Philips and HP to share virtual data centre

'On demand' for real

Cat 5 cable

Philips Semiconductors and Hewlett Packard will share a fully virtualised data centre that reduces IT costs and enables an infrastructure that responds in real time to market changes in a highly changeable semiconductor industry.

The UDC, the first of its kind, is located at Philips Semiconductors' largest site in Nijmegen, near the German border in the Netherlands, and is managed from a single console where server and storage resources can be allocated virtually, within minutes, instead of having to physically re-wire the desired hardware.

The centre accommodates both new and existing servers, as well as storage and network equipment, from HP and other vendors.

The announcement is significant, as it is the first major 'on demand' UDC deal of HP in Europe. HP outlined its Adaptive Enterprise strategy - which centres around a reference architecture called Darwin - only a couple of months ago.

Aiming at companies and chief information officers that demand more out of their IT environments, on demand or utility computing entails that data centres can be allocated to different tasks to increase efficiency.

IBM has been pursuing a similar strategy for months, and other companies have jumped on the bandwagon as well, including Computer Associates, which believes HP is too focused on its own proprietary technology.

So far, Hewlett-Packard announced only a few services agreements, including a deal worth $3 billion to manage Procter & Gamble's overall IT infrastructure for 10 years, and a outsourcing contract with Ericsson.

Dutch retail trade company KBB also implemented an HP demand strategy, but the IT giant undoubtedly needed a more prominent European partner after white goods giant Electrolux this summer outsourced its desktops to IBM in a seven year on demand services deal and beverage giant Diageo (that's Guinness and Grand Met to you and me) was spirited away from HP in another on demand deal.

HP and Philips' semiconductor division have a long-standing customer relationship. Two years ago, HP began assisting Philips with the development of blueprints for the management of data centers at minimum cost. The Nijmegen site is just the beginning, sources at HP say.

Philips Semiconductors, headquartered in Eindhoven, employs over 32,000 people in over 50 countries. With sales of around $ 4.6 billion in 2002, it is one of the world's top semiconductor suppliers with 14 manufacturing and assembly sites, 20 design centers, four system labs and more than 100 offices. ®

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