Written by Gary Stevens – HP Global Business Development Manager
Have you ever planned a dinner party and found, usually at the last minute, that the pan you intend to use for the main course... (you know the course! it's the one you have been making for smaller groups of friends for the past month) but the pan just isn’t big enough. You do a quick check of your memory banks and are convinced that you had the “do I need a bigger pan conversation” with yourself. Well, the clock is ticking and there is no time to run to the store or send half the guests home, so you do what any self respecting amateur chef would do, you grab the next biggest pan, split the ingredients across both and hope for the best. When any unsuspecting guests’ wanders into your kitchen turned laboratory, you casually mention that you are using 2 pans by choice and that it how it is done in the restaurants too…. As the guest meanders back into the fray of the evenings noises, you tell yourself, “Tomorrow, I’m buying the biggest pan the store has so next time I’m prepared!”
In many ways, what your IT departments do are close to this nightmare of weekend cooking. Every month they manage to serve up copious amounts of data and services to the growing masses of LOB users. Every month they schedule maintenance windows that avoid the busier “meal times” and every month they look at the calendar and see that ominous “Finance Month End Close” marker and prey that every system they have is running and not in need of a last minute system tweaks. You expect that it will take more time than you really want, but with limited flexibility in your computer resources layer, you accept the inevitable...emails on Monday asking why it takes so long, and do you understand the business impact .
Wouldn’t it be great if you as a chef could borrow your friend’s pots and pans whenever you have big dinner parties? Similarly, wouldn’t it be great if your Finance systems could borrow additional server resources for that month end close. Then when the work is complete, have your system automatically return them to where they came from.
Well, now you can! HP, working with our Virtualization partners, has found a way to do just that. At the recent VMworld in San Francisco, HP announced a feature within our HP CloudSystem family of products called “auto flexing” and it does just what you need it to do for those windows of intense utilization of IT resources. HP’s CloudSystem Auto Flexing Capability automates the expansion of compute virtual resources to handle exceptional work effort during selected periods of time. When that period of extra effort is finished, HP’s autoflex feature can then return the resources back to their original purpose.
Auto flexing capabilities in HP CloudSystem allows your IT department to better manage their TOTAL pool of assets. By automating the movement of server capacity between virtual resource pools (and between LOB – “lines of business” resource pools), you remove the risks associated with manual resource movement and can also shave days off any re-configuration to handle exceptional work effort. These combined benefits make your IT department more agile and better equipped to handle more diverse workloads from LOB users, while still staying within infrastructure cost envelopes. Auto flexing increases resource utilization by placing the resources where they are needed , when they are needed, and does so in a consistent and validated way every time.
The Auto Flexing capability for HP CloudSystem will be available for customers to download and try out in test & development environments at the end of this month. By combining the best converged infrastructure hardware with our partner’s virtualization platforms, we can enable an elastic sharing of resource across the many stakeholders of an IT department. This creates a distinct advantage for our joint customers and HP will continue to work together with our partners to expand this automated resource sharing. For more information on the complete, integrated, open solution for building and managing cloud services see HP CloudSystem Solutions.
Now if I can just convince one of the local restaurants’s chefs to move in next door (preferably one that likes to entertain and has an extensive collection of large pots and pans), I think I can solve my “Kitchen Pan dilemma”. Weekend warrior cooking will then be what it is supposed to be, fun for everyone.
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