery to either a physical or a virtual machine.  You can imagine how this could be appealing in-so-far as you can pack way more applications into virtual machines which could be perfectly OK in a DR scenario.



All of this means that we’re make it easier to manage your Converged Infrastructure:  to make disaster recovery more affordable, expand and simplify the provisioning capabilities, and make consolidation more precise and faster.  So maybe I’m stretching the analogy but it makes me think of that great, concise Olympics motto:  Swifter, higher, Stronger!

Builder versus Plumber

Rob Enderle recently added some great insight into a question we posed a couple of weeks ago, "What If a Plumber Built Your House".  When thinking about the question if you wanted a plubmer to build your house, he answered with "maybe".  Here are some of Rob's excellent points from his post, "Cisco, EMC and VMware: Cloud Computing Could Bring Strange Bedfellows".




  • Most builders learn the ropes in a specific trade like plumbing.


  • Plumbers can learn and partner.


  • Other experts may be useful if you were building with non-traditional materials in non-traditional places; like a cliff

Can a plumber learn new skills and partner with others to fill in the gaps?  Certainly.  Could a world-class builder do the same thing?  That is, continuously learn and partner to expand innovation in new areas based on a proven foundation.  Absolutely.


But when the example of the cloud came up, Rob inferred the cloud is primarily a network thing. Or at least a network, storage, virtual thing.  That's one point where we disagree.


The point between our builder versus plumber analogy is this: the only frame of reference when building a house is from the family and the people that make it up.  In the case of the next generation data center, that means the business and the applications and services it relies upon.  If everything isn't aligned, unified and integrated with those needs in mind for both today and the unknown tomorrow, it's a non-starter. 


Whether you are building a cloud, a data center, a or a tiny IT room, it's about about the business and delivering the application services the business needs - faster, cheaper and easier.  In our opinion, taking any kind of technology-centric view; network, server or storage is just the wrong approach.


This really just comes down to a simple difference in our points of view .  We view the big picture from the business and the application perspective across the data center, others see these as appendages hanging on to either side of a network cable.  


Rob ended with this.



"But the key to all of this is a general contractor that understands networking, storage and virtualization deeply, because those are likely the three critical skills in this new world order. By the way, this clearly suggests other partnerships, as well."


We agree it takes a lot to bring all the skills together to build in the world of the next generation data center.  Our team features EDS, who may be the world's greatest general contractor, HP software for the best home automation, and ProCurve might be your best bet for a plumber.  VMware, Microsoft, Citrix, Oracle and more are some of our most talented sub contractors too.  But without a builder, how do all the necessary parts of your data center work together and stay optimized; and who's accountable if they don't?


A big thanks to Rob for adding a lot of great ideas to consider in the "builder versus plumber" discussion.  What do you think?

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About the Author(s)
  • More than 25 years in the IT industry developing and managing marketing programs. Focused in emerging technologies like Virtualization, cloud and big data.
  • I work within EMEA ISS Central team and a launch manager for new products and general communications manager for EMEA ISS specific information.
  • Hello! I am a social media manager for servers, so my posts will be geared towards HP server-related news & info.
  • HP Servers, Converged Infrastructure, Converged Systems and ExpertOne
  • WW responsibility for development of ROI and TCO tools for the entire ISS portfolio. Technical expertise with a financial spin to help IT show the business value of their projects.
  • I am a member of the HP BladeSystem Portfolio Marketing team, so my posts will focus on all things blades and blade infrastructure. Enjoy!
  • Luke Oda is a member of the HP's BCS Marketing team. With a primary focus on marketing programs that support HP's BCS portfolio. His interests include all things mission-critical and the continuing innovation that HP demonstrates across the globe.
  • Global Marketing Manager with 15 years experience in the high-tech industry.
  • Network industry experience for more than 20 years - Data Center, Voice over IP, security, remote access, routing, switching and wireless, with companies such as HP, Cisco, Juniper Networks and Novell.
  • 20 years of marketing experience in semiconductors, networking and servers. Focused on HP BladeSystem networking supporting Virtual Connect, interconnects and network adapters.
  • Greetings! I am on the HP Enterprise Group marketing team. Topics I am interested in include Converged Infrastructure, Converged Systems and Management, and HP BladeSystem.
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