HP Sees Itself as One-Stop Shop

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2009-11-04 Print this article Print

HP, like its nemesis, IBM, believes it can supply basically everything needed-including the preplanning, design and architectural services anyone needs to get a data center up and running in a few months. Looking at the depth of HP's product catalog, one would be hard-pressed to argue that point.

HP has quietly built its own in-house, all-purpose build-a-data center capability, thanks both to the 2008 purchase of Electronic Data Systems for $13.9 billion and the acquisition of EYP Mission Critical Facilities, the second-largest data center designer and builder in the U.S. market.

Acquisitions of this kind have led to HP's converged data center strategy and subsequent products and services. The company's high market share in servers, storage-yes, even networking-is substantial. It has loyal customers in all these areas globally.

"We're the only one with the IP [intellectual property] across the [technology] stacks," David Donatelli, executive vice president of HP's Enterprise Servers and Networking, told eWEEK. "You can't partner your way to a converged architecture. You have to work your way from the ground up."

Yankee Group data center analyst Zeus Kerravala, who is among those researching the markets to see what will be in demand over the next months and years, said he likes both approaches but thinks the Cisco approach may attract a lot of attention off the top.

"We found that 57 percent [of IT managers] prefer an internal or private cloud, and another 31 percent would prefer a hybrid model. But most solutions available on the market today are public, which is in far less enterprise demand," Kerravala said. "In theory, cloud computing should simplify enterprise computing, but the path to cloud [computing] is filled with complexity as organizations need to build transition plans and learn best practices. So, for customers that are interested in cloud computing, the VCE coalition, supported by Acadia, provides an excellent way to evolve to the preferred cloud model while minimizing the risk surrounding deployment."

The Acadia news was undoubtedly hard on several Cisco UCS partners. Microsoft, Accenture, BMC Software and NetApp weren't even mentioned during the Nov. 4 announcement.

BMC is supplying all the data center management software for Cisco UCS and for the Acadia vBlock venture. Tucci raised some eyebrows when he claimed credit for EMC at the Nov. 3 announcement for supplying that key software, but in fact EMC is licensing the BMC software.

NetApp was left out in the Acadia cold due to the presence of longtime bitter rival EMC, which is locked into the deal through its own storage,VMware, and those key friendships.

NetApp Chief Marketing Officer Jay Kidd was blunt about his company's take on the deal. "We view the announcement as a clever attempt by Cisco to sell UCS servers into EMC's install base," Kidd e-mailed to eWEEK.

"We also feel that this announcement further validates the trend that we're seeing as more and more enterprises move to a virtualized dynamic data center infrastructure. NetApp has been at the forefront in helping enterprises realize this shift through our close partnerships with Cisco and VMware. With VMware we have virtualized large data centers for customers like T-Systems, BT and Sprint, and have expanded on these architectures with several integration partners to include Cisco UCS servers.

"Open partnerships, not closed coalitions, are what customers need and want to make the transformation to a virtualized data center."

There is much more to come on this topic, that's for sure.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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