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HP is now two companies. How did it get here?

Written by admin
November 3rd, 2015

HP’s split follows more than a decade of scandals and missteps

If Hollywood wanted a script about the inexorable decline of a corporate icon, it might look to Hewlett-Packard for inspiration. Once one of Silicon Valley’s most respected companies, HP officially split itself in two on Sunday, betting that the smaller parts will be nimbler and more able to reverse four years of declining sales.

HP fell victim to huge shifts in the computer industry that also forced Dell to go private and have knocked IBM on its heels. Pressure from investors compelled it to act. But there are dramatic twists in HP’s story, including scandals, a revolving door for CEOs and one of the most ill-fated mergers in tech history, that make HP more than a victim of changing times.

HP isn’t down and out: It could still confound skeptics and return some of its former glory. But the breakup is an inauspicious moment for a company that was once one of the tech industry’s finest. Here are some of the events that got HP to where it is today.

The Compaq acquisition: Much has been said about HP’s 2001 buyout of its larger PC rival, and the story is back in the news thanks to then-CEO Carly Fiorina’s U.S. presidential campaign. Without getting bogged down in whether Carly made a huge error, it’s safe to say that the deal did not set HP up for the future. Dell’s direct sales model was about to turn the industry on its head, and tablets and smartphones would deal a blow from which PCs have never recovered. HP bet big on a losing horse.

The pretexting scandal: You want a movie script? In 2006, HP admitted it had hired private investigators who spied on its own board members to figure out who was leaking company information to journalists. Criminal charges against HP executives were eventually dropped, but it cost the jobs of board chair Patricia Dunn and several other top staff. It was an embarrassing distraction at a time when HP needed to get down to business.

The EDS purchase: Buying a big IT services company in 2008 looked like a smart way for HP to diversify into more profitable areas, but HP “never unlocked the value from the deal they were looking for,” says IDC analyst Crawford Del Prete. Soon after, the market turned from large outsourcing deals to smaller contracts, and HP was riding the wrong horse again. Its services business continues to struggle.

Mark Hurd scandal: Like Fiorina, Hurd is a divisive figure for HP watchers. What’s undeniable is that his relationship with R-rated movie actress Jodie Fisher cost him his job and kicked off a disastrous string of events for HP. More contentious is whether Hurd’s rampant cost-cutting stunted innovation and set HP up to fail. Del Prete doesn’t see it that way: Hurd slashed expenses, was adored by Wall Street, and probably would have reinvested some of those savings in the long term, he says. Regardless, his ouster kicked off the most damaging period in HP’s history. Hurd was forced to resign, ostensibly over an inaccurate expense report. If only his successor’s missteps had been so trivial.

Leo Apotheker. Oh Leo, what were you thinking? Or maybe that’s a question for HP’s board. The former SAP chief took over from Hurd in September 2010 and managed to do a lot of damage before his ouster 11 months later. “He was really a software sales and marketing executive,” says Del Prete. “He had a hammer and everything became a nail.” Among the highlights of his tenure:

The Autonomy debacle: The New York Times has called it “the worst corporate deal ever,” and it’s hard to argue it didn’t contribute mightily to HP’s woes. HP shelled out $11.1 billion for the U.K. software maker and took a write-down of $8.8 billion the following year, effectively admitting that it had drastically overpaid. HP claims it was hoodwinked by Autonomy’s management, and lawsuits are ongoing, but there’s evidence that HP rushed the deal without knowing what it was getting into. It was another big distraction for HP and gave more ammunition to investors who wanted change at the company.

The PC blunder: At the same time it bought Autonomy, Apotheker announced that HP was considering a sale of its PC division. It wasn’t a terrible idea — IBM did the same and hasn’t looked back — but dithering about it in public for many months caused uncertainty that hurt HP’s business and helped its rivals.Apotheker also killed off HP’s webOS smartphones and tablets, which HP gained when it bought Palm for $1 billion a year earlier. At a time when smartphones were the hottest item in tech, it was a curious decision, to say the least.

Revolving doors: Before a year was up, HP’s board had had enough and Apotheker was replaced by Meg Whitman, the company’s third CEO in 13 months. Her first move: announcing that HP would keep its PC division after all. Whitman seemed an unlikely choice after her 10 years running Ebay, but she’s won praise for making the best of a tough assignment.

