We have now added Critical Advantage to our Mission Critical Services portfolio. This is an environmental level of assistance, designed for our customers who have incorporated a significant amount of x86/Virtualized infrastructure in to their business critical infrastructure.
Many of our mid-market and enterprise customers are moving mission critical applications to x86/virtualized environments. There are many compelling reasons to make this transition, including anticipated cost savings, as well as the ability to be more responsive to business change through quicker deployments. However, based on input from our current x86/virtualized customers, we know that there are many challenges which must be overcome to realize these advantages. Some of the most common issues that our customer have shared are: Firmware-driver-OS patches are incompatible and out-of-date Management tools are not set up or fully exploited How to migrate Mission Critical applications Designing/operating backup & recovery for virtual environments Complex incident management & problem management (these environments are highly multi vendor & interdependent) Software licenses are out of control with virtual machine sprawl Inefficient cooling, high power costs & low density Security exposures in virtualized environmentsHP Critical Advantage is specifically designed to provide our customers with the comprehensive, proactive support needed to overcome these challenges and to achieve the cost savings, and availability /performance goals that they have set-out. Critical Advantage addresses the complexity and interdependencies that are inherent with virtualized environments and often bladed IT infrastructure. Critical Advantage can ultimately help you realize the full advantages of your converged infrastructure. For example, let’s discuss just one important aspect of these environments – Firmware. Firmware Revision analysis is one of the deliverables of Critical Advantage.Firmware is one of the key components of a healthy computing system at the physical and data link layers.Proper configuration is required to ensure hardware connected devices and operating system interoperability.Best Practice: On servers that have options, HP recommends checking for firmware upgrades for each installed option whenever an update to the System ROM or to another option is performed. This ensures that the system, as a whole, is running the latest updates for each component.Firmware updates are created for, but are not limited to, the following reasons: Provide critical problem fixes that ensure system stability, such as upgrades that may prevent server unresponsiveness and other issues that could put the system at risk. To correct product issues, such as ROM or processor functionality.To ensure proper interaction between all hardware connected elements and the operating system.To improve system performance or make the system more serviceable. Best Practice: Many product issues that result in hardware replacement are preventable or correctable with a firmware update. Based on the product return rates, approximately 30 to 35percent of all returned hardware products were functioning properly and only needed a firmware update. Although not all products fall into this category, server downtime and time spent removing, returning, and ultimately replacing hardware may have been avoided if an attempt had been made to flash the firmware during the troubleshooting process.Why is firmware so important for BladeSystems?BladeSystems are designed to be easy to manage and flexible. These value elements are lost if firmware mismatches exist and systems cannot be expanded or allocated quicklyIn BladeSystems there are more complex system relationships than in earlier technologies. Multiple elements in the BladeSystem environment impact each other (IO, BIOS, OA, Blades, VC, Enclosure, Storage, SAN, Network).Today firmware is more complex than in earlier hardware. It is more detailed and varied components of the hardware are addressed (Monitoring, power, temperature to name a few).As BladeSystems are being used for more business critical applications, these environments require fewer incidents and greater availability than ever before. According to HP internal call analysis shows a majority of non-hardware failures are due to firmware problems.Firmware must be updated in the right order.All the Versions used must be compatible with each other.Most of the effort spent in upgrading Firmware is spent on researching version levels and if they are compatible with each other.With Critical Advantage, Firmware Revision Analysis is included as a core deliverable, one of the fundamental deliverable in place to assure the performance and availability of your x86/virtualized environment. And this is only ONE of the areas Critical Advantage addresses….
Based on our research, we believe that Critical Advantage is the first service offering, from a major technology vendor that provides an integrated support solution designed specifically to address the special needs of Mission Critical applications running in virtualized X86 environments. The heart of Critical Advantage is an Assigned Account Support Team. This team of experts knows and understands the special needs of your environment. The team is comprised of: An Assigned (Local) Account Support Manager Remote Support Account Advocate, an assigned resource, part of HP’s Global Mission Critical Solution Center (Local, for 6hr Call To Repair support) An assigned Mission Critical Hardware Specialist Defined Proactive Deliverables: These arespecially developed proactive activities designed to support the needs of MC applications running in x86/virtualized environments. Activities include: Virtual and Physical Technology Review, Firmware and Software Revision Analysis, and Remote Support Technology installed and configured to your environment.Reactive Support:HP’s Best Remote Support, Global Mission Critical Support Center, Level 2 & 3Selectable Onsite Hardware Service Levels, pay only for what you need (6 hr. CTR, 24X7 4 hr. response, or 13X5 4 hr. response). Note: If SW is purchased from HP, Critical Advantage then includes 24x7 software reactive supportFlexible Proactive Services:Proactive deliverables chosen for your environment - map services and skills specifically to your business needs Buy only what you need, when you need it – cost effective and convenientLeverage the HP bench of expertise and industry leading best practices for the issues specific to your environmentCritical Advantage delivers End to End Infrastructure Support including: HP x86 servers (bladed & non bladed), HP storage, HP network, Microsoft, Red Hat & Suse Linux, VMware, HP Mgt SW (SIM, Insight Control, Insight Dynamics, VCEM)Let’s discuss these a bit further.
