HP (NYSE:HPQ) is pushing the automation card again with new tools for hybrid IT environments. The company announced Wednesday “enhanced automation solutions” that set the stage for lower-cost business application deployment -- whether those apps are deployed traditionally, virtually or via a cloud.
HP’s latest Business Service Automation (BSA) enhancements beef up its solutions for hybrid IT environments, which the company defines as any combination of on-premise, off-premise, physical and virtual scenarios, including cloud computing.
HP has identified a strong need in the enterprise, which is why it’s moving so fast on the BSA front. Although hybrid IT environments can increase a business’s agility and speed time to market, they also increase complexity, risk and costs by creating IT silos -- if the environment isn’t holistically managed. HP’s new BSA software enhancements work to take the “if” out of the equation.
A 360-degree hybrid solution
Wednesday’s BSA announcement builds on HP’s recent cloud announcements for hybrid IT environments. The just-announced software enhances the HP’s BSA portfolio to offer unified server, network, storage, and application management. The goal is to break down IT silos to simplify application development and hybrid IT management.
HP is promising financial returns for companies that adopt its solutions. According to a June 2010 ExpertROI Spotlight conducted by IDC on behalf of HP, organizations that deploy HP BSA solutions can realize up to $4.82 in benefits for every IT dollar invested, reduce annual IT costs by up to $24,000 per 100 end users, and reduce outsourcing costs by 40 percent to 80 percent.
“Organizations are seeking solutions that deliver business applications and services with greater agility, speed and at the lowest cost to the enterprise, regardless of their IT environment,” says Erik Frieberg, vice president of Marketing, Software and Solutions at HP. “Clients can achieve up to 382 percent ROI by deploying HP’s leading automation software and leverage the benefits of new hybrid delivery models.”
HP’s acquisition of Stratavia has strengthened its automation portfolio by adding deployment, configuration and management solutions for enterprise databases, middleware and packaged applications. These solutions aim to bridge the gap between application development and operational teams. With Stratavia’s technology in its portfolio, HP said it can now provision all of the components, rapidly deploy changes and manage the ongoing configuration and compliance management.
Under the BSA hood
HP’s BSA portfolio now offers new capabilities in application deployment and risk mitigation, as well as better efficiency and productivity. For example, HP Server Automation 9.0 helps clients automate the entire server life cycle, control virtualization sprawl, and provide more flexible provisioning and deployment of applications. New Application Deployment Manager functionality lets IT organizations automate the release process to bridge the gap between development, quality assurance and operations teams. HP said these enhancements can accelerate application deployment by up to 86 percent.
What’s more, HP Network Automation 9.0 now helps clients contain costs, mitigate risk and improve efficiency of the network by automating error-prone tasks, reducing outages and enforcing policies in real-time regardless of the environment. And HP Operations Orchestration 9.0 helps clients faced with constant alerts and siloed teams improve service quality across hybrid environments. It gives clients the ability to automate the IT processes required to support cloud computing initiatives.
HP Operations Orchestration software can help manage a hybrid infrastructure through a single view while HP Client Automation 7.8 helps clients reduce administration costs for managing physical and virtual machines through a single tool. And HP Storage Essentials 6.3 helps clients reduce complexity in hybrid environments, while improving storage utilization and controlling capacity growth.
IT needs to play at productivity better
The BSA offerings come at a crossroads for enterprise IT. The fact is that IT can no longer just compete against its own past practices and cost structures. There's a looming gulf between what IT costs the IT department to provide and what a small army of outside hosts is coming to market with. IT now needs to compete against the costs structures of pure-play cloud and SaaS providers and hosts.
The solution for IT to remain competitive, and to pick and choose what to retain and what to outsource, is to make all of its systems and apps perform better and more efficiently. And it also needs the governance and management to automate those apps and systems to keep complexity and costs in line.
Visibility, automation and management are essential for IT to stay in the game against hosts, MSPs, clouds, SaaS providers, etc. And the same management allows IT to function as the best broker of services, regardless of where the servers reside. This is clearly the target HP's BSA portfolio has in its sights.
Disclosure: HP is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.