Showing posts with label Christian Verstraete. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christian Verstraete. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Converged Cloud News From HP Discover: What It Means

Transcript of a BriefingsDirect podcast on HP's cloud initiatives and strategy announced at HP Discover 2013 in Las Vegas.

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes. Download the transcript. Sponsor: HP.

Dana Gardner: Hello, and welcome to the next edition of the HP Discover Performance Podcast Series. I'm Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, your moderator for this ongoing discussion of IT innovation and how it’s making an impact on people’s lives.

Once again, we're focusing on how IT leaders are improving their services' performance to deliver better experiences and payoffs for businesses and end users alike, and this time we're coming to you directly from the HP Discover 2013 Conference in Las Vegas. [Disclosure: HP is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]

We are here the week of June 10 and we are now joined by our co-host, Chief Evangelist at HP Software, Paul Muller. Welcome, Paul.

Paul Muller: Dana, it's good to be speaking to you again.

Gardner: Well, there's no hotter topic and nothing more top of mind these days than cloud computing. Not surprisingly, HP has made that a major focus here at Discover. There's an awful lot of news going on, and we are going to try to put some context around that.

In doing so, we're joined now by two additional HP executives to explore the implications and business value from the Converged Cloud news and the strategy around cloud here at Discover.

Please join me now in welcoming Christian Verstraete, Chief Technologist for Cloud Solutions at HP. Welcome, Christian.

Christian Verstraete: Thank you, Dana.

Gardner: We're also here with Tom Norton, Vice President for Big Data Technology Services at HP. Welcome, Tom.

Tom Norton: Hello, Dana.

Gardner: Christian, let's start with you. I guess we're a little bit surprised by how fast cloud has changed the landscape in IT. It's a very disruptive force. Companies and governments clearly see benefits, but we seem to be rushing, in some ways, into something that isn’t fully understood. It seems that HP is trying to bring some clarity to this. It's focusing on openness and hybrid as two very important pillars.

Tell us a little bit about the state of the market before we get into HP’s response to it.

Two extremes

Verstraete: What's happening in the market today, is that on one end, you have startups that are rushing to the cloud very quickly, that use cloud and don't use anything else, because they don't want to spend a penny on building up an IT department.

On the other extreme, you have very large corporations that look at all the things that are unknown around cloud and are sticking their toe in the water.

And you have everything possible and every possible scenario in the middle. That's where things are getting interesting. You have forward-looking CIOs who are embracing clouds, and understand how cloud can help them add value to the business and, as such, are an important part of the business.

You have other CIOs who are very reluctant and that prefer to stay managing the traditional boat, if I can put it that way, in keeping and providing that support to our customers. It's a interesting market right now.

Gardner: Paul Muller, it seems a difficult task, when you're trying to bring to a very disparate market, with lots of variables, as Christian just described, services that fit. We can't have one size fits all here. What's the state of the response to such a market?

Muller: You've hit the nail on the head, Dana. The challenge that both vendors and consumers have is it isn’t one size fits all. When you find yourself in that situation, you only have two responses available to you.

If you're a one-trick pony, if you have only got one technology, one approach, then it's one size fits all. Henry Ford, one of your fellow countrymen, once said that you can have the car in any color you want, so long as it’s black.

It's a great idea in terms of simplifying what your choices are, but it doesn't help you if you're an enterprise that's struggling to deal with complexity and heterogeneity.

We believe that there are three absolutely critical priorities that anyone looking into cloud should have. The first is confidence. Confidence, because you are moving typically mission-critical services in it. Even if it's develop and test, you're counting on this to work.

The second is consistency. There is absolutely nothing to be gained by having a cheap cloud service, on one hand, and then having to retrain people in order to use that, because it's completely different from your internal systems. It's just moving costs around. So consistency is absolutely critical.

Giving users choice

The third piece we talk about all the time, choice. You should have your choice of operating system, database, and application development environment, whether it's Java or .NET, you shouldn’t have to compromise when you're looking at cloud technology. So it's those three things -- confidence, consistency, and choice.

Gardner: Tom Norton, seeing that this field is very diverse in terms of the needs and requirements, it seems like a perfect fit for lots of consulting, professional, and support services, but we don't often hear about them in conjunction with cloud. Tell us a little bit about why the market is ripe for much more emphasis on the services portion here?

