Limbering Up for a Data Center Makeover

Let’s focus in on two major pillars of proper and successful data center transformation (DCT) projects and some proven methods that have aided productive and cost-efficient projects to reshape and modernize enterprise data centers.

Specific trends are buttressing the need for DCT. It’s important to fully understand the current state of an organization’s IT landscape and data center composition in order to then properly chart a strategy for transformation.

However, there are pitfalls that can be avoided by balancing long-term goals with short-term flexibility. The key is to know how to constantly evaluate based on metrics and to reassess execution plans as DCT projects unfold. This avoids being too rigidly aligned with long-term plans and roadmaps and potentially losing sight of how actual progress is being made — or not.

This is the first in a series of podcasts on DCT best practices and is presented in conjunction with a complementary video series.

With us now to explain why DCT makes sense and how to go about it with lower risk, we are joined by Helen Tang, worldwide data center transformation lead for HP Enterprise Business; Mark Grindle, master business consultant at HP; and Bruce Randall, director of product marketing for project and portfolio management at HP. The discussion is moderated by Dana Gardner, principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions.

Listen to the podcast (27:31 minutes).

Here are some excerpts:

Helen Tang: We all know that in this day and age, the business demands innovation, and IT is really important, a racing engine for any business. However, there are a lot of external constraints. The economy is not getting any better. Budgets are very, very tight. They are dealing with IT sprawl, aging infrastructure, and are just very much weighed down by this decade of old assets that they’ve inherited.

So a lot of companies today have been looking to transform, but getting started is not always very easy. So HP decided to launch this HUB project, which is designed to be a resource engine for IT to feature a virtual library of videos, showcasing the best of HP, but more importantly, ideas for how to address these challenges. We as a team, decided to tackle it with a series that’s aligned around some of the ways customers can approach addressing data centers, transforming them, and how to jump start their IT agility.

The five steps that we decided that as keys for the series would be the planning process, which is actually what we’re discussing in this podcast: data center consolidation, as well as standardization; virtualization; data center automation; and last but not least, of course, security.

To make this video series more engaging, we hit on this idea of IT as superheroes, because we’ve all seen people, especially in this day and age, customers with the clean budget, whose IT team is really performing superhuman feats.

We thought we’d produce a series that’s a bit more light-hearted than is usual for HP. So we added a superhero angle to the series. That’s how we hit upon the name of “IT Superhero Secrets: Five Steps to Jump Start Your IT Agility.” Hopefully, this is going to be one of the little things that can contribute to this great process of data center modernizing right now, which is a key trend.

With us today are two of these experts that we’re going to feature in Episode 1. And to find these videos, you go to

Dana Gardner

Dana Gardner is president and principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions, which tracks trends, delivers forecasts and interprets the competitive landscape of enterprise applications and software infrastructure markets for clients. He also produces BriefingsDirect sponsored podcasts. Follow Dana Gardner on Twitter. Disclosure: HP sponsored this podcast.

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