EDS gives HP services and cloud solution

EDS gives HP services and cloud solution

Summary: When HP bought EDS for $13.9bn in may most people understood that HP needed to buy a services company.

TOPICS: After Hours

When HP bought EDS for $13.9bn in may most people understood that HP needed to buy a services company. IBM was then the biggest computer company in the world and had been greatly helped by IBM Global Services. HP needed something similar and so it bought one of the largest IT services companies to help it compete.

Any doubts about the sale centred on a simple question: what was HP going to do with EDS? Or put another way, what was the plan?

At HP's Software Universe in Vienna this week we find out what that plan was. It can be roughly summed up in one word, the cloud. Although, HP's head of software, Tom Hogan does not like the word the cloud is where HP is looking to devote quite a lot of resources. A number of executives at Software Universe spelled it out at different times. One essential ingredient of the cloud is an infrastructure. The cloud is about applications working across the internet. To be considered cloud applications they have to work in special ways but fundamentally that is what the cloud is about. To run huge traffic across the internet with applications constantly communicating with each other, you need an infrastructure. Whenever you asked a HP executive about how they would get this infrastructure the replies varied in detail, but fundamentally the answer was the same, every time: EDS.

As a huge services and outsourcing company, EDS has the infrastructure to go with it. Thanks to EDS, HP already has a $3bn services business. Much of that is tied up in software-as-a-service applications which feed into HP's vision for services.That vision is to have many companies around the world with their applications running on HP hardware and running as SaaS applications.

For HP, those elements all combined together spell an end to worries about competing with IBM. Or so the company hopes.

Topic: After Hours


Colin Barker is based in London and is Senior Reporter for ZDNet. He has been writing about the IT business for some 30-plus years. He still enjoys it.

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  • EDS gives HP services and cloud solution

    Colin, I totally agree that getting the infrastructure right is key to successful cloud computing and the big industry players are exploring what this means, e.g. HP with Yahoo and here at IBM with Google. An IT Cloud needs to be big if it wants to make an impact. Infrastructures require architectures if they are to be durable. For server infrastructures EDS, a significant IBM Mainframe user according to Judith Hurwitz, will know how core Mainframes are to a comprehensive server infrastructure (as would be x86 and Unix servers). It will be interesting to see how HP develop this asset. The other essential ingredient which I don't see discussed enough, (but should be) is the service level and governance infrastructure. How can I ensure that my employee data wont leave the country, how do I know that infrastructure will scale when I hit a peak load, how do I know the backup and disaster recovery service are supported by sound infrastructure and policies? If my business is measured on its carbon footprint can I get a statement as to my CO2 usage in the cloud? Can I ask for "green servers" c.f. IBM's project big green? What security standards will be adhered to. etc etc? These are some of the questions that companies should ask when investigating cloud computing. By the way interesting video of Eric Schmidt Chairman of Google presenting at the IBM Business Partner conference talking about clouds can be found here.