Database News : Thursday December 06, 2007
HP DEBUTS TOOLS TO AUTOMATE DATA CENTRES
Becomes the first enterprise software vendor to offer integrated automation products that run across all IT operations
Story by TONY WALTHAM, BARCELONA, SPAIN
Hewlett Packard last week introduced Automated Operations 1.0, an integrated suite of tools to help organisations address complexity in their data centres and to enable CIOs to align IT more closely to business outcomes.
In so doing, HP becomes the first enterprise software vendor to offer integrated automation products that run seamlessly across IT operations. The suite is part of HP's Business Technology Optimisation (BTO) platform, the largest of the company's three software domains.
The other two areas within HP's rapidly-growing software business are business information optimisation, which deals with business intelligence, e-discovery and compliance and solutions for the telecommunications, media and entertainment industry.
Business service automation is one HP's three main pillars of BTO, the other two being business service management and IT service management (ITSM), which is about people and process issues.
In addition to the Automated Operations 1.0 launch, HP announced enhancements around business service automation and improvements to its ITSM suite on the eve of its Software Universe conference here last week.
Speaking to the Press, HP Software senior vice president Tom Hogan said HP now offered an integrated approach that focussed on a consistent view of business service across IT operations as well as a consistent understanding of process aspects. Other software companies had traditionally offered one or more solutions in each category, he said.
HP also announced strong growth figures last week, with software revenues doubling, year on year, to reach $698 million at the end of the fourth Fiscal quarter. Excluding revenue derived from the Mercury Interactive acquisition in November 2006, its "organic growth" had grown at three to four times that of the closest competitor, Hogan said. HP's overall revenues for Fiscal 2007 were $104.3 billion, he noted.
HP was now the sixth largest software company in the world and was now putting 70 percent of its $3.6 billion investment in R&D into software, compared to just 30 percent five years ago, he added.
HP's BTO portfolio now integrates components from its 2005 Peregrine acquisition, its Mercury Interactive acquisition a year ago and its Opsware acquisition completed in September, along with assets from its OpenView software.
"We have been aggressively expanding our software portfolio in the last two years," Hogan said, adding that HP's software acquisitions had been of market leaders, not tier 2 or tier 3 companies.
The HP Software senior vice president said he felt that HP's BTO portfolio was now "broader, deeper and better" than anyone else in the marketplace, although in the business information optimisation category, and communications, media and entertainment verticals, "there are gaps and opportunities to extend our intellectual properties, increase the value for our customers and so we are exploring both organic and inorganic moves."
HP also enhanced its ITSM software that helps companies define, deliver and manage business services from inception to retirement by adding services that offer best practices through blueprints, training and assessments.
The new Business Service Automation solution incorporates key data centre automation technologies from the acquisition of Opsware and HP's client automation and storage automation capabilities. The solution enables IT organisations to automate operations across client, applications, physical and virtual servers, networks, storage and software to free up IT staff resources to focus on initiatives to help drive growth.
Automated Operations 1.0 also helps orchestrate processes across systems and teams with integrated process workflows delivered through HP Operations Orchestration software which allows customers to create automated process workflows that enable complex changes that span multiple infrastructure tiers and built-in audit trails - important for processes that impact financial reporting, security and other governance concerns.
At Software Universe, attended by some 4,000 customers and partners, HP also announced enhancements to its ITSM suite and said it would immediately be able to deliver one component, Service Manager 7.0, as a service.
HP has over 650 customers using BTO delivered as a service, and SaaS offered an accellerated time to value with lower up-front costs while freeing up resources, according to HP vice president of managed software solutions Marc Olesen.
HP has been offering SaaS for some of its BTO capabilities, both directly and through partners, for seven years and Olesen characterised HP's role as "doing for the IT department what SalesForce. com does for the sales department."
Yankee Group's George Hamilton cited findings in a survey indicating that BTO as a service represented a US$4.6 billion global opportunity, while SaaS in general was growing 20% a year.
Service Manager 7.0 enables automated service lifecycle management to manage business services from a user perspective to help deliver higher-quality services, while the other ITSM enhancement announced was Decision Center 2.0. This helps IT staff to manage and improve the quality of service delivery by making informed decisions to improve business processes while minimising negative business impact.
With Service Manager 7.0 problem detection and resolution can also be accelerated through the integration of HP Universal CMDB and HP BSM solutions while Decision Center 2.0 provides pre-configured metrics and analytics based on ITIL v3 to enable the business-centric measurements needed for continual service improvement.
Other new services announced include HP Blueprint and Training for Service Manager 7.0 which provides best practices for standardising and automating processes to accelerate deployment of ITIL v3 and the implementation of HP Service Manager and HP IT Service Management Assessment Services.
Last week, HP also launched the HP OpenCall Media Platform 4.0, a carrier-grade media server to help telecom operators offer mobile and broadband customers a wide variety of personalised, interactive multimedia services.
The media server handles call connections and the digital processing required for services such as rich video and advanced messaging in social networking communities.
Available for broadband and wireless networks, the platform enables mobile devices and PCs to be used for personalised, interactive experiences.
HP OpenCall Media Platform supports multiple network types: circuit-switched legacy networks, 2G for voice and data and 3G for voice, data and multimedia, digital networks and broadband/Internet for content access, with a programming interface to help create new services.
By : Bangkok Post