Last year, one of the highlights of HP Discover for me was spending some time one-to-one with HP Software’s VP of Strategic Marketing, Paul Muller, who walked and talked around the show floor going through some of what HP Software is doing in a forthright and honest way which I appreciated. HP Software has a pretty diverse portfolio including LoadRunner, Fortify, TippingPoint & Arcsight on the infrastructure side and a ton of other stuff from Haven, Vertica, Idle for Big Data and a number of performance analysis suits and tools for application engineering and testing.
Paul spoke again today about the “continuous innovation enterprise”. Paul said enterprises are struggling to differentiate through “digital” (a buzz term I don’t particularly like BTW). He says 25% of companies will miss the shift and lose market position (does this include HP!?). He then went to on to talk about how HP is trying to help business and IT leaders understand this transformation. I was kean to hear concrete examples of software HP is developing to do this rather than just though leadership or some advisory service. Paul used the examples of their Application Lifecycle Management product suite which is used by developers for testing, performance engineering and lifecycle management all delivering apps to various places including mobile delivery. An interesting piece he spoke about what using Big Data analytics to be able to predict bugs in software development using historical defect rates before code is shipped which can dramatically reduce the bug rate and increase user experience.
Last year when we chatted about buzzword “Big Data”, Paul had mentioned he preferred the term “Connected Intelligence” which I liked.
The HP Storage Coffee Talk session that we attended was first of all to introduce the new New SVP & GM of HP Storage, Manish Goel, who takes over from David Scott who worked for HP, left to start 3PAR and then brought it into HP.
David has been credited with revitalising HPs storage portfolio with its now flagship product range based mainly on 3PAR based. Manish therefore has big shoes to fill. He started at HP storage in March having being a 7 year NetApp veteran, another storage titan facing difficulties at the moment. He left in 2013 and tried his hand at retirement and a startup which apparently didn’t agree with him and he’s now at HP.
HP has some announcements around the 3PAR storage platform which you are read more about:
A new StoreServ 20850
HP 3PAR Streaming Remote Copy Replication
I asked how with the move away from central SAN storage towards server SAN and hyper-converged how HP Storage manages this transition. HP is in a unique position hardware wise that they sell both servers and SAN but its is separate business units and separate product portfolios (3PAR vs. Lefthand VSA vs. VSAN etc on HP DAS).
I’ll be heading to HP Discover in Last Vegas next week to find out about all things HP.
Where to from here?
It’s no secret HP is having a terrible time at the moment. They are in the middle of a very expensive, very distracting, very time consuming split into two new companies, HP Inc and Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Will two separate companies make any difference to HP? They just reported their worst revenue since 2007. They are spending as much of this declining revenue on Capex as stock buy-backs to prop up the share price. This means they are spending even less money to be able to create future money.
All big IT companies have been transitioning themselves away from tin sellers to service companies, well HP Enterprise Services has been told to find another $2 billion in savings in 3 years. That’s because in the last quarter they had a 16% drop in turnover. Are they going to continue to cut costs so drastically that there isn’t anything left to build on? They just can’t seem to compete with the cloud.
Storage which is one of the shining product portfolios has seen its revenues head down by 8.4%. Luckily for them they are still not doing as badly as NetApp but that’s only very very slight consolation. Storage buying is changing, it’s moving to converged, hyper-converged and cloud. Storage is becoming more of a server thing so I wonder how HP is going to show its figures when external storage and internal storage just become two options delivery mechanisms for the same thing.
HP still make very very good enterprise hardware, reliable servers, fast storage but this matters less and less when workloads are moving to the cloud. EMC just bought Virtustream for $1.2B to further build out its Hybrid Cloud offering. HP has made similar investment and a lot of noise about its HP Helion public OpenStack based cloud but this doesn’t seem to be translating into sales or a strategy that enterprises can buy into for the long run.
HP says it is not competing against AWS, in my opinion that’s just admiting you are not in the cloud business. You may as well change your company name to HP Legacy.
Lots of uncertainly about HP, can they turn this sentiment around?
Back to HP Discover, HP has the world watching, what are they going to say?
