A conversation with HP's UK storage head man, Andrew Manners, reveals that HP's organisation is changing, that it is under-going a huge, three-year IT consolidation project and that the tape market's decline is having its effects.

Within HP Ann Livermore is the executive vice president of the Technology Solutions Group and reports directly to CEO Mark Hurd. TSG is split into Software and ESS - enterprise servers and storage. Software is split also, into BTO and BIO organisations.

BTO, standing for Business Technology Optimisation, is the home for the OpenView and Mercury products. BIO, standing for Business Information Optimisation, is the home for the ILM (information lifecycle management) software portfolio. Everything that moves information around an organisation will be here: Data Protector backup software; RISS; e-mail archiving; tiering, and file system extender.

ESS has four aspects to its organisation: industry-standard servers (Intel); business-critical servers; StorageWorks; Server and Storage Software.

This last part is Bob Schultz' new fief - he used to run StorageWorks - and comprises Insight Manager, Storage Essentials, the Virtual Server Environment, and ProLiant Essentials. Schultz is still running StorageWorks on a pro-tem basis but a new StorageWorks boss is expected to be announced in the next 10 to 15 days.

Green grow the HP rushes-o

Sun has committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent by 2012 from 2002 levels. Appearing to be on a faster schedule, HP is saying it will cut its energy use 20 percent in three years, that's by 2010. Its strong belief is that it can make itself greener and more efficient and use less power by consolidating its data centres, by, as Andrew Manners said: "eating its own dog food."

CIO Randy Mott joined the company from being CIO at Dell and, previously, CIO at Wal-Mart in July, 2005. He managed Teradata's largest data warehouse whilst at Wal-Mart. Mott joined shortly after HP's IT group had started a multi-year consolidation exercise. HP is reducing the applications it uses from 5,000 to 1,500. Manners said HP is shrinking its: "hundreds of IT locations down to just three ... reducing its IT footprint from hundreds of countries to just one; the USA." It is halving its IT workforce.

Mott architected what was needed as a destination for the consolidation. Then he mapped HP's existing products - the principle storage component were XP arrays and data warehousing based on Neoview - and found there were gaps. Manners said R&D at HP was influenced by Mott for this project and charged with developing product to fill the gaps. This R&D work is bearing fruit; Manners said: "We'll release products in the next six months that have derived from this project." I guess we might think of this as HP Invent :-)

The consolidation exercise is scheduled to complete in 2009 but HP is taking customers over to the US to see results already. Manners said: "If you look at any datacentre there are opportunities with servers, storage, etc. We can help customers," do what HP is doing, save big power/cooling bucks and become greener.

One aspect of this is using C-class blade technology where, Manners said: "We're reducing power and cooling 40 percent," compared to non-bladed systems.

Part 2 continues here.