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Converging the Data Center for a Hybrid Future

by Chris Coggrave, Worldwide Director, HP IT Infrastructure Services


coggrave_badge_tcm_245_1359543[1].pngWe hear a lot about future visions for IT and the data center – Converged Cloud, Software-Defined Data Centers, Next Generation Data Center etc. Whichever vision you take, it will need to support a hybrid delivery environment in the future, where IT services will be delivered in a variety of ways simultaneously – from traditional to cloud.


The promises for realizing these visions are impressive.  It all sounds very straightforward and logical in the multitude of papers, presentations and webinars out there. But what does this really mean to the average data center/IT manager who is struggling with the everyday pressures of keeping things running under increasing demands from the business – on top of which there’s a continuing pressure to save costs and do more with less? How on earth should you set about the task of improving your current situation whilst at the same time starting to progress to a future state vision?


It will certainly not be an overnight fix nor a “rip and replace” job – but rather a journey that will take several months and even years, in some cases, to complete.


Converge.jpgSo where is a good place to start? I suggest that you to focus on answering the following key questions:


  1. Why do you need to do something?
  2. What do you need to do?
  3. Where and when do you need to do it?
  4. How do you do it?

In order to help answer these, I propose a structured approach that will allow you to make the journey to the future state model. It’s based on convergence in the data center, involving simplification, standardization, integration and alignment of the main elements of the data center ecosystem. Each of the following dimensions of convergence will address each of the above 4 questions:


  • Convergence Drivers
  • Convergence Domains
  • Convergence Journey
  • Convergence Model

Let’s understand more about what this means.


Convergence Drivers


It is important at the start of your journey to understand why you need to take this journey. Ultimately it will be business drivers that define the nature of the supporting data center infrastructures. These would include, for example:


  • Need to reduce costs
  • Need to grow the business
  • Need to mitigate against risk
  • Need to more rapidly respond to changing needs

This needs collaboration with the business and all IT stakeholders. A good way to do this is to hold a one-day transformation workshop for all the key business and IT stakeholders and have a structured and facilitated session around all the elements of the data center. This helps everyone understand how the business relates to the underlying data center IT infrastructure needs and how convergence will drive the ultimate alignment of business and IT.


I call this “right–reasoning”




Convergence Domains


The IT Infrastructure can no longer exist in splendid isolation. You need to think about the linkages with the Service Delivery Model for IT, with the facilities that support IT assets, and with the organization that delivers the skills, structure, processes and governance to run IT.




IT Infrastructure: You need to converge the infrastructure by simplifying, standardizing and integrating network, server and storage, collapsing the existing silo approach and abstracting resources from their physical implementations – managing them centrally while standardizing and automating processes and moving to a service-based approach supporting workload mobility. I call this “right-structuring”


IT Service Model: You need to decide which workloads you keep inside the data center and use traditional insourcing or private cloud to deliver, and which to place outside through outsourcing and public or managed clouds. This is all about workload  mobility.  I call this “right-sourcing”


Facilities: For those workloads you wish to keep inside, you need to ensure that they are supported by an optimized set of converged IT assets. These must receive only just the right space, power and cooling from the surrounding DC facilities, so that the specific demand is just satisfied by the supply as and when needed. Flexible data center approaches, zoning and DC Infrastructure Management can all help here. I call this “right-sizing”


Organization: Finally you need to ensure that your organization – in terms of the people, skills, structures, processes and governance – are all optimized for the way in which you intend to deliver IT. I call this “right-shaping”.


The Convergence Journey


Knowing where you are now in terms of capability and maturity and where you want to go is critical for success. For this you need to define a journey or roadmap. At each stage, each of the domains above become more interrelated and integrated – they start to converge. Many organizations are at an early stage in this journey – IT sprawl needs consolidation and standardization. As they progress along the journey, the domains converge until the later stages, which constitute a hybrid model where each domain is totally integrated to each of the others in real time, and there is complete alignment between the business and IT. This can only be achieved by understanding where you are now, where you want to go, and what the milestones are in the journey.


I call this being at the “right place” and “right time”.


