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HP's far-reaching virtualisation service

Hewlett-Packard has expanded its portfolio of virtualisation services with a new offering designed to help enterprise customers virtualise their entire IT infrastructures.

HP Care Pack Service, based on VMware's Capacity Planner, is a part of HP's Virtualisation  Assessment Services, which aims to enable customers to make more efficient use of underutilised IT assets, reduce datacentre operating costs and minimise risks associated with infrastructure changes.

The company says the new offering will enable automated, 24x7, lights-out computing, extending from the desktop to the datacentre.

"Virtualisation  technology and services can help customers increase agility and achieve real business benefits by ensuring that IT supply automatically meets business demand," explained Nick van der Zweep, director of virtualisation at HP.

In a typical scenario for the new service, utilisation data for servers, storage and desktops from HP and other suppliers is collected at the customer's site over a three- to four-week period.

HP Services professionals then recommend how to best consolidate and virtualise the environment, as well as offer a cost justification and a business rationale for these projects.

Using these recommendations, customers can choose to consolidate existing server workloads onto HP Integrity, ProLiant and BladeSystem servers. By using virtualisation systems such as HP Virtual Server Environment for Integrity servers, customers can double their server utilisation rates and boost systems administrator productivity by automatically growing and shrinking virtual servers as business needs change.

As part of a bid to reduce the complexity of customers' storage environments, storage utilisation also can be analysed. HP will then make recommendations on consolidation of storage to address operations and management inefficiencies and create flexible, virtual pools of storage.

According to industry experts quoted by HP, the average server utilisation ranges from only 10% to 30%. HP has been at the forefront of virtualisation in the server environment and this announcement is almost an indication of a new phase in virtualisation.

Suppliers now not only have to provide in-demand technology, they also have to demonstrate to IT managers how they can get faster return on investment as they make their transition to virtual environments.

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