Volume 11, Number 15 -- April 26, 2011

HP Launches Cloud Transformation Solutions

Published: April 26, 2011

by Alex Woodie

Hewlett-Packard doesn't usually come to mind as a go-to provider of solutions for IBM i customers--unless they're thinking of moving off the platform. But the company says its newly released tools for helping customers transform to cloud computing is applicable to legacy RPG programs, just as it is to the large global supply of aged COBOL and PL/1 software.

When embarking upon an initiative to modernize IT systems using the cloud, it's important not to go into it with a pre-determined point of view, says Paul Evans, the worldwide lead for application transformation solutions in HP's enterprise computing division.

For starters, companies need to fully understand their existing legacy applications and the strategic options they have for moving or modernizing them. Options that deserve to be weighed include re-architecting old systems, outsourcing the care and feeding of an application to a hosting provider, or entirely replacing it with a new package, he says.

In many cases, companies may be better off retiring old applications. Often they are operating with more applications than they really need, Evans says. "They might have a portfolio that's twice as large as they need. The problem is, they don't know they have way too many applications," he says.

Evans uses HP's own application transformation as an example. "In 2007, we had 7,000 applications. No mainframes though. We thought we were in pretty good shape," he says. "Now we're down below 2,000. You could argue that we're running it badly. In fact it's quite the opposite."

There's a risk in using applications that were developed decades ago, Evans says. "There may be 10 guys in the organization that knew the code from top to bottom. Maybe they're going to walk and take all that architectural knowledge with them, and you can't stop them."

HP has done its share of AS/400 migrations. Its acquisition of EDS several years ago brought with it a large number of AS/400 shops who must make the same types of tough choices about their RPG programs as mainframe shops must make for their legacy applications written in COBOL and PL/1. Even Windows XP, which was introduced almost a decade ago, represents an opportunity for companies such as HP to serve organizations moving from "legacy" to "cloud."

To that end, the IT giant recently launched several new tools Included in this launch is Cloud Service Automation (CSA) 2.0, which can help companies build, deploy, monitor, and manage private or public cloud applications. New features include one-touch provisioning and monitoring, and more overall automation.

It also introduced two private cloud offerings for Microsoft products. HP says its new Exchange Services for Private Cloud service gives companies the benefit of a "pay per use" private cloud model, but without the risk. Meanwhile the new Enterprise Cloud Services for Microsoft Dynamics CRM provides a private cloud model for running the popular Windows-based CRM system.

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Editor: Alex Woodie
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