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HP cuts down internal datacentres

Giant vendor Hewlett-Packard this week revealed it was consolidating its 85 global datacentres down to just six in a bid to simplify its internal IT infrastructure and rein in costs. Delegates to HP's StorageWorks.
Written by Scott Mckenzie, Contributor

Giant vendor Hewlett-Packard this week revealed it was consolidating its 85 global datacentres down to just six in a bid to simplify its internal IT infrastructure and rein in costs.

Delegates to HP's StorageWorks.07 conference (held in Vietnam this week) learned that the company's IT set-up had become too complex. Currently HP has 85 datacentres spread across 29 countries, spending four percent of its revenue on internal IT.

Consolidation was needed to reduce the high cost of ownership, according to Bob Schultz, senior vice president and general manager, StorageWorks division. The project -- which is to take place over the next two to three years -- will also see HP cut the number of its applications from 3,500 to 1,500.

Schultz, in an interview with ZDNet Australia, said that his company's acquisition of large companies over the years, including Tandem, Digital and Compaq, had left it with a number of legacy systems.

To compound the problem, different business units within HP operated independently. So each unit, for example, had its own human resources management system, Schultz added. This resulted in a "snowball" effect in terms of applications.

While Schultz admitted the move was a large-scale consolidation project, he believed businesses of different sizes could still learn from HP's experience.

High costs of ownership and complex IT infrastructures are not confined to large companies such as HP, according to Schultz. Projects would be of a smaller scale, but the steps to consolidate datacentres and reduce costs could still be applied.

HP's six datacentres will operate in three locations, all of them in the US. Each location will host two centres and data will be replicated across the sites to ensure constant uptime.

Scott Mckenzie travelled to StorageWorks.07 in Vietnam as a guest of HP.

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