Cloud confusion: It’s an open question whether an enterprise IT company needs its own public cloud, but it’s now clear that HP won’t have one. It said a few weeks ago it will shut down its Helion cloud services in January, and focus instead on “hybrid” infrastructure and partnering with other cloud providers. HP’s public cloud was another initiative started by Apotheker, though one wonders if HP couldn’t have done a bit more with it after four years of effort.

None of these events alone landed HP where it is today. The move to cloud computing and collapsing PC market played a role, along with the ongoing decline in proprietary high-end Unix systems. The failure of Intel’s Itanium processor, on which HP bet the farm in systems, was also a major setback.

Despite all the missteps, the two HPs remain formidable entities, each with some $50 billion in revenue. HP Inc., which will sell PCs and printers, is unlikely to produce much growth, but the PC business can generate a good amount of cash, as Michael Dell has proved. And the core infrastructure business of Hewlett-Packard Enterprise has “never been executing better,” according to IDC’s Del Prete, who pointed to its 3Par storage gear and industry-standard servers.

“We don’t see customers being at risk from the split,” he said, meaning IDC isn’t advising HP customers to shop around.

What matters, he says, is whether Hewlett-Packard Enterprise can make the right acquisitions and partnerships over the next 24 months to bring back some growth.


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HP Pro Slate 8 features magic pen

Written by admin
July 14th, 2015

It’s been reported of late that tablet sales have stalled, so some tablet makers have responded by designing premium-priced devices with powerful specs and unique features. To this category, I would add one of HP’s latest efforts.

Trying to spark tablet sales
It’s been reported of late that tablet sales have stalled, so some tablet makers have responded by designing premium-priced devices with powerful specs and unique features. To this category, I would add one of HP’s latest efforts: The Pro Slate 8, which is designed to serve primarily as a digital notepad. What’s interesting is that this tablet can detect vibrations that its digital pen (called the Duet Pen) gives off while you use it on paper, and, based on this information,

Form factor: Feels like a notepad
The Pro Slate 8’s casing is made of aluminum with a flat, smooth back, and its edges are angled slightly inward toward the user. Measuring 5.39-inches by 8.16-inches with a thickness of 0.31 inch, this tablet is just a little thicker than a standard 5-by-8-inch 50-sheet writing pad and weighs only 0.77 pounds. So, when the Pro Slate 8 is set on a table, and you use its digital pen as a stylus to “write” on its display, it lends an impression that your hand is interacting with

Display: Sharp
The 7.9-inch display has a resolution of 2048-by-1536 pixels, which gives it a 4:3 aspect ratio. It uses Corning Glass, which is not matted. Glare was hardly noticeable when I viewed the display indoors under indirect or low lighting, and with its brightness set to its highest level. Outside, glare became more pronounced, but things on the screen were legible so long as I stayed out of direct sunlight. Graphics and words looked sharp. Colors were defined without bleeding into one another, even with the display brightness turned all the way up.

Cameras: Good focus
I tested the tablet’s rear-facing, 8-megapixel camera to see how well it could capture an image of an entire 8.5-by-11-inch sheet of paper with text on it. It did so with the words in sharp focus, when I used the Android default Camera app. Also, it focused in on the text when I held the page within a few inches of its lens. Colors, brightness and contrast in stills and video under typical indoor lighting appeared close enough to real life, and their resolution didn’t exhibit graininess. Outdoors during the daytime, the results were similarly good, though colors could become washed out under bright sunlight, or muddled in shadowed areas.The front-facing, 2-megapixel camera produced pictures and video with apparently identical quality.

Audio: Clear
Two speakers are set into the bezel. When the tablet is held in landscape orientation, the speakers are at the left and right edges — which is where your thumbs and maybe palms will be gripping onto, blocking them. But they definitely sound best in landscape mode, where its power button and volume rocker are situated at the top. The sound is aimed right at the user, so the speakers don’t convey an omnidirectional presence when you tilt the display away from you. As I cranked up the volume, the speakers handled the loudness without distorting. Audio clips that I captured with the tablet’s mic sounded clear with no distortion.

Software: Lots of apps
The Pro Slate 8 is listed as running Android 4.4, KitKat. The tablet that HP loaned me for review updated itself to 5.0.2, Lollipop during the time I had it. Along with the usual suite of Google apps, the tablet includes third-party software Avast Mobile Security, Evernote, Kingsoft Office, and Skype. I tested the tablet mainly with the two apps that were designed to work with the Duet Pen: Corel Painter Mobile and HP Notes.

