To finish off
the Wednesday sessions, I caught up with Wolfgang Kocher. He was speaking about
migration, and how HP helps make it a little easier.
HP has a lot of
experience moving customers off of legacy systems, as well as a lot of recent
experience helping Sun and mainframe customers move to another platform. Having
said that, the most important reason customers want to migrate systems is to
switch their IT budget from 70% maintenance and 30% innovation to 30%
maintenance and 70% innovation, a topic I've mentioned more than once. This is
especially important since many industries are trying to control and/or reduce
IT costs while delivering better IT services.
consider infrastructure modernization, they have several options. They need to
find a platform that improves Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), is secure for the
long term, and can simplify and improve data center efficiency.
For this reason,
the HP process starts with a TCO analysis to help our customers figure out if
it makes sense. As an example, in many cases, the support costs, ISV licensing
costs, and power and cooling costs all decrease. In addition, if you go with a
solution with Industry standard components and reduced management costs, it
puts IT resources back into growing the business. And finally, you should find
an option that helps reduce your risk - from a stable vendor, standards-based
technologies, and single vendor support. When the selection includes these
factors, it is a good incentive for customers to modernize an older platform.
HP has a 4 step
migration process: understanding out customers' needs including the total cost
of ownership, planning the migration (including a Proof of Concept, if needed),
execute the migration (including acceptance testing and knowledge transfer), and
ongoing support. HP offers many levels of support and help for customers during
the process. As an example, HP offers software transition kits and, for Solaris
to HP-UX and Solaris to Linux porting kits for developers who want to do a lot
of the work in house.
At the end of
the day, HP has helped hundreds of customers migrate from one platform to
another in the last year. If you are interested in learning more, please let me
I have been watching with interest over the past few months to get some sign as to what Oracle will do with their newly acquired hardware architecture, SPARC, along with the Solaris operating system. In the process, I have noticed that several writers and bloggers have commented on Oracle's new licensing strategy for Solaris. The new licensing strategy is such that now you can't just download a Solaris 10 license and use it for free for as long as you want. You get to use it for free for 90 days only, then you need to pay for support. Gone are the days when you could pay for operating system support on 25 servers, but get support on all 100 servers you have on site.
For me, the writing is on the wall. It already makes sense from a TCO perspective to migrate your older SPARC servers to standards-based servers running Intel-based processors. Check out the Sun TCO Challenge and you'll see that you can reduce core counts by five to one or more by migrating to Integrity or ProLiant servers. I think that many Solaris/SPARC users were staying with the architecture because the ongoing software operational costs was pretty low. But I know that Oracle has vowed to make more profit out of the Sun acquisition, and this is definitely one of the ways to do it - through increased support costs to existing customers. Now, if you are running an older SPARC-based server environment, you now face unexpected operational costs. That means less money for innovation in your IT environment.
Keep your eyes on what Oracle does next with Sun/Solaris. If I was a customer running a SPARC-based server environment, I would think long and hard about the roadmap for this architecture. It may be time for you to take a look at servers and operating systems with a brighter future.
It's February 1, and with a new month comes a new promotion. If you are an IBM or Sun UNIX customer, and are interested in taking a look at HP Integrity blades and HP-UX, we have a new offer for you. It is a Free HP Integrity Blade Starter Kit - basically, a free BL860c - when HP-UX 11i v3 VSE OE and support are purchased from HP. This offer is for new customers only. More details are available at http://h71028.www7.hp.com/enterprise/w1/en/migrate-to-hp/from-sun-starter-kit.html.
I caught parts of the Oracle + Sun web cast last week. Like many people, I've been thinking about the content of the web cast. In particular, Larry Ellison and other speakers mentioned moving back to the concept of integrated systems, much like in the mainframe era of the 1960's.
While I don't pretend to know much about the mainframe market in the 1960's, one thing that I do know is that the way IBM ran their business back then lead to alternatives such as the mini-computer, and ultimately paved the way for UNIX systems, still often referred to as Open Systems. The market is much different today, with multiple strong vendors, including HP, offering customers choice and driving healthy competition. Let's face it, competition keeps everyone on their toes!
Apparently, I'm not the only one questioning how great the mainframe market of the 1960's really was.
John Rymer at Forrester has a great analysis on his Forrester Blog at http://blogs.forrester.com/appdev/2010/01/peace-love-and-the-ibm-system-360.html that covers this topic rather well. He has an interesting list of the pros and cons of the mainframe era that makes for good reading.
In addition, I know that in my discussions with customers, Oracle and Oracle licensing is a very popular topic. Integrated solutions definitely help drive down the maintenance cost for that solution. However, standardization across multiple projects also drives down costs. While there are always good business cases for one off exceptions, I know that keeping those exceptions to a minimum helps drastically reduce backend support costs. It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the next year.
This is one of the first changes that will impact the UNIX business this year, and I'm sure that there are plenty more coming.