Norton: As Paul just mentioned, when you think about any service that you want to deliver to the business or you want to deliver to your customers, that concept of consistency is important. As you start to take advantage of the varying services that are available through the cloud, or that you want to present to the cloud, the varying presentation formats, the varying architectures are an issue for whether you're a startup or in the enterprise.

From a consulting perspective, you need to have a strategy and understand the challenges and complexities of that hybrid type of delivery or that hybrid consumption, and establish some type of design for how that's going to be used and presented. So consulting becomes very important the more you start to consume or present cloud-based type services.

When you start thinking of that design and that whole approach from balancing across the network, to balancing the infrastructure component pieces, you need to have some kind of consistent support structure. One of the most expensive parts of this is going to be how you support those different environments, so that if you have an issue, you're not doing component-based support anymore. You need a holistic-based cloud support.

Ranging from the strategy piece and design, all the way through the support structures, it's important to get ahead of that and make it part of your planning process and part of your overall IT business plan, if you're going to take the best benefit you can get from the cloud, both from a consumption and a presentation perspective.
Having advice from seasoned experts can help you avoid some of the pitfalls of cloud adoption.

Muller: Dana, to emphasize what Tom just talked about, I was in South Africa a couple of weeks ago and we had a CIO roundtable, where we were discussing the future of IT service delivery.

This is a country that represents every spectrum, from the very poorest in the world to some of the very richest. What was fascinating was that there was a mature telecom provider there who had no interest in looking at the cloud whatsoever. We had a mid-tier bank that was actively using both types of services. And we had the leading manufacturer of packaging goods in South Africa who has moved everything to the cloud.

What all of the CIOs had in common was that they said that it's not just a technology decision that you need guidance on. It's structuring contracts and understanding how to deal with termination of service -- what happens to the intellectual property (IP) you have in the cloud. That's where having advice from seasoned experts can help you avoid some of the pitfalls of cloud adoption.

Service delivery

Verstraete: Paul, if you'll allow me to jump in here for one minute, there is one additional thing that is absolutely critical. How do I, as a CIO, organize and transform my organization, so that it becomes a service-delivery organization?

Most IT departments are still in that mood and mentality of delivering infrastructure. That's no longer what they're expected to do. They're expected to deliver services, which is very different. They need to organize themselves differently for doing that. Most CIOs don't know where to take that. Being able to work with them, make them understand what this means. How they could go after that is also critical and complements everything that you just said.

Gardner: Christian, here at Discover, we're hearing an awful lot of detail about a variety of announcements. I encourage our listeners and readers to find out more about those details by searching on HP Converged Cloud or HP Discover 2013. But let's look at a couple of these major aspects of the announcements and then delve into how they come together, perhaps forming a whole greater than the sum of the parts.

The first part, Christian, is this real emphasis on OpenStack and the Cloud OS. So give us a quick overview of where HP is going with OpenStack and Cloud OS and how that relates to some of the requirements that we've just discussed?

Verstraete: Paul spoke a minute ago about these three Cs -- confidence, consistency, and choice. In consistency, what we want to do across the different clouds that we offer -- private cloud, the managed cloud, and the public cloud -- is a capability to be able to port workloads very quickly to build some consistency around them.
It will also provide our customers with the capability to test and play with Cloud OS through a sandbox. So there's a lot of emphasis on that.

Cloud OS is all about that. It’s about building a consistent infrastructure environment or infrastructure management environment to do that. And that's where we are using OpenStack.

So what is cloud OS? Cloud OS is nothing more than HP’s internal OpenStack distribution, with a set of additional functionalities on top of it, to provide a second-to-none infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) delivery that can then be used for our private cloud, our managed cloud, and is already used for our public cloud.

That’s the first thing that we announced. We are building on top of that. It’s an evolution of what we started about a year-and-a-half ago with Converged Cloud. So we just keep moving and working around with that.

We also announced that we not only support Cloud OS in our traditional blade environment and our x86 servers, but also on the newly announced HP Moonshot servers. That combination may become interesting when we start talking about the "internet of things" and a number of other things in that particular area. It will also provide our customers with the capability to test and play with Cloud OS through a sandbox. So there's a lot of emphasis on that.

Gardner: It also seems that you are expanding your support of different virtual machines (VMs), so heterogeneity is supported. As Paul Muller pointed out, it's supporting all the various frameworks. Is there something fundamentally different about the way HP is going about this cloud support with that emphasis on openness vis-à-vis some of the other approaches?

