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Microsoft to build duo of UAE data centres

0 86Microsoft has announced plans to build its first Middle East and North Africa data centres in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
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Signs of transformation

NWME: What is the whole idea behind the data centre transformation HP is talking about?

Campbell: One of things we are seeing is that the whole concept of the next generation data centre is very compelling and topical with CIOs. The reason why this is important is that there is an explosion of data growth and there are more and more compact type of servers coming to the market. The data centre we have seen five years ago is under challenge. The idea of data transformation is HP’s way to provide help on a critical topic. It forms part of our adapative infrastructure strategy that has been in existence for several years and we are doing the same transformation. HP has proven skills around IT consolidation, business continuity and energy efficiency, all of which are key elements of the next gen data centre. Data centre automation is another area, wherein we address multi-vendor environments.

NWME: How do you define next-gen data centres?

Campbell: We are fundamentally talking about being agile and adaptive. In the past, you put the data in there and that was it. Now the stress is more on how do you make it more adaptive to changes such as economy, acquisition, etc. What our customers are telling us is that it’s not just about cost anymore, but more about growth. How can HP provide help to the IT customers to align more with the business and provide more growth, and next-gen data centre is a very key way to do that.

NWME: What role does virtualisation play?

Campbell: It’s one of the keys. In the adaptive infrastructure we have six key enablers and probably the one that is hottest in terms of top- of- the- mind is virtualisation because it provides immediate cost benefits, and more importantly it’s linked to management as well. Next one is security. As you move into a virtualized environment, security becomes a key issue and HP has phenomenal capabilities around that area. Next comes the systems itself, for which we provide blade systems with built-in integration capabilities. It is a key building block to deliver an adaptive infrastructure.

NWME: What is your virtualisation strategy?

Campbell: We work with leading virtualisation packages out there such as VMware, Microsoft’s Hyper-V, and Xen Citrix. The we have our own capability, which is best in class on the Unix side. Our strategy now is to unlock that IP and have that virtualisation capability across the whole line. We can work with customers on their vendor of choice, so we provide both consulting and actual products for both virtualisation and the management that goes along with it. HP’s strategy is to provide an end-to-end virtualisation infrastructure to the customers; it’s not just about servers anymore but also about clients.

NWME: Now you have EYP in the portfolio. Where does that acquisition fit in?

Campbell: When HP embarked in its own data centre transformation project, we were actually using EYP. Their expertise is more on building data centres and facilities management. And that’s nice compliment to our technology. EYP adds credibility to our portfolio, as they have been very successful in verticals such as financial market, and it helps HP to say, look here is a great service for your next-gen data centres.

NWME: Can you tell us more about HP’s data centre transformation project? Are we going back to the era of mainframes?

Campbell: We have a prescriptive plan, using the principles of adaptive infrastructure. It has helped to reduce our budget and reinvest that money in the growth of the business. Our experience has been more around consolidation. We have very valuable lessons learnt and have made that available to our customers.

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