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HP Offers Service That Spots Inefficiencies In Data Center

HP on Monday introduced a new service to help enterprises improve the efficiency of their data centers by automating the process of identifying where applications are running and on what IT assets. The purpose of the HP Discovery and Dependency Mapping Service for Data Center Transformation is to redesign the data center for optimal operational efficiency, especially as companies implement virtualization and cloud computing technology.

The Discovery and Dependency Mapping (DDM) service automates what is, for some, an expensive and time-consuming manual process, says Jimmy Augustine, group product marketing manager within HP Software. That manual process is prone to errors and may not produce an accurate report on how the data center is operating. Most data center managers are confident that they’re aware of about 80% of what they have, but "it’s the other 20% that really keeps them up at night," he says.

The DDM Advanced Service, introduced Monday, tracks which business services are being offered by the company--finance, human resources, order tracking, supply chain management, production, etc.--and discovers what software applications are used to deliver those services. It then determines what IT assets the apps depend on to run, such as virtual or physical servers, network connections, storage appliances and the like, Augustine says.

"The reason that is so important is that it gives IT managers the required visibility they need to manage the service that they are accountable for to the business," he says. "It’s critical to understand the underlying applications, databases, where they are and the integrations across the applications."

Improvements in the DDM Advanced Service offering include an enhanced HP Universal Configuration Management Database (UCMDB), which is software that stores, controls and manages software and infrastructure components, and provides visibility into how components relate to each other in order to deliver business services. In addition, HP Services, the tech giant’s consulting and support business, will be using DDM to assist clients with data center transformation projects.

A better automated discovery and dependency mapping tool will help with what appears to be a new rush of data center improvement projects, according to an HP blog post coinciding with the Monday announcement.

HP notes that the CIO of the U.S. government--a position created by the Obama Administration--plans to consolidate 40% of federal data centers during the next four years. In addition, industry surveys show that the average data center is 20 years old and consumes $4 million in energy costs to operate.

A data center transformation project will deliver more energy-efficient hardware and speed up adoption of virtualization and cloud computing, both of which are more efficient. HP also notes that in 2012, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is planning on adopting power consumption standards for data centers similar to what the European Union has done, which will help CIOs better benchmark data center energy efficiency.

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