HP Opens HP Software Universe with Cloud, Automation

Hewlett-Packard opens its HP Software Universe conference by introducing several new software platforms, including HP Business Service Management 9.0 and HP Test Data Management. Bill Veghte, executive vice president of HP software and solutions, used his keynote address to expand on themes such as the increased need for software to automate and manage processes to cope with large amounts of business data.

WASHINGTON-Hewlett-Packard opened its HP Software Universe conference with a high-profile presentation at the Gaylord Center here on the Potomac River, emphasizing that the company is positioned to take advantage of an economy and a technology industry in transition. With a variety of customers and partners in attendance, the conference will deep-dive into HP's newest business software offerings with track sessions and roundtables.

The event began with television journalist Sam Donaldson taking the stage, first to tell a few Obama jokes and then to introduce Bill Veghte, the newly appointed executive vice president of HP Software & Solutions.

"Information technology delivery is fundamentally changing," Veghte said. "You have more choice in how you choose to apply and deliver an application or service than you've ever had."

He added, "Today, in every application and every service, you're making a decision in how you express that," in terms of whether to virtualize certain components within the stack or take a platform or applications to the cloud.

The screen behind Veghte displayed statistics: 28 percent of x86 workloads today virtualized, with 48 percent predicted by 2010; about 76 percent of businesses currently pursuing a private cloud; and around 1 billion mobile devices accessing the Internet.

"You parse through all of that stuff, and it's the 3 or 4 percent of that data you can actually translate," Veghte said. "Of that 3 or 4 percent, there's a bunch of actions we need to automate it, so there's no human hand touching it, generating cost."

In that quest to parse out data, he continued, "business and IT units get more and more entwined. We need to make sure we're supporting and enabling that blending." Before his keynote, Veghte expressed a similar theory to reporters and analysts.

None of the HP executives made mention of HP's recent $1.2 billion acquisition of Palm, with its WebOS platform, which, as one of the most-praised aspects of the Palm Pre and Palm Pixi smartphones, is widely seen as a way for HP to rapidly enter the tablet PC and smartphone markets. How that acquisition will affect HP's relationship with other IT giants, notably Microsoft, remains to be seen.

At the conference, HP introduced new software platforms, including HP Business Service Management 9.0, which gives IT administrators tools for managing application performance, and HP Test Data Management, which accelerates application testing.

BSM 9.0 offers IT administrators a more accurate near-real-time picture of their organization's current IT service state, according to HP, including across hybridized environments. It also eliminates redundant events and offers integrated virtualization support for various levels of the IT service tier, including applications, servers and networks.

"IT delivery is fundamentally changing," Veghte told assembled media and analysts during a June 15 press event ahead of the conference opening. "With a unified view of your IT portfolio, even if you got a perfect picture of it, 3 minutes later it would be inaccurate."

BSM 9.0 comes with software that includes HP BAC Anywhere, a service that administrators can use to monitor their external Web applications from anywhere off-site, and HP Operations Manager i 9.0, which utilizes smart plug-ins to automatically discover application changes.

The company also introduced HP Test Data Management, software that automates the process of collecting test data from live applications and accelerates application testing through a combination of masking and automated data extraction.