HP aims to optimise datacentres

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HP aims to optimise datacentres

HP has unveiled a new portfolio of products and services designed to help businesses simplify the management of datacentres, but also to ensure that firms are spending money on the right areas to weather the recession and be in a stronger position afterwards.

The new products focus heavily on the use of virtualisation technologies, and include new storage arrays and an enhanced version of HP's Data Protector backup tool.

The services side covers analysis, application management and selective outsourcing of functions as managed services, if required.

Neal Clapper, vice president of HP StorageWorks in EMEA, said that the company is adopting a new strategy to help customers through the current downturn and emerge even stronger.

"Customers are spending far more on IT than they should, and about 65 per cent of this spend is going on maintenance - just keeping the lights on. At HP, we have already flipped this around, so most of our spend is on innovation. Now it's time [for customers] to look at being more efficient, but also to prepare for recovery," she said.

One major concern is storage, according to HP. "We hear time and time again from customers that they want better utilisation of infrastructure, particularly storage," said Clapper.

To address this, the new StorageWorks Enterprise Virtual Array (EVA) 6400 and 8400 are "much more scalable solutions, faster performing and simple to provision", Clapper said. The two EVAs support up to 324TB of storage, including Flash SSDs and Raid 6 capability.

Complementing these is the enhanced SAN Virtualisation Services Platform 2.1, which provides cross-platform centralised management of storage platforms.

"It provides the ability for IT managers to control heterogeneous arrays with a single management point. This is a big benefit for EVA customers, but also for those with EMC, IBM or NetApp kit," Clapper said.

HP also released Data Protector 6.1, which delivers complete backup protection for virtual machines running on VMware Infrastructure. With flexible data reduction options such as de-duplication, Data Protector can reduce operating costs by up to 70 per cent over alternative solutions, according to HP.

On the services side, HP's Consolidation and Virtualisation Return on Investment Services are intended to provide customers with the information to make the right investment decisions.

"We can come in and do analysis, then present to the client the options they can pursue," said Clapper.

HP claimed that its Application Management Services portfolio enables customers to separate applications requiring high service levels from those that do not, so that they can be managed separately on less costly infrastructure. HP also said that its engineers can work with customers to design datacentres so that multiple tiers for application availability can co-exist.

Finally, HP can also provide managed services for selected IT functions through EDS, which it acquired last year. The firm has developed services at the task level to enable customers to pick and choose what they want to outsource.

"Customers can evaluate the services they want and get a quick return on investment within six months. It's great for customers just starting to look at outsourcing," said Clapper.

Pricing for the StorageWorks EVA 6400 and EVA 8400 starts at US$24,240 and $61,456 respectively. HP StorageWorks SVSP 2.1 costs US$37,180.

Pricing for services varies, but HP said that the entry level cost of the Consolidation and Virtualisation ROI service will be less than US$20,000.

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