Software Read more…
Today was the final day of HP Discover.
There was meant to be a blogger Coffee Talk this morning from HP Software but I was the only one to attend. The HP Software division isn’t in my normal area of interest so was an opportunity to find out what its all about. Instead of having a group blogger chat, I spent an interesting hour with Paul Muller, VP of Strategic Marketing & Chief Evangelist who is a passionate, blunt, straight talking Aussie (the best kind!). If like me you are not aware of HPs software portfolio, it encompasses tools for Business Service Management, Network Management and Automation, Application Lifecycle Management, Quality and Performance Validation, Security, Automation and Cloud Management, Information Optimization, Big Data Analytics, IT Service Management and Mobile Application Development.
That’s quite a broad portfolio. Products within these group I had heard of were LoadRunner, Fortify, TippingPoint, Arcsight, Cloud Service Automation, Autonomy but there are so many more. Paul explained how some integrate such as security with Big Data analysis so you can search all information leaving your company network and find out whether any sensitive information is escaping, not just looking for a “confidential” tag on a doc but deep inspection along with machine learning that can correlate patterns across multiple information sources.
Day 2 of HPs conference juggernaut continued today.
Converged Infrastructure and SDDC
First up I attended another Coffee Talk on Converged Infrastructure in relation to SDDC. lots of talk about what SDDC is, not much from HP on what that means in terms of software products but I think I worked it out later. People may have a definition of SDDC as requiring commodity hardware but could you have SDDC if it requires specific hardware from a vendor? conceptually I don’t have a problem with than, its ll about definitions.
Discussion turned to 3PAR and different control planes, admin, user, self-service and application, all seen as SDDC.
Point also made that software anything still needs hardware to run on. There is no SDDC without hardware. Hardware may be being driven to commodity and utility but its still important. My worry is HP is still putting a huge amount of investment in hardware but will anyone be willing to pay enough for it?
Also talk about management product conversion for SDDC, what HP is doing with OneView.
Something HP do have in their favour as on the infrastructure side as a hardware company is they can integrate with anyone, VMware, Microsoft, OpenStack etc. Anyone can bring their software stack to HPs hardware, makes them have a broader appeal than VCE for instance or other converged infrastructures that only do VMware. HP very much wants to be vendor agnostic but sees its future in open source but very much at enterprise level. I see HP trying to bring the messy uncontrolled way of open source into their risk adverse enterprise customers. Save costs with open source, don’t be tied to a software vendor but let HP handle the provisioning of your infrastructure on whatever platform or cloud you want is the sales pitch I think. HP can be your enterprise best friend.
I spotted some SDDC slides later in the day showing how HP software relating to VMware fitted into the HP SDDC world. Spot the three different Vmware,Vmware,VMWare spellings!
This week I’ve been lucky to be invited by HP to their annual HP Discover conference in Las Vegas. As I’ve been working with HP technology and it’s predecessors for so long, I really couldn’t miss an opportunity to dive deeper into the world of HP and be able to find out more about the myriad of technologies HP is involved in.
Yesterday I travelled for 15 hours from London to Las Vegas via San Francisco and after all that travel headed out to the London Eye in Vegas, well, rather the High Roller, the worlds largest Ferris wheel and met up with the other invited bloggers and social media for spectacular views of the strip.
I’m very excited that HP has invited me to attend HP Discover in Las Vegas next week as a blogger. It’s going to be an intense few days, 15 hours of travel each way for 2.5 days of HP Discover!
I’m particularly looking forward to speaking to HP product managers and executives and chatting to other bloggers and attendees to get a sense of what’s new with the “new” HP.
Product wise, I’m first of all keen to delve deeper into HP OneView, HP’s converged infrastructure manager which aims to finally bring together HP’s disparate management tools, ultimately replacing HP SIM which I really don’t like and incorporating Virtual Connect Enterprise Manager. HP OneView runs as a virtual appliance and you pull in your servers, iLOs, chassis, Virtual Connects etc. where they can be managed and reported on from one place. It has an API so you can finally script against it with PowerCLI and other tools which cannot come soon enough.