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HP Expands Data Center Consulting Services

The company also introduced HP Network Management Center 9.1 with enhanced features for managed service providers, cloud computing, and unified communications management.

Hewlett-Packard announced Monday a new consulting service that helps manage all aspects of a data center lifecycle, including the design, planning, construction, migration, and implementation processes.

The HP Trusted Advisor service offers HP consulting experts who work closely with clients to consider all aspects of data center operations, IT infrastructure, facilities, and the enablement of technologies, such as cloud and green computing.

"What we've done is glue together the IT and data center transformation pieces of our portfolio to offer a programmatic approach under this Trusted Advisor umbrella," Larry Hinman, director, strategist, and worldwide practice leader for HP Critical Facilities Consulting, said in an interview. "It takes the client through the steps of the overall data center lifecycle, including strategic planning, conceptual planning, design, construction, and migration."

The HP Trusted Advisor service is a culmination of HP's drive to include the numerous steps of data center design and implementation. Last February, HP introduced its Critical Facilities Implementation service, a data center "brick and mortar" construction service. HP executive Rick Einhorn described it as the "fourth leg of the stool", with the other three related services including data center design, testing, and operating the facility.

Trusted Advisor, which is part of the HP Critical Facilities portfolio, will also enable HP to introduce its plethora of products, including data center hardware, into data centers.

"The groovy thing about the Trusted Advisor is now it moves us up to the program level of the client so now we can be a buffer between everything going on internally and everything going on externally and apply the appropriate services or expertise or products," Hinman said.

One client that can attest to the reliability and usefulness of the Trusted Advisor is Steel ORCA, which designs and deploys modular data centers powered by renewable energy sources. The company is currently transforming the site of a former steel mill into a facility that will build data center products.

"The HP TA service is critical to the success of our project and the single most important thing we do in order to manage and minimize risk in the development of our data center," David Crocker, chairman and CEO of Steel ORCA, said in an interview. "That's because we could never afford to bring in house all the expertise required to design, build, and manage a data center."

HP also launched its HP Network Management Center (NMC) version 9.1 on Monday. The upgrade includes additional features for managed service providers, cloud computing, and unified communications management.

The HP NMC 9.1 automates a holistic approach to managing a network infrastructure by providing customers with a single management console. Features include the ability to manage networks in cloud deployments and a new system focused on unified communications and collaboration environments, Ashish Kuthiala, director of worldwide marketing for HP Network Management Center, said in an interview.

"It's about bringing together all of those network management aspects in one single solution--availability, performance, change configuration, compliance diagnostics, looking at trending and reporting--bringing into one single pain of glass, into one console, so the operator has actionable intelligence to work on," Kuthiala said.

HP claims that a unified architecture is needed because today's networks have grown too complex and that numerous management systems causes networks to lack the flexibility needed to take full advantage of virtualization.

Vendors are fighting it out in the market for integrated network, computer, and storage systems. In the new all-digital issue of Network Computing, we go ringside to help you pick a winner. Download the issue now. (Free with registration.)

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