HP Improves Customers’ Data Center Efficiencies to Support Future Growth

NPD Group, PCL Constructors and VOO replaced legacy data center equipment with HP Networking solutions

LAS VEGAS — HP today is highlighting the outcomes achieved by three data-driven organizations that chose HP Networking data center solutions to make better IT decisions, improve operational efficiencies and enhance business continuity, while laying the foundation for future growth.

According to Gartner, the benefits to organizations for adding big data to their information management and analytics infrastructure will force a more rapid cycle of replacing existing solutions.(1) Additionally, the recent economic downturn has increased the pressure on organizations to focus on better decision making.(2)

Global market research firm The NPD Group, Inc.; civil, commercial and industrial contractor PCL Constructors, Inc.; and cable internet company VOO all faced challenges accessing big data and performing business intelligence, which hindered innovation and stalled future growth potential. For these organizations, deriving actionable business value from data through advanced analytics was a slow process, due to bandwidth limitations of aged networks.

Data center transformation increases scalability

Based in Port Washington, N.Y., NPD Group provides global information and advisory services to help clients make better business decisions, track markets, understand their end consumers and drive profitable growth. Big data is the foundation of NPD Group’s research, which is focused on retail tracking and consumer sentiment. Reliable access to timely data through advanced analytics is essential for NPD Group to remain competitive.

As client demand for real-time, complex analysis increased, NPD Group recognized the need for greater networking bandwidth to support the massive influx of information that is consistently aggregated for clients. To solve these challenges, NPD Group replaced its entire data center network infrastructure with next-generation solutions from HP, taking only six months from design to full implementation.

“Big data is the backbone of our business, however, it wasn’t until the analytics demands of our clients rose that we realized we needed a system with more performance and better scalability,” said Avi Halutz, chief information officer, NPD Group. “The HP FlexNetwork architecture solutions, and excellent service fulfillment, have enabled us to process multiple terabytes of information on a daily basis, while the core switches are easier to configure and link to our existing infrastructure than those of competitors.”

NPD Group  deployed the HP 12508 Switch Series, HP 5900 Switch Series and HP 5120 Switch Series for their capability to scale seamlessly, enabling increased network bandwidth across NPD’s data center. NPD also chose the HP 6600 Router Series to boost network service delivery, while simplifying network management with HP Intelligent Management Center (IMC), a single-pane-of-glass application.  

NPD Group also deployed HP StoreOnce D2D for disk-based data protection, and selected HP Foundation Care from HP Technology Services for implementation and reactive support of the enterprise network.

To improve security for its new data center, NPD Group added the HP TippingPoint NX 5200 Next Generation Intrusion Prevention System (NGIPS) and HP TippingPoint Security Management System (SMS). These solutions enable network security operations teams to locate and stop threats quickly and accurately, without slowing network traffic.

Building a network infrastructure supports growth

PCL Constructors of Alberta, Canada, understood the necessity to keep pace with its growing organization and recognized the demand for a faster network to migrate a half petabyte of business-critical information from one location to another. To solve this challenge, PCL replaced its slow, outdated data center network with HP technology to build an infrastructure that supports new applications and services for its users. 

PCL is making increased demands on its IT Infrastructure—from custom applications such as business intelligence components to developing building information modeling (BIM) concepts by creating a virtual construction of a facility. PCL is meeting those demands with technology from HP that enables it to move large amounts of data around its network quickly and effectively. 

“Our legacy infrastructure wasn’t able to keep up with the ongoing demands of our 90-person IT staff, nor could they properly leverage the platform for data and applications,” said Colin Roberts, manager, Infrastructure Services, PCL Constructors Inc. “We looked at the market leaders for networking and chose to go with HP networking solutions as it was the best fit for our requirements. With this new platform, our network stability and scalability is unmatched. We value the strong business and technology partnership we have with HP and look forward to new technology innovations HP will bring us in the future.” 

HP partner Compugen Inc., headquartered in Ontario, Canada, helped PCL implement a 10GbE environment with HP 12518 Switch Series and integrated HP Intelligent Resilient Framework (IRF) virtualization technology,  which delivered high performance and availability, as well as flexible deployment options for new services. PCL also deployed the HP 5500 Switch Series for robust switching capabilities at the access layer of its campus network, which accommodates the most demanding applications and provides resilient and secure connectivity.

PCL selected HP Technology Services’ consulting and support services to provide the technical expertise and resources needed to streamline its networking infrastructure and realize the business value of its technology investments.

Data center consolidation supports business continuity  

Based in Belgium, VOO struggled with merging business applications across its 13 segmented and diverse data centers, creating management complexity for the systems vital to the company’s business operations.        

To improve efficiency, save space and reduce costs, VOO consolidated its 13 data centers into two buildings. As part of the consolidation, the company adopted a dual-vendor networking strategy, replacing the data center layer of its network infrastructure with HP FlexFabric switches. Based on open industry standards, HP switches interoperate seamlessly with existing legacy switches to deliver the highest levels of IT availability while reducing total cost of ownership. 

Additionally, the data centers were equipped with HP IRF technology to ensure maximum IT availability, business continuity and disaster recovery.

“To deliver new high-speed services, we needed an available network capable of supporting business-critical applications like video on demand, voice over IP and SAP,” said Alexandre Goffard, head, Information Security and IT Network, VOO. “The switches from HP have radically simplified our network with a flat topology, making it easier to manage and, in turn, lowering our IT costs.”

VOO also deployed HP 12508 Switch Series multiservice routing switches for rapid failover, full disaster recovery and 10GbE capability to manage future growth. VOO implemented the energy-efficient HP 5500 Switch Series with the latest traffic prioritization technology to ensure secure, resilient connectivity, and the HP 5900 Switch Series delivered the bandwidth necessary for high-speed communications.

HP at Interop Las Vegas 2013

HP will demonstrate the new data center products as part of its HP FlexNetwork architecture at Interop Las Vegas, held May 6-10 at Mandalay Bay, in booth 1527. Additionally, HP Networking is powering the InteropNet Network Operations Center (NOC), a multivendor, high-speed network that serves the exhibitors, conference rooms and attendees at the event.

On Tuesday, May 7, HP Networking will host a customer media roundtable with NPD Group, PCL Constructors and Ballarat Grammar.

Bethany Mayer, senior vice president and general manager, Networking, HP, and Conrad Menezes, vice president, Network and Information Security, Sears Holdings Corporation, will deliver a joint keynote at 9:50 a.m. PT, on Thursday, May 9, at Mandalay Bay Ballroom H. The live webcast will be available at interop.com/live.  

Additional information about HP Networking solutions is available at www.hp.com/networking.

HP’s premier America’s client event, HP Discover, takes place June 11-13 in Las Vegas.

(1) Gartner, “Big Data Drives Rapid Changes in Infrastructure and $232 Billion in IT Spending Through 2016,” ID: G00245237, Oct. 12, 2012.

(2) Gartner, “Hype Cycle for Business Intelligence, 2012,” ID: G00235187, Aug. 13, 2013.

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