HP Includes Low-End Servers in Mission-Critical Service Support

HP, recognizing the increasingly large role industry-standard servers and blades are playing in the data center, is now including such low-end systems in its Mission Critical Partnership services program. HP officials said that, especially with the growth of virtualization in the data center, it didn't make sense to offer two tiers of service for low- and high-end servers. The changes come as services continue to be the bright light for HP's overall business.

Hewlett-Packard is expanding its mission-critical infrastructure services to include low-end and blade servers, a move officials said recognizes the growing importance these systems have in such environments.

HP also announced May 20 that it is including more flexible reactive support and an integrated customer support service in its Mission Critical Partnership services offering.

Regarding the move to include industry-standard lower-end servers and blades within the realm of mission-critical services makes sense given the increased use of these machines by enterprises in their most important computing roles, particularly given the rise in the use of virtualization technologies within the data center, Gerry Nolan, worldwide director of HP's Mission Critical Services business, said in an interview.

"Truthfully, [before] we might not have considered these mission-critical, but there they are, sitting in the middle of the mission-critical environment," Nolan said.

Before, HP was offering one level of support for low-end systems, and another for high-end servers. That has changed.

"Customers are looking for all that under one contract," Nolan said.

With the expanded reach of the services, users now have options regarding pricing and can tailor support levels to meet their specific needs.

In addition, the new services offering includes a mixed level of reactive support, depending on the need, with both high- and low-end systems getting the same level of support. Incidents are managed based on business impact, HP officials said.

All customers also now have around-the-clock access to HP's Mission Critical Support Centers.

In addition, HP offers businesses teams of mission-critical certified specialists who can give customers tailored service and a single point of contact. HP also is giving all customers access to Insight Remote Support Advanced for remote monitoring capabilities.

The expanded services offerings come a day after HP announced its fiscal second-quarter earnings, which showed that services was the key shining light in an otherwise difficult three months, almost doubling its prior-year quarterly revenues by reaching $8.5 billion.

HP officials attributed a lot of that to the $13.9 billion acquisition of services firm EDS last year, but Chairman and CEO Mark Hurd said that the services groups already with HP played a major role as well.