Last week I was able to spend a day with HP and a group of its key, large customers as they attended the “XP7 Intensity” event. Following on from the week-prior announcement of the XP7 – HP’s highest-end storage platform for traditional and heterogeneous workloads – this was an opportunity for the users to have an in-depth exposure to the capabilities, engineers, workload-focus, and roadmaps for this uber-capable system. In addressing this group about the overall market situation I will admit a certain enjoyment from being in a group where “mainframe” was still a highly relevant term…and yet simultaneously it served as a reminder of just how similar the basic issues, needs, challenges, and opportunities are across IT - however it is performed - and how thoroughly efficient, capable, and of course mission-critical, these “traditional” deployments can be. I captured some thoughts of mine as well as comments from Kyle Fitze of HP, in this ~3 minute video.
Mark: You may recall that the last time I did a video shoot for anything to do with HP it was freezing cold at their analyst event in Boston. Well, as you can tell it's a lot warmer here. I'm at Roseville, Sacramento, and it's baking hot. I was here to address some of HP's key high end customers for its new XP7 product. This is what they call their XP7 Intensity days where they introduce some of the high end products in great detail. And in order to explain some of that, I was lucky to get some time with Kyle Fitze. Kyle heads up the XP7 group globally for HP, and the first thing I asked him was to describe some of the key attributes and changes in this new high end product.
Kyle: So, the XP7 is completely rearchitected tier one mission critical platform that we just introduced that delivers more capacity, greater performance, in fact three times the performance of the previous generation product. And what's really interesting is a new virtualization capability that we call multi-array virtualization, and on top of that platform we're able to deliver new capabilities for data migration, for high availability, and scaling of performance and capacity. And we think that those introduce a lot of the benefits that customers are looking for for today's mission critical virtualized IT infrastructure.
Mark: So that was fine in terms of the feature and function, and what we get with this new product, but the other thing I wanted to ask Kyle was what's the relevance of something like this? Everyone is talking about the next generation data center, but what's the contemporary relevance of these high end slightly more traditional storage models?
Kyle: If you think about the kind of use cases and benefits that customers are looking for, and a more service oriented, more modern, more virtualized data center, it's all around business outcomes. It's about getting more utilization out of your resources, about being able to manage more with fewer administrators, and ultimately being able to deliver the service levels that you expect out of a data center. And I think those core fundamental tenets are what XP is known for, and this new platform delivers a lot of that great mission critical reliability that our customers have come to expect. In addition to some of the simplification, the utilization, and the flexibility that comes with a virtualized IT infrastructure.
Mark: So, as Kyle said something like the XP7 is just as relevant in the contemporary world. We hear lots of talk about the next generation data center, but something like the XP7 is just as relevant in terms of workloads, it's mission criticality, and so on as it ever was. In fact, I was struck looking at the customers in the room, and obviously their companies they work which I can't share. But these are big household names, and it seems to me to be an inverse proportion between the number of customers in the room, full room, but the number of customers inversely proportionate to the importance of the applications that they represent. The scale of the operations, and the requirement for five, six, plus nines of reliability, we're talking the real high end and the XP7 looks like a really good entrance into that marketplace.