One-trick pony

Verstraete: Many of the other players, many of our competitors, have what Paul mentioned earlier, a one-trick pony. They're either in the public space or the private space, but with one hypervisor. Where we're starting from, and that’s the essence of Converged Cloud, is to say that a company going to cloud is not one size fits all. They're going to need a combination of different types of clouds to provide, on one hand, the agility that they need and, on the other hand, the price point that they're looking for.

They'll put some stuff in their private cloud and they'll put some other stuff in the public cloud. They'll probably consume software-as-a-service (SaaS) services from others. They'll probably put some things into a managed cloud. It’s going to be a combination of those, and they're going to have to handle and live with that combination.

The question is how to make that easy and how to allow them to access all of that through one pane of glass, because you don’t want to give that complexity to the end users. That’s exactly where Cloud OS is starting to play. Cloud OS is the foundation for us to do that.

Gardner: Paul Muller, so much of the discussion nowadays about cloud seems to be about what kind of cloud you might build with perhaps not as much emphasis on what you do with it and how you would manage it after you have set it up.

So we have some announcements here, the Cloud Services for Enterprise application and the HP Mobile Enterprise’s Cloud solution. Maybe you can add some more understanding of why thinking about what you will do with your cloud is just as important as what you're going to do in terms of platform support and infrastructure types.
When I think about the cloud, I like to say, "It’s the app, stupid."

Muller: You have me on my favorite topic here. I think it was Bill Clinton who said, “It’s the economy, stupid.” Is that right, Dana?

Gardner: I believe that’s what he said, yes.

Muller: In my case, when I think about the cloud, I like to say, "It’s the app, stupid." We've spent too much time thinking about cloud as an infrastructural component. It’s been an infrastructure-for-infrastructure’s-sake discussion that we've been having for the last three to five years. We were able to do that is because it was the developers who were utilizing that underlying infrastructure, instead of API.

Now, five years down the track, the emphasis has to shift away from raw IaaS to what you do with that infrastructure, and there it’s about making sure that you can deliver an application.

We have focused on ensuring that the cloud infrastructure, the workloads, the automation, the compliance tools, everything around that, are focused on optimizing the application experience. And we started a while back with our Cloud Maps originally. These were automated best practices for deployment and monitoring.

We've added capabilities now in our public and private clouds for things like SAP, Oracle, and other application workloads to make sure that -- especially if you're an enterprise -- you're not spending a bunch of time learning or relearning the mistakes and best practices of others. You can come to HP and get a cloud that is optimized for the application you're looking for.

Application transformation

Gardner: Tom Norton, while we're on the topic of applications, application transformation is the bedrock of what we're talking about. In order to take advantage of these cloud models -- in order to do it in a safe, secure, and non-disruptive way -- we need to be thinking about the big picture around application transformation.

So there is Converged Cloud Professional Services Suite and an emphasis on Application Transformation Services. Tell us a bit more about how that fits into this bigger picture of an open and inclusive cloud approach.

Norton: As Paul just mentioned, when you think of a value that businesses are trying to drive, or the service that they are trying to get, it could be based on current applications that are not functional in that type of presentation format.

For organizations truly to transform themselves as an IT organization and be able to present their service, which in many cases is an application, that app may be something presented internally to business units because the business units are getting some value, or even externally to a customer or to a customer’s application.

Those apps are designed, in many cases, in either a more mainframe-based environment or also in the distributed environment. When you start thinking of presenting it as a service, there are other considerations that need to take effect.
When you think of modernizing applications to a cloud-based presentation, there are multiple layers that have to be considered to even address the applications.

You start looking at how that application performs in terms of more virtualized and automated environments. You also think about how you can manage that application from a service perspective. How do you monitor the application? How is it metered in terms of the presentation? How is that application presented within a service portfolio or a service catalog? How do you then manage and monitor the application for service operations? The user demands an end user experience for meeting a certain service level.

When you think of modernizing applications to a cloud-based presentation, there are multiple layers that have to be considered to even address the applications. When you think about the application piece and the work that needs to be done, you also have to think about the management component pieces of it.

That’s why you'll hear of services around, say, cloud design services that will enable us to take a look at that service portfolio, look at the service catalog, and understand the application presentations and how you can ensure quality delivery and ensure that you're meeting those service levels, so that business can continue to take advantage of what that application provides to them.

So from an application perspective, you have both the cloud design piece that’s referred to that, but, at the same time, you have to address the complexities of the application.