You are assigned a Critical Advantage account team. This team will be familiar with your environment and business requirements and will work with you collaboratively as an extension of the your IT team. The assigned Account Support Manager (ASM), Remote Support Account Advisor (RSAA), and Mission Critical Hardware Specialist (MCHS) provide best practices, knowledge transfer and will act as advocates and technical advisors to help you meet you business/IT objectives. The Account Support Manager is your single point of accountability for all proactive support issues and acts as the single go-to resource for orchestrating all support deliverables. The account support plan and ASM are the foundation for implementing the proactive actions that prevent incidents and outages from impacting your business. The ASM and the proactive deliverables are intended to help you improve your efficiency and free-up your IT staff resources.Your Remote Support Account Advocate (RSAA) is a member of the HP Global Mission Critical Solution Center, and your lead/single point of accountability for reactive support issues. If an incident occurs your RSAA oversees the resolution and escalation management (if needed). In addition he/she helps to develop personalized reactive deliverables (and some proactive deliverables, in collaboration with your ASM); and provides the activity and trending information necessary to better prevent and manage incidents.Lastly, if you choose to 6 hour Call to Repair reactive support, you will also be assigned a Mission Critical Hardware specialist, to expedite that reactive support.This team is the ‘heart’ of your Critical Advantage support – many of our customers share that their account team is a key value to them, an extension of their staff. Your assigned team shares with you the knowledge and best practices of their ‘mission critical mindset’.
HP Critical Advantage helps you realize cost savings while still meeting your availability goals by allowing you to select the reactive support level appropriate to your goals, and to focus on the cost savings specific to your virtualized environment.You choose from a variety of hardware support options including (6 Hour CTR, 24X7 4 hr. onsite response, or 13X5 4 hour onsite response). You can mix and match the support levels based on their your requirements. For example, perhaps the SAN is the most critical component because the data is critical and must be available 24X7, so 6hr CTR is the best choice. But, if a blade goes down it will not significantly impact performance so you might choose 24X7 support. SW purchased from HP comes with 24x7 reactive support.Access to the GMCSC reduces the duration and frequency of outages, with active case monitoring by your Remote Support Account Advocate (RSAA). As the Reactive Single Point of Contact (SPOC), your RSAA leverages the GMSCS multivendor capabilities and escalated response management for critical and complex incident resolution. Remote monitoring of your environment through HP Insight Remote Support improves incident diagnosis and reduces incident resolution time.And lastly, post incident analysis allows your HP team to recommend actions designed to prevent future incidents, reduce the risks associated with downtime and continue to improve the level of service delivered by your environment.
For Critical Advantage customers, HP requires that you install Insight Remote Support. (And in certain environments, may recommend Insight Remote Support Advanced). Support automation is key to improving availability and reducing support costs. HP Insight Remote Support (standard and advanced editions) is a Windows plug in which builds on HP Systems Insight Manager. This secured technology has been proven to comply with most company's security policies (i.e. Communication use encrypted outbound initiated Internet connection (HTTPS/443). Our experience with customers shows that with Remote Support the average incident time is reduced by 20%, with near 100% accuracy of diagnosis. (Data based on HP-internal data analysis from EMEA in August 2006 on equipment monitored by Remote Support compared to equipment without Remote Support monitoring.)This reduces the operational costs associated with ‘incident management’ and increases the amount of time available on proactive activities, or other IT priorities.
HP Critical Advantage helps you reduce risk and achieve performance goals by providing a comprehensive set of proactive deliverables designed to reduce planned and unplanned downtime. Your Assigned Account team provides Account Management, including an Annual Support Plan and reviews, a Virtual and Physical Technology Review, and ongoing performance and trend/event reporting. Account Management covers areas such as System Healthchecks, firmware driver and OS patch management, remote monitoring (and resolution with IRSA), Availability Optimization & operational best practices, performance tuning, collaboration during project planning to mitigate risk, and proactive intervention based on known and current issues.Through the CA Virtual and Physical Review, your CA account team will deliver an end-to-end analysis to recommend a consistent platform to run your business critical IT applications. Proper planning and processes can help ensure success. Your CA team has the experience and best practices to assess and guide your successful deployment of MC applications in x86 virtualized environments.Firmware & Software Revision Analysis is one of the most common areas creating issues and where we see customers need support. CA is designed to deliver effective firmware and version management across the the infrastructure (Server, Software, Storage and Network), including the best practices we discussed earlier.
