HP Tweaks Storage, Servers for Adaptive Work

HP introduced new software and hardware Wednesday, a move designed to bring more “adaptive” qualities to data centers and grid computing.

Fresh from its $1.5 billion outsourcing deal with British Telecom, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based computer and printer maker also announced three new customer wins based on its “Adaptive Enterprise” utility computing platform.

To help foster business in even more server rooms, HP is investing in four key areas out of its $4 billion R&D budget. With the help of Intel, HP is introducing a new dual processor module, called
“mx2,” which features two industry-standard Intel Itanium 2 processors on a
“single” module that can plug into existing systems.

The company is also
launching its HP StorageWorks Reference Information Storage System (RISS) —
a high-performance data management software based on the company’s own
“storage grid” architecture. From its services division, HP is also throwing
out a handful of new service packages designed for mission critical NonStop
servers as well as an expansion of its Information Lifecycle Management
(ILM) services portfolio. The company is presenting its offerings as part of
its user conference in Munich, Germany this week.

HP has been keeping the heat on its rivals IBM, EMC, and Sun Microsystems with a bevy of
deals and new offerings for the enterprise. In the past two weeks, HP
has revamped its server and storage lineups in order to combine its HP Services and HP Enterprise Systems Group (ESG) into a
new HP Technology Solutions Group (TSG).

HP said it has expanded its relationship with
three current customers such as auto parts manufacturer Gates Corporation
(no relationship to Microsoft’s chairman) which signed up for a pay-per-use
contract; Amadeus, which provides IT for the travel and tourism industry;
and Ford Motor Company , which inked a hardware, software and
printing deal for its offices in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

Based in part on HP’s recent acquisition of Persist Technologies, the
company’s RISS platform is part of its ILM offerings. The open standards
services and architecture is pre-integrated with partner technologies and is
debuting with active archiving and rapid retrieval of e-mail including
offloading Microsoft Exchange The company said other common data types
should follow in the next 12 months.

The average company employee has about 76 e-mails per day. Multiply that
by the number of employees at your company and that number gets pretty
high,” Mark Hudson, vice president of marketing for the HP Enterprise Storage and Servers group, told internetnews.com. “RISS has the ability to digitally
sign it, time stamp it and log it in a grid fashion. So when you look at
what EMC has done with its Centera platform, theirs is not complete and
relies on more third-party solutions.”

As part of its broader ILM-related services, HP brought its Business
Requirements Analysis online. The platform includes an assessment of data
policies; education on electronic record archiving requirements and
regulatory compliance with data collection rules under the federal Sarbanes-Oxley mandate; and a review of policy documents and other documentation.

The company is also launching its Electronic Vaulting Services platform.
The combination of HP StorageWorks hardware/software/services includes
design, installation and management services for disk-to-disk backup at a
customer site and/or a HP host site as well as other data protection
procedures.

HP is asking its local partners to step up to win over new
vertical industries. The company has called on ADIC for rich media;
CaminoSoft, Grau Data Storage and Pegasus Disk Technologies for hierarchal
storage management; Orchestria for e-mail policy management and Princeton
Softech for enterprise resource planning and database archiving.

Also in the services realm, HP said it has revised its HP NonStop
services portfolio to now include a “Mission Critical” support for the
servers. The package includes dedicated senior support team and a customized
service-level agreement. HP is also offering its HP Critical Service, HP
Proactive 24 Service, and HP Support Plus 24 to help keep things running.
The company said each of the new packages includes support agreements
courtesy of its HP Instant Support Enterprise Edition (ISEE) – remote
support over a secure Internet connection with robust troubleshooting and
repair capabilities via predefined scripts.

HP has also beefed up its Itanium-based hardware lineups. The company
debuted its new dual processor module, called “mx2.” The hardware made up of
Itanium “Madison” cores with 6Mgs of L2 cache allows support for up to 128
processors. That is twice the number of Itanium 2 processors than earlier
versions, which were limited to HP’s PA-RISC systems.

HP said the board configurations are also upgradeable to current
Integrity architectures.

“That is good for our consolidation message,” Hudson commented. “Itanium
is going to benefit too as it is close to having 2,500 applications ported
so far.”

HP is also taking advantage of its relationship with Intel to launch an
aggressive price war focused on the HP Integrity running Itanium chips
starting in May and running through September.

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