Verstraete: Tom, allow me to add one point. You talked about the application, but the next point associated with that is, on what device am I going to consume that application? Increasingly, we're seeing bring your own device (BYOD), and it’s not just PCs, but also tablets, phones, and all of the other things.

Managing devices

We have to have the capability to manage those devices and make sure that we have the appropriate security levels and that they're compliant, so that I can run my enterprise applications on those devices without any trouble. That complements all of this.

Dana, to go back to a question that you had earlier, this is where all of these things are starting to come together. We talked about Cloud OS and the infrastructure and the environment, so that I could build on my applications. We talked about the Application Transformation Services, which allow us to put those applications on top of that. And we're talking about the other extreme, which is consuming those applications and the devices on which we are starting to consume those applications.

Regardless of whether this is in a private cloud, a managed cloud, or a public cloud, that’s where you start seeing the different parts and the different pieces coming together.

Gardner: As I listen to the announcements on the main stage, and read through some of the materials, it strikes me that HP is emphasizing the hybrid model as
the core. I've listened to Tom on how you could manage your application modernization, build in security, and go about the people, process, and technology aspects of this in someone else’s public cloud. It strikes me that a lot of this should take place in a private-cloud setting, with the opportunity to move parts, if not all, to a public cloud environment.

Christian, we'll start with you. Why is the hybrid model so important with HP strategy. nd I think they're betting that this is the way it’s going to go, that you can’t just move, after a certain point, very much to a public cloud. All these other implications need to be dealt with. It’s the private cloud continuum to a public cloud that seems to be the real issue.
The CIO had better understand the potential issues related to the security and compliance of what is happening, and start acting on it.

Verstraete: It's interesting you bring this up, Dana, because whether companies like it or not, most large enterprises today already have a hybrid model. Why? Because they have a lot of shadow IT, which is consumed outside the control of IT. It's consumed from external services, being in most of the cases public clouds. So that’s already a fact of life.

Why is that used? Because there's a feeling from the business user that the CIO can’t respond fast enough. So the CIO had better understand the potential issues related to the security and compliance of what is happening, and start acting on it.

He can't speed up his delivery of what the business is looking for by developing everything himself and taking the old fashioned approach. I choose an application. I test the application for six months. I install the application. I configure the application, and two years down the road, I deliver the application to the business users.

What becomes clear quickly to a lot of CIOs is that if they take a hard and cold look at their workloads, not all workloads are the same. Some of them are very specific to the core of what the enterprise is doing. Those should stay within their private cloud.

There are a bunch of other things that they need to deliver. Frankly, they are no different from what their competitors are doing. Do those need to be in a private cloud or could they be in another type of environment, a managed cloud or public cloud? That automatically brings you to that hybrid environment that we're talking about.

New core competency

Gardner: Paul Muller, how is hybrid perhaps the new core competency for IT, managing hybrid processes and hybrid systems and managing the continuum?

Muller: Again, Dana, you get to the core of the issue here, which is that it’s about a shift. This is a generational shift in how we think about building, buying, and integrating IT services in the service of the business or the enterprise, depending on where you work.

It’s about a couple of key shifts. It’s about the balance of power shifting from IT to the business. We have probably said this countless times over the last three decades, but the simplicity, the focus on user experience, the ease with which competitive services can be procured from outside by laypeople from an IT standpoint has created a symmetry in the relationship between business and IT that no one can afford to ignore.

The second generational shift is the speed with which people expect response to their ideas. Techniques like agile and dev-ops are changing the way we think about building and delivering services.

Finally, to your point, it used to be that you either build or you buy, you either outsourced everything or you did it all yourself. Now we live in a world where you can consistently do both. I don’t believe that the majority of IT professionals are ready for that new reality in terms of processes and people, not to mention the software stack, the infrastructure stack, on which they're building services.
This is a generational shift in how we think about building, buying, and integrating IT services in the service of the business or the enterprise.

There's a lot of work to be done. It sounds daunting. The good news is that if you take a smart approach, some of the work that Tom and our Professional Services and Technologies Services team have been working on, it helps ease that transition and avoid people repeating the mistakes of some of the early adopters that we have seen.

Verstraete: Just to illustrate and complement what you said, Paul, in Forbes Magazine in January, Joe McKendrick said that 7 out of 10 cloud applications aren't sanctioned by the IT department. Then he asked whether it's a good or a bad thing. I'm going to leave that to a different debate, but it was interesting to realize. This was the result of a study. Seven out of 10 cloud applications are not sanctioned by IT. Interesting to realize, isn’t it?