Performance: Solid
The Pro Slate 8 uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor that’s specced up to 2.3 GHz. From what I could determine, the tablet exhibited few problems handling several of the apps I launched on it. There were some caveats: I got it to play HD videos (720p and 1080p) on the YouTube site, but the audio would fall out of sync on videos set at 1080p resolution.

Digital pen: Double duty
The Pro Slate 8’s digital pen, the Duet Pen, is made of a matted plastic, and it feels like holding a felt-tip ink pen that has a skinny barrel. Not only can you use the Duet Pen to virtually doodle and write on the tablet’s screen, it also can draw actual ink on paper. To switch between these two modes, you pull out its tip, flip it to its other end, and re-insert it. One end is a rubber nib that’s safe to press against the Pro Slate 8’s glass display, and the other is an ink pen tip. There’s a battery inside the Duet Pen that you charge with the same included micro USB charger used for the tablet.

Performance: Duet Pen works for drawing or taking notes
Corel Painter Mobile is a basic drawing tool with a sufficient feature-set for sketching digital art using the Duet Pen or the touchscreen. Corel Painter Mobile recognizes pressure sensitivity: For example, the colors of digital lines you draw become darker the harder you press the pen against the screen, and colors can be blended together as if they are oil paints. The drawing cursor managed to keep up when I moved the Duet Pen in my hand — and also when I did so hastily. HP Notes is designed to serve your digital note-taking needs. It followed my manual writing speed well enough that I could imagine it being suitable for real-world note-taking purposes.

Performance: Using the Duet Pen remotely on paper
The Pro Slate 8 can be set so that you can control an on-screen cursor when the Duet Pen’s tip is away from the tablet’s display. You lay the Pro Slate 8 on a flat tabletop and set a sheet of paper about 2 inches to its left. What you draw or write on the paper shows up on the tablet’s screen. The problem is that it’s difficult to get it to work well. The tablet senses for the Duet Pen’s movements within a certain defined area, but it can be a guessing game trying to keep your movements inside this invisible range. Also, the technology isn’t as accurate as using the Duet Pen as a stylus on the tablet’s display. Using the HP Notes app, most of my writing looked warped and had missing segments. I had to write very slowly so my writing would turn out somewhat legibly.

HP lists that the Pro Slate 8 can run up to 10 hours on a full charge. The official spec sheet says that this is with its wireless capabilities off, and doesn’t mention the Duet Pen. So I left this tablet’s Wi-Fi on and it connected to the Internet, kept its display brightness at its middle setting most of the time, and used the Duet Pen as much as I could — doodling, scribbling notes, and navigating through its Android UI. The result under this maxed-out scenario: Almost 7 hours.

The Pro Slate 8 has a nice form factor, good cameras, and decent performance. It functions acceptably well for digital note-taking when you use its digital pen as a stylus, but its remote tracking technology of this pen feels more like an experimental feature than a premium one.

The specs
OS: Android 4.4, KitKat; 5.0.2, Lollipop (available as download update)
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, 2.3GHz
RAM: 2 GB Onboard storage: 16GB or 32GB eMMC
Display: 7.9”, 2048 x 1536 pixels
Audio: headphone/microphone combo jack, microphones (two), speakers (two)
Camera: 2 megapixels, front; 8 megapixels, rear Networking: Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n/ac)
Ports: Micro USB 2.0 Expansion slots: microSD, nano SIM, ZIF connector with pogo pins Battery: Up to 10 hours (listed); almost 7 hours (as tested for this review)
Dimensions (width, length, thickness): 5.39” x 8.16” x 0.31”
Weight: 0.77 pounss
Price: $449 (16GB eMMC version)

In this video demonstration, Howard Wen shows the not-entirely-accurate ability of the HP Pro Slate 8 to depict handwriting and drawing on a pad of paper.

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The just-announced plan to keep OpenVMS going gets mostly positive reaction

Hewlett-Packard’s decision to license OpenVMS source code to a new engineering firm is getting mostly positive reaction.

One year ago, HP put OpenVMS on an end-of-life path by announcing that it would not support the operating system on the latest Itanium hardware. But on Thursday, HP announced that it had licensed the OpenVMS source code to VMS Software Inc. (VSI), which will port the software to new hardware, release new versions of it and even develop an x86 port.

“HP and VSI have provided what appears to be a path forward for existing VMS sites,” said Stephen Hoffman, who was on the OpenVMS engineering team at Digital Equipment Corp., where the system was developed, and then at Compaq, which acquired Digital and was later acquired by HP. Hoffman is now an independent consultant at HoffmanLabs.

