RealTime IT News

HP Touts More Efficient Datacenter Strategy

HP announced several moves designed to advance the long-running "adaptive enterprise" strategy it's been promoting to corporate clients. The company also announced it's reentered the eight-way server space, with a soon-to-be released ProLiant based on AMD's quad-core Opteron.

This week's announcements are part of the computer giant's strategy to capitalize on the growth in consolidation and virtualization by becoming a one-stop shop for companies that need to streamline datacenter operations, improve energy efficiency or overcome limited physical real estate for computer operations.

HP (NYSE: HPQ) has been a testing ground for consolidation itself; the computer giant is embarked on multi-year project to reduce its array of 85 datacenters worldwide down to six located in three U.S. cities (Atlanta, Houston and Austin, Texas).

Last month, HP completed its acquisition of EYP Mission Critical Facilities announced in November. The New York-based consulting company specializes in strategic technology planning, design and operations support for large-scale data centers.

With EYP on board, part of HP's news today was that it will be expanding its Data Center Services offerings with new consulting, design and assurance for helping companies create scalable, but space and energy-efficient data centers.

In the past, HP might have partnered with EYP, now it can offer construction and design services itself. "We're using EYP as an anchor to introduce our new set of consulting services," Deborah Nelson, a senior vice president of market for HP's technology solutions group, told InternetNews.com. "We can design the whole building along with a whole set of consolidation services."

Other announcements, unveiled Monday as part of an HP customer event in Barcelona, Spain, included an enhanced set of design, support and education services related to data center virtualization for both physical and virtual assets.

Later this spring, HP said it plans to release Insight Dynamics - VSE, touted as the first software to analyze and optimize physical and virtual resources in the same way. Insight Dynamics supports hypervisor technology from multiple vendors and plugs into HP's Systems Insight Manager tool.

Infrastructure as a service?

Building on its array of hosting options, HP also announced Adaptive Infrastructure as a Service (AIaaS) for companies that want to offload certain data center or computer processing operations. HP said AIaaS is an optimized platform for Microsoft Exchange and SAP as well as other business critical applications.

Nelson said over a third of CEO and CIOs it surveyed said their current datacenters wouldn't meet their business needs in the next three year. "We think this is a business priority, not just a technology problem," said Nelson.

Lastly, on the hardware front, HP is bringing out a new member to its ProLiant line of servers. The DL785 G5 is an eight-socket x86 server powered by AMD's latest Quad Core Opteron processor.

Available in May, the new ProLiant is priced starting at $17,000. "It's an excellent system for virtualization and very large processing needs," said Nelson.

IDC analyst Jean Bozman said the release underscores the interest in larger virtualization projects, as HP hadn't shipped an eight-socket, x86 system in two years. "It's coming back as part of a wave of virtualization and consolidation in the data center," Bozman told InternetNews.com.

"And it's not just virtualization, there are other applications like databases that just keep growing and systems like this, with multi-core architecture, gives you access to more memory and bandwidth. An eight-socket, quad-core server gives you a lot of horsepower."