HP Takes an Educational Approach to Virtualization, Networking

By Erin Harrison October 27, 2010

If you ask Jay Mellman of HP Networking, what the most important issue is for data centers, he would tell you first and foremost it’s interoperability. This is also what differentiates HP from its dense group of competitors in an increasingly crowded market of service providers.

And it’s based on that philosophy that HP introduced the first Converged Infrastructure training and certification program that spans the entire enterprise landscape – from networking, storage, servers and software to printing and personal computing.

Through HP’s ExpertONE program, IT professionals can learn proven methodologies to rapidly transform their proprietary environments into open, agile networks and data centers based on HP Converged Infrastructure. At the same time, they are also getting the skills needed to architect, implement and manage technology across the enterprise, preparing them for the next level in their careers.

But before the training and certification program came a strategic decision to leverage HP’s networking expertise into its own division that would factor in not only interoperability, but also flexibility, security and cost.

“We decided for a couple of reasons last year that we needed to expand our investments in networking,” Mellman explained. “Strategically we needed this portfolio; HP has always been a leader in the industry and enterprise networking is a $40 billion a year business.”

HP factors not only the comprehensive technology skills but also focuses on business side, which is becoming increasingly important for CIOs to effectively do their jobs.

“What customers are now waking up to this concept of virtual sprawl – it’s much more complex – too many virtualization with as many as 100 to 220 VMs in a given network,” said Mellman, who is HP Networking’s senior director of product and solution marketing. “It can be so hard to keep track of – if you walk into data centers a couple of years ago, it was a much different environment … now with virtual sprawl, the issue is, how do you keep track of them?”

Enterprises today are increasingly moving away from inflexible legacy architectures to building data center networks that ensure they are ready for the more challenging and virtualized workload. Also driving the need for more sophisticated networking systems is the environment of mergers, acquisitions and expansions – all of which spawn increasingly complex network environments, which can create a huge maintenance nightmare.

“HP said we can break that cycle,” Mellman said. “The key is not that we can converge it all, we can manage it. We all the networking to preconfigured – create the sandbox – the company gets to maintain what is important, not just for the IT department, but for what is critical to the business,” he added. And the time to market, he said, is reduced from days to hours; and weeks to days.

HP’s ExpertONE Network Certifications offer IT professionals the opportunity to gain the expertise required to build and operate the next-generation networks that are central to data centers of the future. They offer unique multivendor strategies that enable IT professionals to build and maintain a standards-based networking architecture. Networking certifications can be fast-tracked based on the IT professional’s existing credentials, reducing training time by up to 77 percent, according to Mellman.

“The certification program is not unique to a product,” Mellman said. “In this new world where technologies are converging, you need to learn about networks, storage and servers and how they all connect. IT professionals need to extend their values and how core technologies relate.”

Erin Harrison is Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives, for TMC, where she oversees the company's strategic editorial initiatives, including the launch of several new print and online initiatives. She plays an active role in the print publications and TechZone360, covering IP communications, information technology and other related topics. To read more of Erin's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Erin Harrison

Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives

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