HP's Veghte Talks Cloud, Data Usage, Microsoft Background

Hewlett-Packard's newly appointed executive vice president of software & solutions, Bill Veghte, used a press event at the start of the HP Software Universe 2010 conference to discuss the questions facing businesses about the cloud, virtualization and data consumption. Veghte also talked briefly about his years with Microsoft, where he helped oversee the development of various Windows editions. HP's conference has seen the debut of new software aimed at IT administrators.

WASHINGTON, D.C-Hewlett-Packard's newly appointed executive vice president of software & solutions, Bill Veghte, used a talk at the June 15 opening of the HP Software Universe 2010 conference to talk about the cloud, and what he saw as the fundamental questions confronting businesses in their quest to digest and manage data.

Veghte spoke to an audience of media and analysts at Maryland's Gaylord Center, where HP will spend the next several days hosting sessions for customers, partners and developers.

"I've had the privilege of watching some very dramatic market inflections, in terms of how businesses are using productivity," Veghte said, adding that his background with Microsoft-including years spent developing Windows-allowed him to witness several such inflections.

Such a market inflection, he continued, is happening now: "IT delivery in businesses is fundamentally changing because of the demands in business. IT operations folks and CIOs are faced with some significant questions in terms of how to deliver their services and applications."

Those questions mostly involve the cloud, and could include-but are certainly not limited to-whether to virtualize a particular service or application, whether to rely on a public or private cloud, or even whether the cloud will be best utilized on a platform or application level.

"As I talk about this," Veghte said, "the reality is that enterprises are accelerating that model today: you look at the fact that, out of the number of businesses, 76 percent of businesses think they will pursue a private cloud implementation in the next couple of years." While the rate of data usage is increasing exponentially among both consumers and businesses, he added, the fact remains that some 85 percent of that comes from businesses.

"Even as that digital data is accelerating, the requirements on IT organizations around security and compliance continue unabated," Veghte said. "In fact, -unabated' is an understatement: we will see more security issues, not less."

Despite that data acceleration, organizations still need to extract the actionable 5 percent of data from that near-overwhelming tide, a task described by Veghte as "incredibly hard and getting harder... but more important than ever before." Both the business and IT sides of an enterprise start to blend, he suggested, as they pursue the mutual goal of this data extraction.

In response to an audience question about his ability to shift focus onto enterprise software, after years of working on Windows, Veghte highlighted his experience in server development.

"My experience is on the R&D side across both clients and servers," Veghte said. "I managed to development of Microsoft's server infrastructure products for five or six years, and I've spent a lot of time working with customers on the infrastructure side. The proof will be in the pudding."

HP is using the HP Software Universe 2010 conference to announce several new software platforms, including HP Business Service Management (BSM) 9.0, which gives IT administrators the tools to manage application performance, and HP Test Data Management, which accelerates application testing.

BSM 9.0 offers IT administrators a more accurate picture of their organization's current IT service state, including across hybridized environments. The platform also automates the event resolution process, in theory reducing troubleshooting costs, and offers collaboration tools for delivering data to appropriate team members.

Software included with BSM 9.0 ranges from HP BAC Anywhere, a service that administrators can use to monitor their external Web applications from anywhere offsite, to HP Operations Manager i 9.0, which utilizes smart plug-ins (SPIs) to automatically discover application changes.

The company also announced HP Test Data Management (TDM), 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.