CI journey.png


The Convergence Model

This defines a series of building blocks which each consist of a range of common activities needed to progress along the journey. I use what I term the “10 A’s” model. This allows you to build all the necessary steps to move from one stage of the journey to the next, as follows:


Adjust - simplify, standardise and modernise your IT assets & facilities

Abstract – Modularize assets by selecting required physical assets and virtualizing server, storage and network elements where appropriate to separate resources from their physical implementation

Aggregate – bring together all physical and virtual resources into a common pool to manage centrally

Assure - ensure that the appropriate protection, availability and compliance are in place

Automate – define infrastructure processes, automate them and orchestrate workflows

Assemble – Create infrastructure services from the resources and processes

Allocate – match supply with demand for resources and associate usage with consumers

Running across all of these building blocks are three other blocks:

Align – connect people, process and governance with the technology and delivery model during the journey

Approach – use an appropriate lifecycle methodology and solution architecture and ensure integration into the existing infrastructure throughout the journey

Accelerate – Use market-leading products (infrastructure hardware and software), models and tools to realize the defined solutions and speed the journey


I call this the “right-way”.




So - in summary, the converged data center is an approach by which you can evolve your data center to a future hybrid IT state. It provides a structured approach which is evolutionary, rather than revolutionary, allowing co-existence with the existing data center infrastructure, thereby minimizing the impact on the business.


I will discuss the concept of the Converged Data Center further in future blogs.


I hope that by taking this approach, you will get the RIGHT RESULT for your business!


Today, we announced HP OneView, a breakthrough new infrastructure management platform that simplifies the most basic steps that underlie all data center processes, helping you to improve processes while reducing costs and manual errors. We also unveiled new OneView services: HP OneView Startup Service, HP Proactive Care for OneView, HP OneView Integration Service, and HP Education Services.


To learn more about me and how I can help you converge your data center for a hybrid future, visit my HP Technology Expert profile page. And check out my video about mapping out your journey to Converged Infrastructure.