Overseas, OpenVMS user group HP-Interex France reacted positively to the news. HP-Interex France had recently published an open letter to HP CEO Meg Whitman, urging her to reconsider the company’s earlier decision on OpenVMS.

Gerard Calliet, a consultant who wrote the letter on behalf of the French user group, said Thursday’s announcement “is the beginning of a very interesting story.”

Calliet said that for historical and cultural reasons “HP had placed OpenVMS in a sort of sleeping state.” As a result, some user groups like his were “a little bit asleep also” until last year’s HP move. Open VMS experts were even thinking about retiring, he said.

But the 2013 decision woke people up, and with the changes unveiled this week, the ecosystem that supports OpenVMS is “is living now a sort of revival,” Calliet added.

VSI is a new company formed by investors at Nemonix Engineering, a support and maintenance firm of OpenVMS systems.

VSI plans to deliver new software, beginning early next year with a port to Integrity i4 systems running the eight-core Poulson chip. Previously, HP said it would not validate OpenVMS beyond the Integrity i2 servers running the Tukwila quad-core processor.

“There is obviously a need to build a track record here,” Hoffman said of the new company, noting that VMS customers “are classically conservative” and will want to see and touch the software that VSI delivers before they run it in their production environments. “That would not be particularly different from a new HP release,” he added.

Moving an OpenVMS application to another platform is costly and time-consuming, according to Hoffman. VSI “has the potential to throw customers a lifeline in that regard, and the customers are definitely interested in it,” he said.

The change in the road map for OpenVMS may already be having an impact. On the comp.os.vms Google Groups discussion forum, one person wrote, “two OpenVMS exit projects here at work (a conversion to Linux and another to SAP) have been put on hold indefinitely. :)”

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HP HP0-728 Q & A / Study Guide

Written by admin
December 3rd, 2011

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What is a Continuous Access EVA copy set?

A. a set of DR groups selected for the purpose of managing the groups
B. a group ofVdisks that transition to the same state simultaneously
C. a bound set of twoVdisks used for long distance replication
D. a set of two or more cluster nodes created as part of a stretch cluster

Answer: C

How should Vdisks for Continuous Access be preferred?

A. split theVdisk in the DR group between the controllers for load balancing
B. allVdisks in the DR group to the same controller
C. split theVdisk in the EVA between the controllers for load balancing
D. allVdisks in the same disk group to the same controller

Answer: B

The log disk collects host writes for _____.

A. managed sets
B. sourceVdisks
C. entire copy set
D. destinationVdisks

Answer: D

Which two can be failed over during a Continuous Access EVA planned or unplanned event?
(Choose two.)

A. a single HSV controller
B. copy set
C. managed set
D. DR group

Answer: C,D

Which two inputs does the Continuous Access EVA Replication Performance Estimator require?
(Choose two.)

A. one-wayintersite latency
B. throughput per second
C. two-wayintersite latency
D. size of a read data packet
E. size of the write data packet
F. number of IO’s per second

Answer: A,E

A customer has a high availability Continuous Access EVA environment. All DR groups are set to
failsafe mode enabled. The source site array has a hardware failure and all DR groups are failed
over to the destination site. The hardware failure is then fixed.
Which two commands need to be set to restore normal operations at the source site? (Choose

A. failback
B. suspend
C. failsafe mode enable
D. resume
E. failover

Answer: C,E

Where is the Business Copy (BC) server component installed in the diagram?

A. Storage Management Appliance (Node 1)
B. storage array
C. host (Node 2)
D. desktop with web browser

Answer: A

In Continuous Access EVA, which statement is true?

A. Synchronous mode allows for more data loss than asynchronous mode.
B. A copy set’s mode is set to synchronous/asynchronous mode.
C. All copy sets within a DR group are either synchronous or asynchronous.
D. Asynchronous mode means an I/O acknowledgement is sent to the host after data is written to
the sourceVdisk and destination Vdisk.

Answer: C

You are creating a DR group for a database.
Which disk group is used for the write history log for the database DR group?

A. 3 TB database disk group with 1 TB of free space
B. an empty disk group with 2 TB of space
C. a new disk group will get created for the log disk
D. 5 TB windows disk group with 2 TB of occupied space

Answer: D

Which icon denotes a failed-over DR group?

Answer: B


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