Compaq Scales up Computing on Demand Program

Three new offerings

Compaq Computer Corporation announced three new offerings under its Computing on Demand strategy this week. The additions include a multi-vendor managed storage solution, pay-per-use for ProLiant server capacity, and a package deal on thin-client devices.

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

Also, Computing on Demand addresses the needs of organizations, like service providers, operating in environments prone to rapid changes in capacity. With the ability to turn computing power up or down almost instantaneously, Compaq is promising a solution that can scale to meet peak requirements, while, at the same time, maximize return on investment.

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

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

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

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

“There’s a lot of intangible saving that customers realize as a result of [on-demand computing and services], like risk mitigation and flexibility,” says Wilkes.

About the Author

Matt Migliore is regular contributor to He focuses particularly on Microsoft .NET and other Web services technologies. Matt was the editor of several technology-related Web publications and electronic newsletters, including Web Services Report, ASP insights and MIDRANGE Systems.