Gardner: Tom Norton, as we factor what Paul said about transitioning the organization from supporting technology to supporting the continuum of a hybrid approach, how big a change is that for an organization?

Norton: It's a significant change, when you think of how traditional support structures have been. When you look at more complex systems, and you can think of a hybrid cloud environment as being a complex cloud system itself, traditionally support structures have been component-based and they've been infrastructure-based, or application-based. So you look at a storage support solution, or you may look at a network support solution or a compute solution itself.

When you start thinking of a complex system, like a cloud model, and especially a hybrid cloud model, where you have varying delivery mechanisms and varying supporting structures, supporting that can be a very complicated issue. It's one that many organizations are unprepared to do, especially if they're going to try to approach it strategically, as opposed to being a opportunistic-type cloud environment.

Access to expertise

What IT is trying to do today and the question they keep asking is how they can view this as being that kind of ecosystem that has a singular support structure to it, where they can get access to expertise.

That's what HP is stepping up to do. With our own experience, across the spectrum, building on-premise and private, working in the managed infrastructure places, we have public cloud experience and we also have the experience of the integration across all of those.

We can supply support expertise and single points of contact for our customers, where we can help them navigate and help them with the integration support component pieces to quickly target where the breakdown may be, or where they are experiencing failures. We work with them to assist them on that type of rationalization or reconciliation for how we're going to solve that problem.

That’s where the support structures are going to. Think about converged. Traditionally, we've talked about Converged Infrastructure, but now with the Converged Cloud approach, we're implementing Converged Cloud support systems, but we can look at professional services across the spectrum. Once we get into it, we can drill into enhanced data center care around flexibility. We can target and look for what we can do with our cloud system products themselves, since those are integrated cloud solutions coming from HP.

The benefit from a services perspective for our customers is that we can help break down those isolated barriers in singular cloud services that a customer is consuming and give them a support structure that bridges all of those and truly approaches a converged support structure for managing that hybrid environment. That's what we're working towards and that's where our announcements have been all about.
We can help break down those isolated barriers in singular cloud services that a customer is consuming and give them a support structure that bridges all of those.

Gardner: As I read the marketplace as an observer and a commentator, one thing comes through. We've seen a lot of mergers. We're seeing some very high multiples paid for companies to raise the cloud. We've seen Amazon Web Services become very attractive to lots of companies, very fast-paced growth for the market, and for the movement within the market. So the issue here is speed. How do people get to go faster to the cloud?

Christian, I want to just throw one question to you quickly, OpenStack has been, in some people’s minds, a bit slow to mature. How quickly has OpenStack and Cloud OS closed the gap for being ready for more and more enterprise activities? Second, how do the announcements at Discover help companies get to the cloud advantages that they want faster?

Verstraete: I know what you say about OpenStack, but OpenStack started less than three years ago, and we have a pretty robust IaaS stack that is available today. If you start looking at the contributed and the associated programs, there are another 10 or 12 additional modules that are in the pipeline to be delivered over the next 12-18 months. OpenStack is going very fast.

Paul was mentioning software development. If you ever have an opportunity to look at how the OpenStack software is developed and how it is continuously maintained, it’s mind-boggling and is worth looking at.

Putting that aside, what we're trying to do is take OpenStack and make sure it's complete, enterprise-ready, and hardened. That is one of the contributions that we deliver to the OpenStack community -- hardening and enterprise-readying the OpenStack environment.

Set of nuggets

But we also realize that the OpenStack doesn’t deliver everything that our customers want, and that's why we complement OpenStack with a set of nuggets that we have in our organization, waiting for the next modules to come in from OpenStack.

It will happen in the future, but in the meantime, we can give our customers a complete environment through which they can operate. It's an environment that allows them to deliver their private cloud and hook their private cloud with the managed cloud, and the public cloud services that they want to start consuming.

We're trying to make their life easy to start integrating the hybrid environment with what they are doing. That's at the core of our effort, to help our customers moving to the cloud as fast as possible.

Gardner: How do the CloudSystem Starter Suite, aspects of CSA version 3.2, and the Cloud OS Sandbox also come to bear on this need for speed?

Verstraete: The Cloud OS Sandbox is helping people understand. People don't want to understand what OpenStack is all about and how they could use it within their own environment. Cloud OS is a very simple way for them to start feeling how it looks like. That's the objective of that.

