Arthur Cole spoke with Paul O'Brien, director of information lifecycle management solutions, HP StorageWorks Division, and Kyle Fitze, director of storage area networks (SAN) marketing, HP StorageWorks.
Cole: OuterBay's Application Data Management Suite is geared largely toward the Oracle, SQL and Sybase customers. How does the company intend to reach out to users on other server platforms, IBM perhaps or some of the smaller vendors?
O'Brien: One of the reasons we felt OuterBay was a good fit for HP is that OuterBay Application Data Management (ADM Suite) is server- and storage-agnostic, supporting multiple databases and applications. In fact, 60 percent of OuterBay's customers today run non-HP platforms. HP already works with many of these customers, and we have a strong footprint in servers and storage in business-critical database environments. This is an approach that we will continue as well as expand. OuterBay technology also allows customers to leverage the latest innovations in server and storage technologies, such as Linux and RISS, through server migration and storage tiering. This not only reduces costs while delivering consistent service levels but also allows us to reach out to these customers and offer additional options to optimize their environment.
Cole: iSCSI support for the EVA array and advanced links to the XP array offer intriguing virtualization possibilities. Does this mean HP does not believe the SAN fabric is the optimal location for virtualization?
Fitze: HP has not confined the use of virtualization technology to any specific area of the solution stack. We see it as an important enabler for solving customers' problems of asset utilization, change management and system availability. As an enabler, in many cases it can be deployed in different areas of the solution stack to achieve the same benefit to the customer. We've naturally focused our efforts in storage on array-based virtualization to solve these customer problems because we have a rich and mature application environment to leverage with our EVA and XP arrays. That said, we have used virtualization in the SAN fabric to enable pooling of SAN islands and we wouldn't exclude other usage cases in the future. The litmus test for us is, does it solve a real customer problem and does it simplify the customer's environment?
Cole: Information lifecycle management is seeing renewed interest this year. What are HP's plans for this sector?
O'Brien: Information is one of a company's most valuable assets. In the coming year, we will continue to deliver technologies and solutions that help customers manage that information end-to-end throughout its lifecycle with a focus on converging operational and archived data into a seamless continuum of secure and accessible information. Looking farther into the future, we believe that discrete SRM and ILM processes will converge along with the management of servers and other infrastructure, data movement and the management of that movement. We plan to help customers take advantage of these convergence points so that they can recognize the most value from their information and use it to their business advantage.