Video interview with Nick Van Der Zweep, Virtualization Director at HP (Part 2/4)

In this second part of our lengthy video interview with Nick Van Der Zweep, Director for Virtualization at HP, we get further introduced to how HP defines virtualization and how it differentiates from its competitors.

Nick also shares what typical Virtualization problems his clients are grappling with and what skill set is needed in IT departments to overcome the pitfalls.

Read the full transcript below, return to part 1 or go ahead to part 3

0:12 HP has one of the most complete virtualization solutions offerings. How are these portfolios integrated?
Nick Van Der Zweep:  That’s really where we started with some of our management software as I mentioned in the Integrity space back in 1999-2000.We had high availability and partitioning and pay-as-you-go and instant capacity in management software and we glued it all together so that we produce one-user interspace to that environment.  Just recently, we announced and started shipping last month Inside Dynamics which takes that software, makes it available to go to Integrity, ProLiant, X86.  One management footprints Systems Inside Manager which is known across the industry as one management software for ProLiant, Integrity, Discovery, fault management and from there it manages all the hypervisors up there, we can…

1:08  Does it do deployment automatically?
Van Der Zweep:  So, we’ve got deployment built in to it so through a WRAP Deployment Packet of deployed into bare-metal and they’re deployed to virtual machines. We support Citrix, VMware, Microsoft and so we took that software that higher level of management software Inside Dynamic VSC which represent VSC in the integrity space and really glued it together. What’s really interesting right now is that we can provide hypervisor-like capabilities even to bare metal machines and that interface brings that all together.  You can’t even tell if you’re working on bare-metal machine versus a VMware hypervisor. You can do moves from moving application from place to place within the infrastructure and whether be bare metal or its using VMware behind the scenes so definitely heavy integrated.
2:05  I’m very interested to know how HP views its competitive landscape in the virtualization industry?
Van Der Zweep:  I think, we are extremely well positioned in the industry to be able to help our customers in the whole virtualization space and then also help HP and our shareholders as well. And because we’ve got the capabilities of covering this from desktop to the data center, we have a huge what we call a personal systems group where we sell desktops, Thin clients, Blade PCs, virtual desktop environments. So we are heavily invested in that side of the technology as well as the server side technology as well.  Storage virtualization, server virtualization, we have a huge multi-billion dollar software organization within HP to deliver infrastructure management, our Opsware/Mercury capabilities are layered on top of that as well.  So, we’ve got a technological portfolio that I think is a number one bar in the industry that anybody looks at.  And then the services portfolio to be able to help customers, architectural data centers, to data center transformations, look at everything from power cooling environmental pieces of the puzzle because that’s comes in to virtualization very quickly as well as you know because we can design the data centers, and as well help people and customers to do installation support and ITIL practice because as you go into a shared environment and now your employees are sharing resources.  Well you better standardize the jobs across the data centers. So the people who are doing server administration are all doing it the same way, not doing it one way for SAP environment and another way for their Exchange environment, because it’s all shared infrastructure.
3:59 Do you think we need a new skill set out there? Now their tasks are merging: for the networking people and security people and storage people. They’re really now have to talk together?
Van Der Zweep:  They absolutely do.  So, there are two things that happen that we focus on that.  I think it’s really happening to the industry. One is standardizing their roles and responsibilities so that and their interlocks so that they can talk to each other.  But then again we do things that simplify the processes, automate the processes.  If you look at the likes of Opsware or even our Blade environment, we added something called virtual connect to our Blade environment putting in a virtual fabric, a virtual back plain.  Now, what we’re able to do with Virtual Connect Blades and Inside Dynamics is move a Microsoft Exchange environment running on one blade through a point and click, move it to another Blade in another enclosure. If you try to do that today within a typical datacenter, you’ve got to call up the server guy to install that on the new Blade.  You have to call the network guy up and have them move the VLAN information from that node to that node and you have to call up the SAN storage guy to say “I’m going to reroute all the SAN in order to make that movement happen”.  Whether or not you have hypervisors or not, you got to set all of these up three people which means a week worth of work.  We can do it point and click everything is automated.  All the steps happened and it’s done.  So, it’s a matter of working better together from a people perspective but also delivering technologies that bust through the processes of the past and automate them as well.
5:43  What are the typical issues that your customers are grappling with today?
Van Der Zweep:  The typical issues that they grapple with today certainly is out of macro level cost, how do we drive down cost agility, how do I be more responsive to the business so that when they say, “Hey I’m one of deploy infrastructure or new application or scale up I want to do that today.  I don’t want to do that in a month,” and then service levels.  People are constantly saying I’m moving towards more of an environment where instead of that it’s just one mission critical system on that one server that keeps the business running, everything is kind of connected together with the applications that we have today, services oriented architectures and such where you’ve got ten or hundreds of pieces of infrastructure that are working in concept which each other and you have to have a high availability to everything and so they are want to get that built in without complex clustering.
6:45  What about the greener side of ITs, there is also a lot of buzz around the green data centers, do you find that your customers –due to boosting energy costs- are looking for for cheap electricity bills and renewable energy sources and are they actually looking at what is this server consuming and if that’s being underutilized to have like lesser power  being consumed?
Van Der Zweep:  Absolutely.  So, we have customers especially in the enterprise based that have data centers that within the next what three, four, five years they do not have enough power to handle the growth where is that they’re having within that environment.  Well, they’d have to build an entire new data centers and that’s cost thing. And they don’t feel good about it from an environmental perspective and the cost that they pay to the utilities.  So they’re concerned about that. So virtualization can help there with the software that I described with Inside Dynamics, what we built into this release is that we’ve put in  the ability to do consolidation and it will automatically come back to you with scenarios. Here is your current scenario, and this is exactly how many kilowatts you’re using per month and you enter into it.  You tell what your rates are, so it says you’re paying three hundred and fifty dollars a month for these systems for energy. And then it comes back and says, “Well here is the new environment consolidated using virtualization.”  And we can actually tell you its hundred fifteen dollars a month is your exact energy cost that you would be paying versus today versus option A or maybe option B or C that was exciting when we were in Barcelona demonstrating this and we had four people deep and four people wide sitting in front of one screen looking at this and one person is going I need you to put in my rates for Sweden and share this because I got to bring this home.  It’s a hot area.

About the author

I'm a Belgian based internet entrepreneur and the owner of Virtualization.com & Virtualisation.com. I failed at raising venture capital for my X86 virtualization venture in 1999 and moved on to found Casius.com, Virtualisers.be & Data.be... This is where I keep my finger on the Virtualization pulse.

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