HP Rolls Out HP OneView – Systems Management Done Right

Richard Fichera

In The Beginning

I was perusing one of my favorite trade pubs, The Register, and noticed an article about the new HP OneView systems management, which reminded me that I was going to write a blog on it at some point. Further perusing the article gave me even more incentive to get down to penning this post, since I really think that this is one of the rare occasions where the usually excellent staff of “El Reg” allowed themselves to get carried away with their enviable witticisms and just plain missed the point.

The Register article seemed to dismiss HP OneView as some sort of cosmetic trick, with references to things like “dressing up software in easy to use user interfaces”. My perception is completely the opposite — dressing up software in easy to use interfaces is exactly what is needed in a world drowning in IT complexity, and I believe that HP OneView is a significant development in systems management tools, both useful to HP customers today and probably setting a significant bar for competitive offerings as well.

What It Is                                                                                                   

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The Future of IT Infrastructure And Data Centers: A New Wave Of Consolidation And Optimization

Doug Washburn

Like a song stuck on repeat, enterprise IT hardware decision makers tell Forrester once again that consolidation and optimization top their list of priorities into 2014. According to Forrester's Q3 2013 Hardware survey, 77% deem server, storage and network virtualization and consolidation a high or citical priority—followed by 68% who prioritize the automating the management of virtualized servers to gain flexibility and resiliency. Conslidation + Optimization.

But what's new this time around is that the next wave of IT infrastructure and data center consolidation and optimization requires a new approach centered around workload-centric, software-defined, and hybrid cloud. If you're an IT infrastructure and operations (I&O) professional tasked with IT infrastructure and data center strategy, it's time to incorporate these themes into your approach:

  • Application-centric infrastructure optimizes infrastructure around what matters most. For too long, IT infrastructure has aligned to silos of technology, resulting in complexity, low satisfaction, poor communication, and wasted money. To deliver better business results over the next decade, Forrester advocates that you take an application-centric (or workload-centric) approach: Design your IT infrastructure to fit the apps and workloads that are critical to customers.
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Wearable Computing For Enterprises Could Be Bigger Than For Consumers

JP Gownder

Wearable computing devices (like Google Glass, Jawbone Up, Nike+ FuelBand, iHealth, and Samsung Galaxy Gear, among others) have made a big splash in the consumer market. My colleague Sarah Rotman Epps’ analysis shows that Google Glass could be the next big App Platform. Fitness wearables might be a bit overhyped, but it’s nevertheless becoming common to see people sporting Nike+ FuelBand devices everywhere you go. No less a tech industry luminary than Mary Meeker recently declared wearables the next wave of computing (see slide 49).

Exciting as the consumer wearable space is becoming, I’d like you to turn your attention for a moment to an example from the enterprise space -- specifically, the Connected Law Enforcement Officer Of The Future, as posited by Motorola Solutions.

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Incremental Improvements Make Microsoft Surface Better, But Go-To-Market Strategy Will Determine Success

JP Gownder

On September 23rd, Microsoft launched its next generation Surface and Surface Pro devices with a splashy media event in New York City. The improvements to the hardware and software of both models are largely incremental – though that doesn’t obviate the value of these releases, since gradual innovation has long been an industry hallmark, particularly for Microsoft.

WHAT DIDN'T HAPPEN:

Let's start by looking at what didn't happen: 

  • First, the struggling Surface (which runs Windows RT 8.1, though this fact is downplayed) hasn’t disappeared from the lineup, despite poor uptake and Microsoft’s $900 million financial write-down last quarter. It's been given a sucessor, the Surface 2.
  • Second, despite the hype around 7" and 8" Windows 8.1 devices (for example, from Acer today... and many other OEMs in coming months), Microsoft hasn't chosen to enter this market. Given the popularity of smaller tablets, this qualifies as a bit of a surprise.
  • Third, there was no radical rethinking. No crazy, innovative, out-of-the-box disruption. That's not necessarily bad, but it's noteworthy.
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Iceland: Gearing Up To Supply The World With Green IT Solutions

Sophia Vargas

Last week I had the pleasure of visiting the remote and beautiful country of Iceland. After a 5-hour flight and a brief history lesson, I was amazed to learn that in addition to its unique local attractions — geothermal springs, volcanos, aurora borealis — Iceland possesses a wealth of natural resources.

View of the run off from Ljósafoss Hydro-Power Station, located on the River Sog by Lake Úlfljótsvatn’s outflow

View of the run off from Ljósafoss Hydro-Power Station, located on the River Sog by Lake Úlfljótsvatn’s outflow

Straddling the North American and European tectonic plates, Iceland’s geological conditions supply its inhabitants with an abundance of natural resources ideal for renewable energy generation. Over the last century, locals have learned how to harvest these resources, constructing geothermal and hydroelectric power generation facilities and providing the country with 100% renewable, carbon-free electricity. With the current cost-prohibitive, technologically limited methods of electrical interconnection, Iceland’s public utilities have been investigating alternative ways to export their energy surplus in the form of finished products.

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Transform Tablets Into The Ultimate Sales Tool With Augmented Reality Apps

JP Gownder

I recently spoke with metaio, an augmented reality solutions provider based in Munich, Germany. The company develops both enterprise- and consumer-oriented augmented reality solutions for smartphones, tablets, and -- increasingly -- for Google Glass.

