HP moves to a more modular real-time infrastructure approach

Quoting from Gartner:

– Event
On 20 September 2004, HP announced a change in its Adaptive Enterprise (AE) product strategy. HP has retired the high-cost, low-volume UDC and will move toward a more modular strategy, with more individual products and services.

– Analysis
UDC was HP’s first solution in its AE strategy, which focused on integrating software, hardware and services and reducing the costs of managing scale-out architectures. HP customers and prospects embraced the vision behind UDC, but did not buy into its “rip out and replace” philosophy. Its approach was hardware-centric, and Gartner has always believed that its cost of entry was too high. After several years, HP realized it could not make a positive return on its large investment in UDC without changing its course. Now HP has shifted toward a more evolutionary, software-centric approach, similar to the direction IBM took in 2003 after several software acquisitions.

With UDC, HP became the first major IT supplier to act upon the RTI vision and introduce it widely to CIOs. HP plans to exploit these relationships as it introduces more modular, lower-cost solutions. Rather than replacing UDC, these solutions will serve as entry points that may eventually lead to UDC-like functions:

HP OpenView Server Provisioning and Configuration Management Software: Novadigm, which HP acquired in April 2004, provides scale-out provisioning and configuration management in software. Unlike UDC, it can start small and grow as needed.
HP BladeSystem: HP has improved its blade manageability, providing UDC-like functions, including scale-out provisioning, support for virtualization and patch management. Like UDC, HP’s BladeSystem is a hardware replacement.
HP Virtual Server Environment (VSE): UDC was optimized for scale-out architectures (which enable clustering or splitting up the workload), but customers wanted it to handle scale-up (increases in size and power), as well. HP will enhance VSE in 2004 and 2005 to support automatic scaling of partitioned Integrity and HP 9000 server resources based on changing business priorities.
Finally, HP will continue to offer outsourcing services with utility pricing. Its consulting services will remain focused on moving customers toward the AE vision.

– Bottom Line
If you’re interested in the AE strategy, consider this the right move for HP and its customers. HP will be able to invest its resources in more modular, less disruptive solutions for RTI. HP has a sound OpenView software base to use as a foundation for a growing and competitive IT operations management software business. The company’s infrastructure strategy now more closely resembles IBM’s. Its success will depend on its execution.