HP opens attack on Cisco certifications

HP this week unveiled a training and certification program for IT personnel converging enterprise infrastructure and rearchitecting data centers.

HP this week unveiled a training and certification program for IT personnel converging enterprise infrastructure and rearchitecting data centers.

At the Interop New York 2010 conference, HP introduced HP ExpertONE, which is designed to train IT personnel in consolidating, operating and maintaining network, storage, server and software infrastructure to HP's Converged Infrastructure guidelines. Engineers are trained in HP Converged Infrastructure techniques that "transform their IT environment into an open, service-oriented data center with reduced complexity and increased business agility," the company claims.

Observers note that HP is stepping up its data center certification programs in the face of an onslaught from Cisco's Unified Computing System. The Cisco platform, which integrates switching, servers, virtualization and storage access, is intended to rearchitect legacy data centers -- including those with HP blade server systems -- and has already landed 1,700 customers since it started shipping in June 2009.

Many of those 1,700 accounts are due to Cisco's aggressive recruitment of UCS trainees. Cisco introduction of UCS helped separate longtime partners Cisco and HP.

HP ExpertONE also includes a "Fast Track" program that credits trainees for existing certifications and experience, including those with Cisco CCIE and CCNA certifications. The courses are delivered from over 150 worldwide learning centers and academic institutions, and can be taken online, in person or on site, HP says.

ExpertONE also offers a "Master ASE" (M/ASE)-Converged Infrastructure Architect training and certification program that teaches that business process and return on investment implications of the new technology infrastructure.

In another apparent swipe at Cisco, HP also rolled out network planning and migration services designed to enable customers to "migrate from a single-vendor paradigm" to a multivendor network that is "twice as fast with up to 65 per cent lower total cost of ownership." HP acquired 3Com earlier this year to solidify its position as the No. 2 networking vendor behind Cisco, and to fill out its core/data center switching, and enterprise routing and security lineup.

These networking certifications can also be "fast-tracked" based on the trainee’s existing credentials, which reduces training time by up to 77 per cent, HP claims.

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Tags managementNetworkingData Centerhardware systemsinfrastructure managementenginConfiguration / maintenanceInterop New York 2010

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Jim Duffy

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