When you purchase Critical Advantage you receive Flexible Credits, to be used for any number of proactive services. This allows you to choose how best to meet your specific skills and business requirements. Additional credits can easily be purchased (in 10 credit increments) as needed.Flexible Credit accumulate with the amount of Critical Advantage purchased. In other words, it scales with the size of the product investment (and therefore CA investment). You are able to select proactive deliverablesthat are appropriate for your specific situation. Some examples are shown, and include: Performance & Capacity Planning for Virtualized Environments Virtualization Readiness Workshop for Critical Applications Availability Analysis for Virtual EnvironmentsThis flexible approach to proactive deliverables allows you to specifically focus on the business and IT needs of your particular environment.In addition to what I’ve listed here, ANY Proactive Select deliverable may also be chosen, or you may use credits for custom activities. This allows you to truly tailor the proactive deliverables to your environment.
Mission Critical Services<br />HP Confidential<br />Targeted assistance<br />Comprehensive support<br />Holistic support<br />Targeted assistance:Proactive Select,including Priority Connect enhanced reactive incident support<br />Environment level assistance: Critical Advantage, Critical Service & Proactive 24<br />(version purchased based on technology covered)<br />Holistic support designed to meet your specific business critical IT requirements: Mission Critical Partnership<br />Efficiency, performance, improved business ROI <br />
Taking full advantage of server management tools </li></ul>5<br />How do you realize the full potential?<br />
HP Critical Advantage<br />Optimize your ROIT and realize the full advantage of the technology running critical applications in virtualized industry standard environments<br /><ul><li>Comprehensive infrastructure support for business critical IT
Flexible reactive support levels & proactive deliverables
Personalized support through assigned account team
Improve performance and Availability</li></ul>Comprehensive support solution designed to help you to reduce costs, improve performance and availability, and master complexity<br />
HP Critical Advantage<br />ROIT<br />COST<br />End to End Infrastructure Support<br />
Critical Advantage, Assigned Team<br />Single point of accountability…when every minute counts<br />Account Support Manager<br /><ul><li>Single point of accountability
Post incident analysis leadsto future incident prevention</li></ul>Choose the level of reactive support you need<br /><ul><li>Match the criticality of the components in your environment, choose from :
Reduces operational costs</li></ul>Note: for HP Critical Advantage, Insight Remote Support is required as a minimum. Insight Remote Support Advanced is recommended for certain environments.<br />
Core proactive services<br />Foundation for maximum performance and availability<br />Network<br />Server<br />OS &Hypervisor<br />Storage & SAN<br />
Flexible proactive services<br />Focused services for MC X86/Virtualized Environments<br />Network<br />Server<br />OS &Hypervisor<br />Storage & SAN<br />*Service credits are redeemed for Flexible Proactive Services; all Proactive Select services also available as Flexible Proactives, these are key examples<br />
Reactive components for each product in the supported environment includes: <br /><ul><li>MC Response Center with dedicated phone number
Virtual and Physical Technology Review</li></li></ul><li>Realize the benefits of Critical Advantage<br />Rapid <br />ROIT<br />Increase innovation<br /><ul><li>Shift resources from firefighting to business focused projects
Take full advantage of technology advances and best practice sharing </li></ul>Drive<br />costs<br />down<br />Improve availability and performance<br /><ul><li>Reduced unplanned downtime through proactive services and rapid incident support
Augment your staff with HP expertise in new technologies, service management, performance optimization</li></ul>Reduce complexity<br /><ul><li>Your single points of accountability (RSAA, ASM)
Advice and recommendations on HP tools and technologies</li></ul>Increase business relevance<br /><ul><li>Rapid ramp up, shorter time to production
Scalable price points, ability to target service levels</li></li></ul><li>What HP Mission Critical Services customers say<br />
Dallas Cowboys<br />“Our on-site HP consultants were our linemen, our first line of defense. They knew that if they did their part right, everybody behind them would have the opportunity to be successful.” <br />-- Pete Walsh, Head of Technology, Dallas Cowboys<br />IT improvements<br />Business Outcomes<br />
“HP expertise and technology have helped our IT staff switch its focus from 30% on innovation and 70% on operations to 80% on innovation and 20% on operations. That helped make this new stadium and its increased revenue possible.”<br />Bill Haggard director of enterprise infrastructureDallas Cowboys <br />
“We don’t have to wait on a phone to contact an engineer if we have a drive failure. They contact us, check the event log to make sure everything is as it says it is in HP Systems Insight Manager and fire off a drive to us. The technician comes and installs it, and we move right along. It works beautifully.<br />Darren Shears, Technical Architect, Corporate Information Management Services<br />Government of New Brunswick<br />
What IDC Says<br />Companies lose millions annually in lost productivity and business interruption due to downtime associated with mission critical systems.<br />HP Mission Critical Services is able to reduce the costs of delivering Business Critical IT by an average of 17%.<br />HP Mission Critical Services is able to reduce downtime by 70-75% typically saving companies $23,000 per 100 users annually. <br />“The Business Value of HP Mission Critical Services”<br />Randy Perry, Vice President Business Value Strategy, IDC Corporation, June 2010<br />