Although metaio creates augmented reality applications for a wide variety of usage scenarios – enterprise tools to assist assembly lines, factory floors, design studios, and consumer shopping experiences for IKEA and Macy’s – I’m particularly struck by the potential of augmented reality for use by sales reps.

SCENARIO 1: AUGMENTED REALITY AS A SALES ENABLEMENT TOOL

At their best, augmented reality tablet applications can reshape the entire sales process. Metaio created an app for Mitsubishi Electric Cooling and Heating to create a new interaction model between salesperson and homeowner. Prospective buyers considering Mitsubishi’s mini-split, ductless central air systems must install wall-mounted units in various rooms of their home. “The number one question prospective buyers ask is, ‘what is that unit going to look like on my wall’?” said Sudhanshu Kapoor, Business Development Manager at metaio.

Using the augmented reality app with an Apple iPad, homeowners receive a vivid representation of what the unit will look like, as this video demonstrates.

 

Results:  (1) A richer customer experience during the sales cycle. (2) Allayed fears among buyers who worry what the units will look like. (3) A faster sales cycle, performed on site. (4) Higher close rates and revenues. (5) Lower printing costs for sales collateral.

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Google Is Poised To Revolutionize Consumer Retail

JP Gownder

Infrastructure professionals are now all too familiar with the dynamics of bring-your-own (BYO) technology and devices: Their workers walk into the office with consumer technology all the time. This post is one in a continuing series on how consumer retail stores act as de facto extensions of the IT department in today's BYO world.

The rumors have abounded for more than six months: unconfirmed whispers that Google will open up its own major chain of consumer retail stores. The company has dipped its toes into the retail waters with Chromebook-focused kiosks in the U.S. and the U.K. over the past few years, with installations inside larger retailers like Best Buy, Dixons, and Currys.

A Google Kiosk in the U.K.: Not Yet Reaching Revolutionary Heights

Yet while kiosks – particularly those staffed by Google employees – offer some value in promoting Google’s products and services, the company has a much greater opportunity for late 2013 into 2014. Kiosks aren't going to foment a retail revolution. To quote the popular Star Wars geek meme, "these aren't the droids you're looking for."

No, it's time for Google to think big  to go gangbusters. To do something nobody has done as well previously. Why is this imperative?

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The Coming Wave of PC Industry Consolidation

JP Gownder

Microsoft’s recent purchase of Nokia affirmed the company’s entry into the hardware business, which now forms a core component of its “devices and services” strategy. That journey began with entertainment devices (like the market-leading Xbox and the now-defunct Zune), continued with the Surface and Surface Pro Windows 8 devices, and reaches its logical conclusion with all of Nokia’s smartphones.

Microsoft’s move cements and validates a number of trends in the computing industry:

  • All the major platform players have gotten into hardware. Apple is of course the most vertically integrated platform player, creating hardware, operating systems, and software for its ecosystem. Google is in the hardware game too, having acquired Motorola in 2011, partnering to produce Nexus 4, 7, and 10 devices, and, most tantalizingly for the future, selling Google Glass. Amazon makes its Kindle and Kindle Fire HD devices, which are tightly coupled with its content and services. Even Facebook tentatively experimented with hardware in its collaboration with HTC on a Facebook Home phone.
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Top 5 Things Rapper Drake Can Remind Us About Service Management

Amy DeMartine

Forrester is big on music. Conference rooms are named after bands or musicians and headquarters just held a music festival.   As for me, I am a big Drake fan.   Therefore, to honor Drake (shout out to Noah “40” Shebib too!) and with a nod to the love of music at Forrester Research, I have combed through his lyrics and here’s the top 5 things I think Drake can remind us about service management:

  1. “I be yelling out: money over everything, money on my mind”  Especially after a long week of dealing with outages, changes gone awry, or a huge volume of service requests, it is good to remind ourselves why service management is so important.  At its heart, service management solves critical business problems or enables business success.  Good service management can make employees more productive which in turn makes the company more profitable.   How are you measuring success?  More on that later.
  2. “There ain't really much out here that's popping off without us” Whether it is business processes or applications that support functions such as HR, Finance, R&D, Marketing, or Sales, service management is at the heart of it all.  Service Management should be enabling, monitoring, and measuring all of these business processes and therefore making you relevant to the business success or failure.
  3. “It’s hard to do these things alone” Services are reliant on the networks, servers, databases and all other parts of IT to run smoothly.  Boundaries can easily pop up between functions of IT.  Work hard to break down those boundaries to make everyone’s job easier. 
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To Build Or To Colocate Your Next Data Center – That Is The Question

Sophia Vargas

Technology and business leaders don’t always fully understand the true costs and risks associated with both building and operating a data center. Data center facilities are one of the largest line items in an IT infrastructure budget, and these costs can run into the tens or even hundreds of millions over a data center’s lifetime. If you’re currently looking for more data center capacity, before you make a decision, it’s important to understand the cost and risk implications of your choice and justify the business case to your executives and budget holders.

Using Forrester’s Total Economic ImpactTM (TEI) methodology, we built an ROI calculator to help infrastructure & operations professionals evaluate three approaches to greenfield data center implementations: traditional builds, modular builds, and colocation. In this model, we quantify the costs, risks, and benefits associated with each scenario and calculate the net present value (NPV) of this investment over 15 years.

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