HP aims to reduce cloud management complexity

Washington, D.C. – Helping the IT department manage the complexity inherent with cloud computing infrastructures and other hybrid models is the goal behind a series of product releases by Hewlett Packard (NYSE: HPQ) on day one of its Software Universe conference.

Led by Bill Veghte, who is about a month into his new position as executive vice-president of HP’s software and solutions group after joining HP from Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT), said IT departments today are facing a number of challenges as they work to support the objectives of the business operations side of the company.

“IT delivery in businesses is fundamentally changing because of the demands of the business and the maturation of a variety of technologies coming together at once,” said Veghte. “Companies need to decide how to use the cloud, decide if it’s private or public, and to take advantage of the fact an enormous number of people are consuming the Web in a mobile context.”

Veghte added the amount of digital information in the world is doubling every 24 months, and businesses are responsible for 85 per cent of that data. Both structured and unstructured data is growing, but 62 per cent of the growth is coming from unstructured data.

“The challenge is extracting the actionable five per cent of that data,” said Veghte. “It’s hard and getting harder, but it’s ever more important.”

Addressing that challenge is the goal of HP’s new product offerings, highlighted by BSM 9.0, an update to HP’s Business Service Management software suite. It’s designed to help clients more easily manage the performance and availability of applications supported by hybrid delivery models, be they traditional data centres, virtualized environments, software as a service, outsourced, or public and private clouds.

“The heart of the breakthrough is something we call the run time service model, and it’s the backbone of BSM9,” said Robin Purohit, vice-president and general manager of HP software products. “It lets us pull together a dynamic view of operations, regardless of whether it’s a traditional, virtualized or cloud infrastructure.”

BSM 9.0 helps IT managers automate operations, allows secure management of cloud-based resources and services, gives a single-view into IT operations, and the run time service model allows rapid organizational impact analysis. In combination, Purohit said BSM 9.0 helps IT managers get an accurate picture of their current IT service state, to make better management and service delivery decisions, and have more confidence managing hybrid IT infrastructures.

“Businesses are pushing IT to give them more applications, apps are hot, but for IT to build and deliver what the business user sees as a simple app is very complicated, with a lot of backend infrastructure and cross-database queries to connect,” said Purohit. “We expect to see a 10x increase in the number of virtual machines in the data centre, and it’s creating more complexity for IT to manage.”

The message of managing complex and disparate environments appeals to Steve Katz, senior manager, enterprise performance test & monitor group for Seagate. Katz said Seagate gas a lot of tools and systems, and their challenge is to tie it all together and manage overlap.

“So when I hear about BSM9, I’m excited about,” said Katz. “Out big goal is managing complexity. There’s not one version of the truth, there’s many versions of the truth. And it needs to be actionable, you need to be able to do something about it.”

HP also launched Test Data Management (TDM), which automates the process of obtaining test data from live applications. Purohit said it reduces the risks of application deployment and lowers the costs of the application testing process, as well as ensuring sensitive data is handled according to compliance regulations.

“TDM allows the quality assurance people to test what’s real,” said Purohit. “They can automatically identify in a simple way the data they need to test that sits in operations, automatically extract it without bothering operations, and automatically mask-out confidential information. We believe it will make it 50 per cent faster to get to critical data, and make for better apps.”

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
A veteran technology and business journalist, Jeff Jedras began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the booming (and later busting) Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal, as well as everything from municipal politics to real estate. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada. He would go on to cover the channel as an assistant editor with CDN. His writing has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen and a wide range of industry trade publications.

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