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  • I’m a Global Strategist, a certified (PMI) Project Manager, specializing in business to IT alignment, agility consulting, Infrastructure Transformation and Strategic Architecture for Big Data, Mobility, Private Cloud, Unified Communications and Collaboration. I drive the strategy, vision and content of strategic consulting services in the Big Data IT Infrastructure services area at HP. As part of this, I meet with senior level customers to understand their challenges, conduct workshops to determine future vision and roadmaps as well as presenting at industry and analyst events.
  • Craig Partridge is the WW strategy lead for HP Technology Services Networking group. His role now covers strategy for consulting, professional and support services. The major areas of focus are Mobility, UC, Cloud Networking and IPv6. All aligned to core HP networking solutions - simplified, secure, optimized and available.
  • Don has held roles with the business and marketing of consulting for HP. Currently he supports HP's Client and Microsoft Solutions and the emerging Mobility Consulting services. He holds a MBA from UCLA's Anderson School.
  • Over 12 years of consulting, new technology services development and marketing experience covering data center, IT infrastructure, cloud technology domains. Hande holds a M.B.A degree from Bentley College, MA.
  • Having joined HP in 2003 Ian Jagger is the world-wide marketing and program manager for HP Technology Consulting's Strategic Consulting Services, Critical Facilities Services and Energy and Sustainability Management Services, as well as emerging IT services Prior to his current role, he served as the HP Services Marketing Manager for Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, having joined HP in a similar role in the Middle East. Prior to HP Jagger had a 15 year international sales career, culminating in being Sales and Marketing Director for Steelcase Inc addressing Northern Europe before focusing more specifically on marketing. His initial focus was consultancy and interim marketing management, primarily for small to mid-sized customers based or looking to expand in the Middle Eastern region. Immediately prior to joining HP he was a strategic marketing consultant addressing investment targets for a technology fund. Born in Rochdale, United Kingdom, Jagger holds an honors bachelor of science degree in economics and a degree in social psychology from Loughborough University, England. He also holds a Masters Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and a Chartered Marketer. He has one daughter and lives in Cary, North Carolina.
  • Jeff Enters works in the HP Technology Services Networking organization and consults with customers on their IT strategies. He has over 20 years of consulting, design and integration experience in multi-vendor Voice and Data environments.
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  • Jordan Lee has over twenty years of consulting and industry experience, helping some of the world’s largest firms craft and implement their business and IT strategies. His priority is to advise Hewlett-Packard clients how to best prepare for and take full advantage of the dramatic shifts in the IT economy taking place today. Over his career, Mr. Lee has held executive positions both in industry and consulting organizations, where he has provided consulting to some of the largest firms in the US. Over the years, he has helped his clients redesign business processes and organizations, and implement strategic IT programs around ERP, System Integration, Business Intelligence, and IT Infrastructure.
  • Jordan owns the worldwide mobility portfolio for TS Network Consulting and is a OneHP Mobility ambassador. His expertise centers on mobility strategy, client and applications virtualization and enterprise mobility management technologies.
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  • Ken Larson has over 30 years of experience in Information Technology aligning business to technology. As an Enterprise Architect, he has delivered many successful architecture related services across business and government sectors in manufacturing, insurance, banking, oil, utilities, US state and federal governments. He is certified in TOGAF and IT Service Management.
  • Laura Cunningham is a CPA and business consultant with HP Technology Services Consulting. She helps CIOs and their teams bridge the gap between what the CIO wants and what the CFO requires by building a comprehensive business case that can withstand financial scrutiny.
  • I am on the WW Cloud and Big Data Solutions Team. I help our customers adopt HP advanced solutions that are made up of products and services from across HP. I have over 30 years experience in the technology business including 17 years of business ownership.
  • Broad mix of experiences developed in more than 20 years of technology-driven innovation. Fascinated by changes triggered by mix of behavior, needs and technology. Bachelor in Theoretical Physics.
  • Working for EMEA TS Consulting, I am a Specialist in end to end management of customer data, from creation through consumption, to protection and preservation and ultimately (controlled) destruction. This includes, host, connectivity, storage, data protection and backup and archive, from a technical and more importantly, operational perspective. I have worked in the storage and data management industry for over 15 years, on both sides of the desk, as a customer and now as a consultant.
  • Patrick Lownds is a Senior Technology Consultant and is involved in designing and delivering both Client Virtualization and Cloud Computing solutions in the datacenter. Patrick co-authored “Mastering Hyper-V Deployment
  • I’m a Global Chief Engineer certified Exchange Architect and Master (MCA and MCM), specializing in Messaging, Mobility, Private Cloud, Unified Communications and Collaboration. This relates to all work to coordinate sales, pursuit and delivery readiness in all services that relate to HP's portfolio around Microsoft Exchange. Includes internal readiness as well as external events, analyst briefings. With 25+ year’s experience in the industry. Thomas has been involved with Microsoft products since 1993. Specialties: - Architecting complex public and private Cloud solutions for Exchange, SharePoint and Lync in standard, dedicated or hybrid scenarios. - Lead the HP specialists team unit to win and acheive our business targets and budget - Drive HP's Exchange Services for Private Cloud - Working with partners, vendors and internal teams to align, expand and grow HP's strategy.
  • Tim Swiader has twenty plus years in the Information Technology industry. He has worked primarily with the fortune 100 and legacy carriers transforming their applications, networks and data center facilities.
  • Tom Clement has over 30 years experience in the areas of adult learning, secondary education, and leadership development. During this time Tom has been a consistent champion of “non-traditional” training delivery methods, including blended learning, virtual delivery (self paced and instructor led), the use of training games and simulations, and experiential learning. Tom has spent the past 25 years of his career at Hewlett Packard, focused most recently on HP’s global Virtualization, Cloud, and Converged Infrastructure customer training programs. Tom manages the strategic direction and overall performance of these training programs, ensuring these worldwide programs help HP’s customers capitalize on the business opportunities made available by IT advancements in each of these subject areas. Tom and his global teammates utilize best in class instructors, course content and supporting equipment infrastructure to deliver these training programs to HP’s customers. The team prides itself on providing the Virtualization, Cloud, and Converged Infrastructure content customers need when and where they need it, anywhere in the world. Tom is based in the Washington, DC suburbs and can be reached at
  • Tari is a Distinguished Technologist with 30 years of IT and cyber security experience. He is dual board certified in information security/business continuity and is responsible for a wide range of management and technology consulting services encompassing information security, disaster recovery, privacy, and risk management. His problem-solving skills, knowledge of various technology platforms, compliance statutes, industries, as well as his experience in deploying defense-in-depth and InfoSec Program solution architectures is commonly applied when advising CIOs/CISOs as well as leveraged in numerous HP client engagements throughout the world. Tari has designed, built, and managed some of the world’s largest InfoSec programs allowing them to defend against even the most aggressive attackers.
  • I provide technical consulting services at all phases including analysis, planning, design and implementation. I have a wide range of experience in WAN and LAN technologies, as well as providing security solutions and deploying operating system infrastructure. Besides working directly with clients to deploy technology in their data centers, I also find myself architecting or discussing solutions with a business’s chief information officer, helping to lay out a roadmap for the coming years.
  • Bill is the Principal Data Center Energy Technologist for HP Technology Services. Kosik is a licensed professional engineer, LEED Accredited Professional, a Certified Energy Manager, and a Building Energy Modeling Professional. He is responsible for research and implementation of sustainable, energy-efficient, and environmentally responsible design strategies for data centers. He is currently a subject matter expert for the USGBC on the new LEED Data Centers, the EPA/DOE on unification of energy metrics, and the Green Grid on responding to the EPA’s Energy Star for Data Centers program. He has an engineering degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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