I believe technology can be exploited to greater levels than we have allowed. We are constrained by 20th century business models and ideas. Collectively, we need to move past technology for the sake of technology and truly focus on moving markets beyond the status quo!

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Is HP Getting Serious About Lifecycle Virtualization?

HP Announces Intent to Acquire Network Virtualization Business and Technology of Shunra 

Is HP Getting Serious About Lifecycle Virtualization?

In a quiet blog post on the evening of March 4, 2014, HP announced that it had signed a definitive agreement to acquire the network virtualization business and technology of Shunra, a current HP partner.

The HP blog post continues to outline the benefits the Shunra technology will bring to its mobile software testing business. The blog post ends with an almost cryptic mention of expanding the use of the Shunra technology to other HP products and services such as service virtualization.

Service virtualization, indeed, is where the Shunra technology will mesh well with HP offferings. Service virtualization is defined by voke as: Enabling development and test teams to simulate and model their dependencies of unavailable or limited services. Removes constraints and wait times frequently experienced by development and test teams to access components, architectures, databases, mainframes, etc. Source voke Market SnapshotTM Report: Service Virtualization – December 2012
While service virtualization continues to gain traction in the market, the network virtualization component has always been more difficult to adopt within the enterprise. The reason for the vagueness of what “network virtualization” provides is that enterprise infrastructure teams are not the same as enterprise applications teams. In short, it comes down to yet another set of silos in the enterprise. 
Service virtualization is one of those unique technologies that delivers so much value to so many parts of the organization that infrastructure teams and applications teams both benefit from it. Shunra quickly saw the synergy and spent the past 18 months forming partnerships with all of the service virtualization providers to deliver on the very necessary component of network virtualization. All of the service virtualization vendors must now look for ways to offer this complementary component of network virtualization. 
In January, 2012, voke published a Category Snapshot on “Infrastructure Test Optimization” (see voke Category SnapshotTM Report: Infrastructure Test Optimization – January 2012). This piece of published research called out the need for infrastructures to meet a defined quality of service and quality of experience required to deliver strategic business objectives. In this research, infrastructure was defined as a structured platform of networked elements required to deliver services.

This early report on Infrastructure Test Optimization identified mobile applications and cloud platforms as the factors creating the need for this type of technology. In the report, we also identified five key practice areas of Infrastructure Test Optimization. The five key practice areas are:

Emulation and analysis Reproducing real world networks and/or actively simulating real users on the network to ensure infrastructures meet designed requirements

Automation Using tools to efficiently develop and execute tests, provide in-depth reporting, compare actual vs. predicted test outcomes, optimize regression testing, etc.

Quality management Using tools to link business requirements to test cases, allow for effective collaboration, enable test planning, manage previous specified tests, track defects, manage assets such as requirements, defects, resources, metrics, etc.

Development testing - A set of processes and technologies designed to help development organizations find and fix software problems early in the development cycle, serving as a pre-cursor to QA testing

Lifecycle virtualization - The use of technologies such as virtual lab management, service virtualization, defect virtualization, virtualized cloud platforms, and device virtualization, to enhance the application or product lifecycle by reducing defects, lowering costs, speeding time-to-market, and increasing customer satisfaction

The combination of HP functional testing, performance testing and service virtualization products along with the Shunra network virtualization technology will provide a solution for “infrastructure test optimization”. HP may believe the Shunra technology acquisition is about mobile, but the real value is for performance and service virtualization.
Is HP finally getting back to its roots and delivering something its core customer base of software testing will flock to? The Shunra technology acquisition and how it is handled will certainly be an indicator of whether or not HP has the mettle to innovate and break down silos.

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