Compaq Scales up Computing on Demand Program

Compaq Computer Corporation announced three newofferings under its Computing on Demand strategy this week. The additionsinclude a multi-vendor managed storage solution, pay-per-use for ProLiantserver capacity, and a package deal on thin-client devices.

Introduced in July 2001, Computing on Demand givesenterprises the ability to scale computing power and availability up or downbased on need. In doing so, the program is an effort by Compaq to capitalize onthe growing cost consciousness of enterprise IT managers. With diminishing ITbudgets, leading IT vendors are struggling to find new channels into theenterprise. Computing on Demand is one way Compaq is trying to maintain theflow of its storage, server and access devices and IT services among theenterprise market.

Also, Computing on Demand addresses the needs oforganizations, like service providers, operating in environments prone to rapidchanges in capacity. With the ability to turn computing power up or down almostinstantaneously, Compaq is promising a solution that can scale to meet peakrequirements, while, at the same time, maximize return on investment.

Compaq’s Computing on Demand program currently toucheson five different categories: Access on Demand; Capacity on Demand; Applicationson Demand; Managed Services; and Financial Services. Of the new offeringsCompaq announced this week, the managed storage solution falls under theManaged Services designation. The pay-per-use for ProLiant servers is part ofthe Capacity on Demand group. And the thin-client package supplements the PCand mobile solutions Compaq is currently offering under Access on Demand.

Ray Wilkes, director of the Computing on Demand programfor Compaq, says the additions Compaq has made to its managed storage offeringallow it to support EMC and Hitachi systems, as well as those offered byCompaq. Previously, Compaq only managed its own storage systems, but Wilkessays the company is now committed to providing managed storage solutions for competitivesystems too, and will be adding support for more vendors in the near future.

Meanwhile, the pay-per-use pricing option for Compaq’sProLiant server line goes a step further than the pay-as-you-go financingoption Compaq was originally offering under Computing on Demand, says Wilkes.He says, rather than basing payment on entire CPUs, Compaq will now meter CPUusage and base its charges on a customer’s average level of use. So, ratherthan paying for an entire CPU, customers will now be charged for the preciseamount of a CPU they use. Wilkes likens the model to a phone bill; there is abase charge, but beyond that, charges are based on use.

The thin-client package is the latest enhancement to Compaq’sAccess on Demand offering. It is designed specifically for customer service ortransaction-intensive user populations like those in the financial servicessector or in a call-center environment. It provides per seat/per month pricing forbundles of thin-client machines. The Thin Client Package complements the PC andmobile computing solutions already available as part of Access on Demand.

“There’s a lot of intangible saving that customersrealize as a result of [on-demand computing and services], like risk mitigationand flexibility,” says Wilkes. – Matt Migliore