HP Offers Real People To Support Virtual Servers

Peter Judge has been involved with tech B2B publishing in the UK for many years, working at Ziff-Davis, ZDNet, IDG and Reed. His main interests are networking security, mobility and cloud

In HPs support package, customers get dedicated staff to help with their virtual servers

Hewlett-Packard has announced a support package which offers real, dedicated people to help customers with their virtual servers.

HP Critical Advantage is designed for big customers running business-critical applications on virtualised x86 server environments, and gives them a named account team to contact when things go wrong.

Do users trust virtualisation?

“Customers are moving critical applications to virtualised x86 environments, to get increased flexibility and speed,” said David Welsh HP’s director of support serivces for EMEA. “But there are challenges, including complexity, the skills issue, and operational challenges such as power and cooling.”

Users have claimed huge benefits from virtualisation – for instance, HP’s rival Dell claims to have saved £100 million in a single year, by applying it to its own data centres. However, users have expressed doubts about the risks of virtualisation, and this move by HP may be a way to reassure them in the medium term.

“As enterprises virtualise their industry standards-based environments to control costs and gain flexibility, they are realising the vast complexities the technology can introduce,” said Matt Healey, research manager for software and hardware support services at IDC. “End-to-end support services such as HP Critical Advantage can improve availability and reduce downtime of business-critical applications so that clients can fully realise the potential of virtualisation.”

It might be a surprise that virtualisation, which takes applications off dedicated hardware and moves them onto virtual servers in a resource pool, should require a level of “dedicated” staff to deliver support, but Welsh believes this is needed during a “dramatic shift” to a new way of doing computing. “During the transition, more hand-holding will be required,” he said.

At the time of writing, there were scant details of the pricing of the service, but a Critical Advantage page should be live shortly on HP’s site.

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