HP has announced an expansion and a bundling of the hardware, software and service offerings in its virtualisation portfolio. While it has attempted to position this as being about business value, we still see the announcement as stalwartly technology focused. HP could work harder on selling the business value of desktop virtualisation as an enabler of tomorrows workplace.
HP has bundled a ready to go package of virtualisation goodies
Virtualisation is gaining traction as a way of boosting the efficiency of IT infrastructure sweating the assets harder and increasing flexibility and responsiveness to business demands. Adoption is not as fast, however, as HP would like. In response, it has announced:
new hardware solutions for storage and processing specifically optimised for virtual machines
updates to Unix, HP-UX 11i v3, to improve its support for the administration of virtual machines and its integration with HP Virtual Server Environment (VSE)
enhancements to its Business Service Management (BSM) and IT Service Management (ITSM) capabilities to better support the management of heterogeneous physical and virtual environments. HP also announced an intention to work more closely with Red Hat to integrate its Enterprise Linux platform with HPs systems management solutions
expansion of the range of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) solutions, with four bundles of thin client devices, Citrix XenDesktop software and Citrix Ready blade PCs on offer to cater to differing user needs from thin-thin clients to thick-thin clients (with full graphics workstation functionality)
innovative fixed-price productisation of consulting services bundles of plan/design/build services and pre-defined solutions for data centre transformation through to desktop virtualisation.
Anne Livermore, Executive VP of HPs Technology Solutions Group, remarked that the wider adoption of virtualisation is limited by awareness of its business value. Today, she states, is the day HP helps businesses rethink virtualisation in business terms.
Virtualisation remains a technology driven agenda
HPs announcements, while useful, fall short of Livermores goal of rethinking virtualisation in business terms. IBM, for example, can espouse a similar bundle of offerings based on its System x and BladeCentre servers, VMWare and Leostream virtualisation software and Wyse thin client devices plus consulting services.
HP has, however, at least acknowledged the need to get onto the front foot to present a simpler story around virtualisation choices. One of the big challenges for CIOs is the fragmentation of the various elements of virtualisation solutions, with hardware, software and services components available from hundreds of companies ranging from the global IT giants to start-ups. It can be confusing to make sense of the choices, and they are evolving rapidly.
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