UPDATED 11:03 EST / APRIL 19 2010

Datacenter Trends – HP Reorganization Walks The Talk On Convergence

HP announced some organization changes (thx Larry Dignan).  I guess you can say that it’s now the HP “converged datacenter group”.

HP is rolling out a HP Networking brand, under it which it will offer an edge-to-core set of sub-brands: the A Series; E Series; V Series; and S Series products. The ProCurve and 3Com brands will go away

HP is changing fast with respect to their datacenter products (servers, networking, and storage).  HP  has been taking a holistic approach around fully integrated datacenter or convergence for some time.  Now HP is “walking that talk” by reorganizing their staff to attack that “convergence market” in the datacenter and using all their own products for their massive internal datacenters in order to demonstrate their end to end solution – this is known in the industry as “dogfooding”.

This announcement gives signals of how HP will integrate 3Com into the mix which really isn’t a surprise since HP clearly saw 3Com as their element for end to end delivery.

Here is the info on HP’s new reorganization and “dogfooding” their own products.

HP today introduced a comprehensive edge-to-core networking portfolio that delivers a superior alternative to the marketplace in terms of technology, energy efficiency and total cost of ownership.

The new HP Networking portfolio combines the best of HP ProCurve and 3Com to provide an advanced network fabric that is up to twice as fast with half the energy use, and at a 65 percent lower total cost of ownership.(1)

HP also announced that its newest internal data center will run completely on HP networking products, further demonstrating the scalability and mission-critical properties of the newly combined networking portfolio.

HP Networking will be led by Marius Haas, senior vice president and general manager, and is part of the Enterprise Servers, Storage and Networking business unit led by David Donatelli, executive vice president and general manager.

The portfolio is a cornerstone of the HP Converged Infrastructure strategy, which eliminates silos of servers, storage and networking to create virtual pools of resources designed to optimally run business services.

HP’s People Changes Are Telling
In HP’s new converged organization Marius Haas, general manager of the networking group, will report to David Donatelli, general manager for the ESS division.

Now the HP enterprise division is fully stacked (no pun intended) to have a full datacenter focus – servers, networking, and storage with software solutions across that portfolio.

I recently recorded an interview with Marius Haas. I like this guy he’s smart and competitive – a no BS guy. That being said David Donatelli comes from EMC and is putting in place big plans. Donatelli is a player and has storage in his blood and knows the issues around the big datacenters. He is a 22-year high-tech veteran from EMC Corporation, where he was president, EMC Storage Division.

My Angle
Like Juniper Networks I like HP’s approach. They are competing on openness and value. They have the goods on the product side with the ability to integrate with their EDS army.

Unlike Cisco who is closed but also have an army of sales people, HP has to create a taste test approach with their customers. Promoting no vendor lock-in is code words for replace Cisco. Industry analysts have pointed out that HP has the economic advantage over Cisco which is why HP needs to heavily promote their “TCO or total cost of ownership”.

Although HP is talking openess and interoperability, software will be the key to their success. Looking forward to hearing more on what HP plans to do.

Update: Channel Register has a post on the HP webcast full of the details.  It’s a very informative post.

The New HP Brands

The ProCurve brand will be transitioned into the E Series. The 3Com brand will be transitioned into the A Series, except in China where the H3C brand has done very well and will be retained. There will be a single converged channel programme using the best-of-breed features of the existing 3Com and HP channel programs. According to HP resellers with both HP and Cisco networking products on their books will not be pressured to become HP-only shops.

The A Series is for large enterprises, the E series for mid-sized customers, and the V series for small and medium enterprises. The S Series is for customers with network security needs, and the TippingPoint intrusion-prevention products will be featured there.

Regarding Cisco – The Killing Ground Will Be The Datacenter

Nice text from Channel Register some nice quotes from Donatelli.. I love the swagger coming from HP.

The HP-Cisco competition is going to be strong. Donatelli said that HP already competes with Cisco’s Nexus switch. He also asserted that the A Series 12500 product had twice the perormance of a leading competitor’s product but used 54 per cent less power. What 3Com lacked was a global brand and the worldwide services capability and sales channel scope that HP brings to the table. Now 3Com products will be supported by HP’s direct sales, 40,000 channel partners, HP services – the second largest services organisation worldwide, we were told – and more than 5,000 network infrastructure and voice professionals worldwide that hold more than 14,000 certifications.

The market killing ground is going to be focused on converged infrastructure, which Donatelli described as “the blueprint for the data centre of the future.” He pointed out that HP was the only vendor that owned its own server, networking, and storage technologies. Everybody else has to partner for at least one of these technology groups and is therefore, he implied, limited. Despite HP owning its own technologies, customers need not fear lock-in because, it was said, HP uses open standards so customers are free to move to other suppliers’ kit.

HP intends to partner according to channel register’s story. Big winners in the HP moves against Cisco is QLogic and Alcatel. QLogic with its FCoE converged network adapter (CNA) business. It is possible that HP could develop its own FCoE branded technology with QLogic component technology involved. Alcatel with service providers.

The DataCenter Taste Test
Can HP get their customers to what I call “The Datacenter Taste Test” and then compete on value. We will see.

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