HP’s new storage offerings aimed at driving down costs

Hewlett Packard (NYSE: HPQ) is positioning a number of newly launched storage products, solutions and services as part of the puzzle as organizations face the dual challenges of both cutting costs in the short-term and building a more competitive infrastructure for long-term competitiveness.

And according to HP-sponsored research, organizations are still willing to invest in IT if it will help them achieve those goals of cost savings and efficiency. A PSB Research study showed that, globally, 56 per cent of executives are either considering or planning a server and storage consolidation, 49 per cent are looking at virtualization, 45 per cent are looking at application modernization or consolidation and 41 per cent are looking at automation.

“What we’re trying to do is align (our products) with the sign of the times,” said Dave Frederickson, vice-president of HP Canada’s enterprise storage and servers group. “We’re going to demonstrate how HP can permanently change the customer’s technology ecosystem to produce better business outcomes today, which may also be aligned with that they need to do from a cost-cutting perspective, as well as establish a solid infrastructure for the future.”

Frederickson added economic downturns have the tendency to separate the winners from the losers, and winning CIOs recognize this and are going to take very specific action, specifically around technology, as technology plays a significant role in determining an organization’s success before, during and after a downturn.

He adds storage continues to see growing demand, with CIOs continually faced with the need to grow their storage environments.

“That’s not shrinking, although budgets are constrained,” said Frederickson. “We need to look at how organizations can spend smarter, and better align their spend strategy with their business strategy.

With the goal of helping customers standardize, optimize and automate their storage infrastructures, in its HP StorageWorks Storage Area Network (SAN) Virtualization Solutions space the vendor has released the StorageWorks Enterprise Virtual Array 6400 and 8400, building on the success of the 4400 in the entry-level SAN space by targeting the mid and high-end market. The vendor promises storage administration cost savings of up to 50 per cent.

An enhanced HP SAN Virtualization Services Platform 2.1, HP’s network-based storage virtualization solution, is designed to increase available storage capacity and streamline operations by reducing the time needed for replication and allowing new applications to come into production more quickly.

And HP Data Protector, a data protection solution for both physical and virtual storage environments, has also been enhanced with new backup options and support for data de-duplication.

“It really aligns well with the whole need to automate,” said Frederickson. “When you virtualize into a storage environment it creates significant benefits, but there’s also challenges. These offerings address that well.”

For HP’s channel partners, Frederickson said they’ll now have solid mid and high-end storage offerings to bring to their customers, complementing earlier releases geared toward the SMB market. Currently training is being offered to HP partners to bring them up to speed on the new offerings.

Businesses will be looking to prioritize their IT investment for business value, and Frederickson said it will be important for partners to play a trusted advisor role with clients to help them understand which investments will pay returns and save costs.

“There’s still a population of customers that haven’t virtualized either their storage or server environments, and we want to make sure we get to those customers and provide value,” said Frederickson.

From a partner support perspective, Frederickson said HP will continue to invest in the already rich offerings in place under Partner One to secure partner margin on the front and back end, and ensure margin is protected and enhanced for partners that lead with these solutions into specific customer environments through HP’s forms of deal registration.

“Our intention through this launch and our current programs is to get very tactical and focused in ensuring we’re driving leads to our partners,” said Frederickson.

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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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