In this third part of our video interview with Nick Van Der Zweep, Director for Virtualization at HP, he predicts Desktop Virtualization to be the next big tipping point in our industry. He adds this is one of the areas were HP is differentiating itself from IBM with a full desktop-to-data-center strategy.
“People like IBM are still struggling to catch up to that because they’ve got management systems for every platform that they have and trying to pull that together. That’s critically important to be able to see holistic view of the entire data center…”
But also when it comes to flexible and usage-based data center pricing models and cloud computing, Nick claims HP is a pioneer with clients such as Dreamworks, rendering their movies on HP’s excess infrastructure.
The Opsware acquisition is referred to often in this interview when it comes to HP offering the full broad enterprise management software and configuration management with server automation. Nick also hints at their current investments in Virtualization related security offerings.
The interview was recorded at the HP headquarters in Cupertino, where Nick is often asked by financial analysts: ‘Is virtualization bad for your business?”. His clear answer is “NO”, as it unlocks the potential for businesses to do more and enables HP to sell a lot more robust configurations with a larger amount of condensed CPUs, much more memory, more I/O capability, etc.
Nick also shines a light on the future of virtualization, which will have (mostly free) hypervisors as a commodity. What really unlocks virtualization however is the management software and related automation capabilities. This is why HP bought and integrated a company like Opsware.
So, we differentiate ourselves from IBM today by covering this desktop to data center that got out off the whole desktop space and this is going to explode. Desktop virtualization is absolutely going to explode and that’s the next kind of big tipping point that we’re seeing. Integrated and we’re not afraid to take our technology off of our high-end systems, our nonstop UNIX systems. We’re not afraid to put it on X86 and we put it there early and fast because that’s where the market needs it. And so we’re proactively pushing that there. For instance with our latest release, we took a whole bunch of technology that was only on Integrity and UNIX and brought it to Windows and X86. So, desktop to data center, fully integrated stack up our management software, systems insight manager for a number of years has been able to manage across our entire portfolio of Integrity, Proliant, et cetera. People like IBM are still struggling to catch up to that because they’ve got management systems for every platform that they have and trying to pull that together. That’s critically important to be able to see holistic view of the entire data center.
1:19: Virtualizations is actually also enabling cloud computing and grid computing and all of these which are no longer coming from expensive mainframe hardware but virtual power through G4 X86 type of servers, and this brings us to usage-based pricing models. HP has been in there. Did you have plans on offering infrastructure as a service or data center as a service?
Van Der Zweep: So today, we already do sets of infrastructure service. Data center has its service capabilities. We certainly offer our Integrity servers on a usage basis where you buy the capacity almost like a prepaid mobile card where you buy 30 CPU days, and as you use it, it takes down in 30 minute increments. We also have adaptive infrastructure as a service. We’re taking all of our capabilities of virtualization, automation, etcetera, in helping customers move to what we call an adaptive infrastructure and next generation data center. And we’ve implemented that ourselves and provide that as a service to our customers. This goes back to many years ago, four or five years ago for instance with DreamWorks, where DreamWorks wants this kind of environment where to render films, they’ve got a certain amount of capacity themselves but there’s peak times when they really need to get busy and so, we’ve got a whole set of technology, a whole set of data centers that can handle excess capacity, excess requirements from them to render films. So we worked with DreamWorks and others to render films, do this in the manufacturing industry and others. And it’s all paid by the direct kind of pricing.
3:09: Okay. What about HP server automation technology? I know you’re a Virtualization Director. How easy is it for all those administrators to use that and to deploy everything?
Van Der Zweep: It was a very strategic acquisition for us to get into the whole infrastructure automation space, server automation, with the Opsware products and tying right back into server automation and configuration management. Our infrastructure is very much the best infrastructure in the industry in providing management software there to advantage the infrastructure and some of that I’ve been describing. But these all plugs in to our full broad enterprise management software and configuration management, and server automation as well. The nice thing about teaming this together, you’ve got the ability to very quickly change your infrastructure but with the server automation, very quickly be able to change your applications, commission or decommission web servers and application servers quickly, and then with our infrastructure be able to redeploy those assets. So, you have to do those two things in conjunction with each other. It makes a lot of sense to put that on portfolio.
4:26: Up to now, we talked a lot about the good new things virtualization can bring, but these new relationships between guest and host systems also popped up a lot of security issues. It’s still very new although it’s been there for a few years. It’s still quite a new technology. How do you think virtualization security issues can be addressed?
Van Der Zweep: Well, I think that’s evolving. We’ve definitely been working with the vendors, the VMwares, the Citrix, our own technologies to make sure that the software is very hardened. We’re looking at trusted computing models that can work in this industry as well. Certainly, we’ve had those working bare-metal physical machines to get that working more so in the virtualization space. So, I think that’s evolving over time. We’ve got many offerings today to be able to help in this space but that’s another area of investment for us.