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Exec offers insight on HP restructuring

One year after its merger with Compaq, Hewlett-Packard Co. has shuffled the deck once again, restructuring its internal approach toward servers and storage in the hope that it can deal itself a stronger hand in the competitive storage market.

As part of the reorganization, HP's storage and server groups have been merged into one business unit, dubbed enterprise storage and servers (ESS). Under senior vice president Scott Stallard, the ESS is the umbrella entity for three of the company's existing units: business critical systems, industry standard servers and network storage solutions. The new structure was established in an effort to streamline HP's hardware operations.

Bob Schultz, one of four product line vice presidents who will report to Stallard, has been handed the reigns for network storage solutions. Schultz spoke with to share his views on the reorganization and his vision for the future of HP storage.

How does storage fit in with the new organizational structure?
If you look back to just a year ago, the focus was on how do we integrate the [HP and Compaq] product lines? Now we have integrated the lines and processes of how we bring those to market, and we've integrated the product teams. The way we measure ourselves is by market share. We maintained our market share in storage. We became No. 1 in the open SAN market and, in NAS, we grew from No. 9 to No. 4. We've grown our software revenue as well. Our storage business really started to move along very well. We formed the ESS as a business group, to bring together the portfolio of servers and storage and integrate them horizontally. With the new organizational structure and construct we've put in place, we'll still have a storage business and a server business, but we're linking it all together to bring the full portfolio to bear. HP announced its "Adaptive Enterprise" strategy last week. Can you define that term and explain how it relates to storage?
The first [post-merger] year, we were integrating vertically. That's what the Adaptive Enterprise is all about. What customers really want is the full solution set. They want to know how they can run their whole enterprise. It's all about [having] the discipline to manage all of IT as efficiently as possible. We've talked about the fact that, as people put in storage infrastructures, they're deploying SANs. They need to know how [to] measure and manage it. How do I know what I'm putting in today is something I'm not going to have to rip out and replace moving forward? Each of our groups was working around the same themes. The Adaptive Enterprise brought all that together. There are pillars in the Adaptive Enterprise, like the compute pillar and the storage pillar. [Users] need to be able to measure, assess and maintain their IT infrastructures and extend and link that to business processes. You cannot just have a storage infrastructure. Storage exists not just in a vacuum but in an application environment, and it supports what the customer is trying to do in business. That's going to be the power going forward. Why did Hewlett-Packard merge its server and storage groups? Your competitors who have already reorganized their operations in this way might claim HP is just following the pack.
To be clear, we're not folding the storage business back into the server business. If you look at the name of the group, it's called the enterprise storage and server group. This is not about storage becoming a peripheral to the server group. We're not just attaching storage to our servers; we're enabling the networked storage environment. What is HP's role in developing the Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMI-S), and when can users expect SMI-S enabled product to hit the streets?
We led a group that submitted the Bluefin spec to the [Storage Networking Industry Association], and we're shipping early SMI-S interfaces in two of our storage arrays. The plan is, as we go through this year, we'll roll out SMI-S as interfaces in our products. Our belief is this is one of the key enablers of the SAN market overall. A year ago, we did API exchanges with IBM, Sun, EMC and others, so we could manage the bulk of storage that's out there, but you really want to be able to manage all of it. The SMI-S will enable that. Has HP fully exploited the storage products acquired through the merger with Compaq, or are there products yet to be rolled out?
We've done a really good job of taking advantage of the technologies that the two companies had. For example, there has been some internal and external debate around what HP is going to do with virtualization. We have the StorageApps technology and the VersaStor, technology, so how do we resolve the two? The StorageApps (CASA) product line was about storage applications, and VersaStor was very much about distributing data. What we found is that you actually need the two of them to have virtualization in the network. We've brought those two technologies together in a much more powerful solution. What's next for HP storage?
There are two things that I see coming up here in the next year. The first is intelligence in the fabric network based on virtualization. I really do believe over next year you will see virtualization across the SAN environment come into play. Then we can start to get into any-to-any replication and start managing arrays as a single pool. The SMI-S is the key [to that end]. Another area where you'll see a lot of activity is around life cycle data management, a term being used now [to describe data retention requirements] driven by government regulations and the SEC and the health care industry. The first substantiation of that will be around e-mail and archiving. We have all of the capabilities to be successful in that market.


Let us know what you think about the story. E-mailKevin Komiega, News Writer

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