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HP: 'IT, as we know it, is over'

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Analysis HP this week put an end to information technology. You're now meant to slot all things IT under the Business Technology (BT) umbrella. HP's declaration does little for The Register's slogan. Thanks a lot.

So what's all this BT fuss about? Well, you wouldn't really know from the products HP released to back up the marketing.

First off, HP rolled out new reference architectures for Microsoft Exchange 2007, SAP and Oracle.

Like rivals, HP has long pushed the reference architecture idea as a way for customers to get bundles of servers and software up and running quickly. And, in fact, it has such architectures in place for Exchange, SAP and Oracle already. There are, however, some new twists.

The fresh Exchange design focuses specifically on Exchange 2007 and those customers struggling to shift over to the 64-bit software. HP has recommended hardware configurations, along with new guidelines and tools to cover Exchange roll outs spanning from 100s to 1000s of users.

Meanwhile, the latest SAP paperwork covers customers shifting from SAP R3 to mySAP and Netweaver, while the Oracle package targets customers looking to run databases on HP's new c-Class blade servers.

All of the reference architectures have more detail than in the past, since they go beyond servers to hit storage systems, networking and, in the case of Exchange, mobiles devices, HP said.

HP has also updated its so-called Shared Services line.

With Shared Services, HP more or less lets a customer become its own services provider, allocating things such as computing power, bandwidth and storage to different departments in a fluid manner. If your marketing team, for example, needs some extra hardware for a product launch, they don't have to budget for a bunch of new systems. Instead, they tap the Shared Services model to find already available kit capable of handling the temporary need.

(For the record, HP says, “IT Shared Services offer a collaborative operating model that accelerates business and IT alignment – while achieving operational efficiency, world-class cost structures and improved IT quality and responsiveness. In other words, IT acts as an internal service provider – one that essentially competes with the quality of service, cost and value that an external service provider might provide.”)

It's abstract. It feels fluffy. We know.

HP used to offer Shared Services advice and set-up help for test and dev purposes only. Now, it has extended the program to living, breathing production gear. Customers can tap HP to create virtualized, multi-vendor data centers capable of dishing out the resources described above.

Along these lines, HP has launched a shared database utility for Oracle that can ride the Shared Services bandwagon. Customers can resize databases or create new ones on-the-fly, if they're on HP's Itanium-based servers running its virtual server software.

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