HP Tweaks Storage, Servers for Adaptive Work

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HP introduced new software and hardware Wednesday, moves 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 solution 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 reports it has expanded its relationship with three current customers, including 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. The company says 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, timestamp it, and log it in a grid fashion.”

“So when you look at what EMC has done with its Centera platform,” Hudson continued, “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 (D2D) backup at a customer site and/or a HP host site as well as other data protection

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 (HSM); Orchestria for e-mail policy management; and Princeton Softech for enterprise resource planning and database archiving.

NonStop Services Portfolio Adds ‘Mission Critical’ Support

Also in the services realm, HP announced it has revised its HP NonStop services portfolio to now include “Mission Critical” support for the servers. The package includes a 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 says 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 over earlier
versions, which were limited to HP’s PA-RISC systems.

HP says 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 starting in May and running through September. The price push will focus on the HP Integrity running Itanium chips.

Story courtesy of Internet News.

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