“What some of our competitors offer is just server consolidation.”

new10.jpg (5851 bytes)"What some of our competitors offer is just server consolidation."

—David Kelleher, Manager (Solutions
Group),
High Performance Systems Division, Hewlett-Packard.

From mainframe alternative to server
consolidation to systems consolidation, Hewlett-Packard Company has been working its way
toward becoming a total solutions company. The latest buzzword for the $47-billion Palo
Alto, California, conglomerate: e-services center, a new data center architecture that
aims to give a facelift to an enterprise’s web ambitions. David Kelleher, Manager
(Solutions Group) of HP’s High Performance Systems Division, was in Delhi recently to
brief the Indian subsidiary about its systems consolidation and e-services initiatives.
Prior to joining HP, Kelleher has worked with Digital Equipment Corp and Tektronix Corp
and has over 20 years of experience in the IT industry. Excerpts from an interview to Sanjay
Gupta
of DATAQUEST:

 

Tell us about your systems consolidation
initiative? Why did Hewlett-Packard feel the need for this strategy?

First of all, there was a trend in the marketplace. More and more companies wanted to
reduce the number of servers in their organizations. System consolidation began to become
fashionable. And HP has been doing system consolidation for the last five years. We then
had what we called the MFA [Mainframe Alternative] program. We have thus far completed
migration of about 5,000 mainframes to alternative server platforms. Apart from the
host-centric architectures, we identified the consolidation potential in client server.
The term ‘system consolidation’ was coined in February last year.

A lot of companies are talking about
enterprise systems management (ESM) which is construed as quite similar to what you are
offering. How does system consolidation differ from ESM?

Actually, what we do is use the ESM capabilities as part of system consolidation. What
some of our competitors offer is just server consolidation. We in fact offer
ServiceControl which is an integrated suite of software tools, which includes Process
Resource Manager (PRM). It is probably the leading workload management product in the
marketplace. The other products like Resource Manager from Sun Microsystems or IBM’s
PSFP are not as capable [as PRM]. We’ve shipped more than 10,000 copies of PRM.

Is it being sold separately, too?
Yeah, we would be doing that. ServiceControl is a collection of software parts that are
being branded as one product, as it has a cost advantage as well.

HP has largely been known as a hardware
company. How are you going to convince the customer about the software part?

That was the key part of the presentation we gave on e-services center. If you were to go
to one of our competitors and ask them to make the same guarantee of 10% cost reduction;
ask them to make performance guarantees and they wouldn’t probably do that.
That’s how we differentiate our service. We guarantee the customers 99.95% uptime,
which translates to about four hours of downtime in any 12-month period. And now we are
moving toward ‘Five nines and five minutes,’ that is 99.999% uptime or just five
minutes of downtime in an entire year.

You do a total cost of ownership study
for enterprises before offering systems consolidation. Do you charge them before you start
the study or do you first make a TCO presentation?

We do not demand any upfront payment for the TCO study. The question we have to address
is: What benefit can an organization obtain from IT? For this we work with the CIOs, CFOs
and CEOs of the companies to collect all the necessary information. This includes analysis
of the current situation taking into account the soft costs as well. Then we make
estimates of TCO for the consolidated system environment, including both transition and
operations costs. We offer them what is the optimum solution, also taking into
consideration their existing investments. And only then do we recommend that they go for
systems consolidation. They may even choose products from other vendors if they wish to.
The decision is up to the customers. We believe that if it is of value to the customers,
they’ll definitely pay for the service.

A mainstay of your systems consolidation
strategy has been migration from mainframes to alternative platforms, which, to you,
essentially means your enterprise-class servers. Is there a contradiction with what you
just said about saving existing investments?

That’s a good point, but there’s no contradiction as such. There are two
approaches. You see, there are customers who want to move their IT systems from mainframes
to the servers. People now spend less money than they used to spend in the mainframe era.
And if you have to take advantage of the large number of applications being developed for
the client server environment, you have to move on from legacy systems. Second thing is
that if the customer wants the benefits of the service products that go with some of our
enterprise servers, he will have to buy it.

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