HP talks storage, convergence, integration

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Here at HP Discover 2011 in Las Vegas and I could already write a small book with all the announcements and information pumped out on the first day.

Starting from the early morning with the press conference up to now with the meetings in the blogging lounge, I collected a large amount of information on HP's strategy and vision for the near future.

Here is a first summary; there's more to follow in the next few days.

Storage

HP spent a lot of money in the last years buying a whole bunch of companies In the storage space (i.e. Lefthand, 3PAR to name only two) to revamp its product lineup. There is a big effort to push these technologies/products to the channel and the field but, if you saw the last sales figures, you can easily find that NetApp and EMC are still increasing the gap between them and HP in terms of revenues and market share.

Today HP announced new products (IBRIX, EVA, Lefthand) but the most important news to me is that now there is also a new strategy about integration.

At last HP, probably thanks to the David Donatelli and David Scott (former 3Par CEO) leadership, decided to share technologies between different development teams and perhaps the same way of building things: it calls this new strategy Store360.

Store360 will become a unique operating system and will run on common hardware to deliver the functionalities of Ibrix, LeftHand and StoreOnce in a single system.

Convergence

The big news here: HP now has building blocks called Virtualsystems, they are certified for VMware but also for Citrix and Microsoft hypervisors and, like Dell does with its vStart, they propose these "bricks" based on the numbers of VMs supported. It's clear that HP and Dell are simplifying the stack concept and they are commoditising it, and probably, it could be a winning concept.

I still haven't got details on the Virtualsystems platform but I'll spend time in the next days to find out more. The presenters also mentioned an integrated management software product but I haven't seen anything yet and it will definitely be one on the first things I'll watch for.

The stack war is getting very hot. VCE and NetApp, with Flexpods, were the first ones, but now big servers guys are developing their solutions. And they aren't integrators, they are vendors with much more flexibility and wider proposition!

I would still have much to say on Ecopods and Vertica but you need to wait for the next post, the keynote will start in minutes. .. Stay tuned! ®

Enrico Signoretti is the CEO of Cinetica, a small consultancy firm in Italy, which offers services to medium/large companies in finance, manufacturing, and outsourcing). The company has partnerships with Oracle, Dell, VMware, Compellent and NetApp. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/esignoretti.

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