Data Centers to Become

By John G. Spooner  |  Posted 2005-12-13 Print this article Print

More Automated"> However, Hurd says HP envisions a much more automated data center environment, which can dynamically allocate computing power and storage space using virtualization and other techniques, running on top of that hardware. "Its likely that instead of having a lot of humans running it, I [as a customer] want to have a seven-by-twenty-four, lights out computing environment thats monitored and controlled remotely," Hurd said.
"All of that is going to have to be managed, controlled—it will have to be reliable, secure and integrated with management software."
HP aims to offer companies a menu of hardware, software and the services to install and maintain such a data center and could even manage the operation for a customer, depending on their needs, he said. "This trend isnt going to slow down," he said. "Its going to keep gaining momentum. The long run opportunity is to eliminate the requirement for that [human] labor. The way you do that is by automating those processes." Anne Livermore, executive vice president of the companys Technology Solutions Group, which encompasses its servers, storage and software business, said that the company would work to cut the number of IT techs that run a data center from about one per 20 servers to about one per 200 servers. Similarly, the company said it would help reduce the number of people needed to manage storage systems using its management and automation software, as well as services offerings. "Were positioned well for the future as we look at the future…but theres also a lot of stuff we can sell today that will help customers start taking these steps," Livermore said, referring to the companys latest storage products and new servers. Of course, corporate storage has grown into more than just holding on to data in case it might be needed, she said. HP must also help customers put their data to use by helping index and retrieve it. Click here to read about HPs push for restructuring. "So were investing in storage software to help with these parts of the solution," Livermore said. "Well continue to invest both organically and inorganically in the storage space." HP believes its in a particularly good spot with its server line—it claims the number one spot in servers and ships a ProLiant server every 14 seconds—but it will be spending more and more time focused on revenue share, which translates into selling more expensive machines, Livermore said, and not necessarily shipping the most units. To that end, it will continue focusing on areas such as blade servers, where it will also expand its desktop blade offering and introducing blade workstations, executives said, HP will also continue offering Intels Itanium chip in high-end servers such as its Integrity line. Click here to read more about HPs Itanium servers. "Were fully committed, as is Intel, to this marketplace. Were pleased with the progress [of Itanium servers] and youll see us continue as we move into FY06 [fiscal year 2006] to be aggressive," she said. HPs Personal Systems Group, its PC arm, will focus on making notebooks both easier to carry and more connected, said Todd Bradley, its executive vice president. "Integrated broadband will be added," he said. Also, "Youll see us look at form factors that are both slim and light and larger and more powerful as we bring workstation capabilities down into the notebook arena." HP will offer seven new notebook products in the first half of 2006, he said, many of which will combine Wi-Fi, wireless broadband and greater portability. When it comes to printers, HPs cash cow, the company aims to capture more corporate business by offering multifunction devices that can replace copiers, continuing to push relatively inexpensive color laser printers and even pursuing large industrial printing systems, said Vyomesh Joshi, executive vice president of the companys Imaging and Printing Group. "HP is the only company has all the technology and those solutions with which we can go after that aggressively…printers, supplies and services," Joshi said. Each system, whether its a color printer or a large industrial system for printing mail, an area where HP would more likely license its technology, brings additional revenue thanks to its associated supplies businesses. Moreover, HP can also attach services to the products it sells, he said. The company will move to executive on its new plan in coming weeks and months, Hurd said. Ultimately, "You man not always like what we say," Hurd said to the analysts. "But well go do what we say. Well work extremely hard to deliver on the commitments we make, both inside the company and outside the company." Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.

John G. Spooner John G. Spooner, a senior writer for eWeek, chronicles the PC industry, in addition to covering semiconductors and, on occasion, automotive technology. Prior to joining eWeek in 2005, Mr. Spooner spent more than four years as a staff writer for CNET, where he covered computer hardware. He has also worked as a staff writer for ZDNET News.

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