The other that you were talking about is the Starter Kit. There is a number of our customers that started by using CloudSystem Matrix within the IT department to be able to provision servers faster. They've done that, they have learned about that, and they know what they can gain with that, but they also know that they would like to go further. They would like to be able to deliver cloud services directly to their end users.
I'm going to be controversial and say that nobody sane is moving to cloud rapidly for the sake of moving to cloud.

They would also like to be able to start automatically provisioning applications, configuring, and doing all of the life cycle management of those applications. You can do that with CloudSystem Matrix with some hooks and loops. But our Cloud Service Automation Tool has all the bells and whistles to do that.

We've said, "Mr. Customer, if you already have this and you want to move to the next step in your cloud journey, why don't you take one of those Starter Kits and put it on top of what you already have, so your existing investment remains absolutely valid, go to the next step, and start delivering those services to the end users?"

Gardner: We can move to Paul Muller on this issue of speed. As you talk to clients around the world and as you talk to enterprises and government agencies, are they sharing the same need for moving to cloud rapidly, or are we focusing more on the vendor supports, and that's where this haste is more apparent?

Muller: I'm going to be controversial and say that nobody sane is moving to cloud rapidly for the sake of moving to cloud. There are a tremendous number of business and public sector executives who see opportunity or a need to be filled, whether it's helping people find hospital beds, ensuring that fraud is detected early and acted upon, protecting nation states, or simply helping to generate efficient global commerce.

Impatient with speed

Every executive I meet is impatient with the speed at which they can move. They see the ability to move or to act on third-party services like cloud as a mechanism to help eliminate some of those roadblocks, both internal and external. The challenge they have is doing it without compromising their core mission or providing reliable, predictable services at a predictable cost, and cloud is a part of that solution set.

But, Dana, this is also the reason why it is a continuum. It’s not the only solution, and in certain contexts, compliance or data sovereignty is non-negotiable. In Singapore financial services, as an example, it's not even going to be a starter. So it's a question of responding to that need rapidly, and cloud is one part of that solution.

I mentioned techniques like agile and dev-ops, which also help you move more rapidly in terms of the development lifecycle, the ideation process. Christian talked about the importance of security as well. There's no point in moving fast, if all you do is wind up exposing yourself faster.

Gardner: Tom Norton, how do you weigh in on this need for speed? Is this something that we're artificially appreciating, because the IT vendor community and the traditional approach to IT is trying to change itself and therefore move. Is the market keeping pace? What's your position, particularly vis-à-vis the services component?
I think it's moving fast because it needs to move fast.

Norton: I think it's moving fast because it needs to move fast. An example was brought up earlier. Think about startups. You can go to a country like Myanmar, which is just progressing into a more capitalistic environment, and they have no infrastructure. They're working very hard to set up a telecom industry, for example, but the infrastructure isn't ready. The cost implications of implementing a carrier structure like this are enormous and they would prohibit it from moving quickly into the market.

A cloud-based environment like this provides for them the ability to get into the market in an accelerated way. In order to do that, especially in something as sensitive as a carrier environment, you have to have everything that was just talked about.

You have to have the implications of security. You have to understand that a single-vendor approach isn't going to be able to satisfy the needs they have in an emerging market like that. They have to have choice, but in order to meet governmental and user expectations, they also have to have seamless integration.

From a services perspective, what we bring to the market, and what we think people are looking for from a consulting and support organization, is to help them rapidly get there. But as Paul mentioned, you don’t want to get there fast and expose yourself to additional risk.

So it's having experience or working with an experienced vendor that has not only gone through startup organizations, new implementations, or done in place transformation, but have also helped organizations design the strategy and plan towards capturing the value from a hybrid approach to this.

People are going to provide different services that require for a rapid introduction into the market. That’s just from barebones to production, but you can think of anything. You could be in healthcare, for example, and there is so much data related to health.

Best information

Organizations now are competing on who can produce the best information based on health trends and patterns in the industry, or how can a healthcare organization provide the best service. You're going to provide better services, based on refined information from past trends and current activities.

So the faster organizations can get access to refined pieces of, and refined access to, systems and applications, the faster they're going to be able to compete in that market and position themselves better. So speed is incredibly important in this industry today, and what's happening is IT is struggling to keep up.

Services can enable IT to be relevant that way, because IT can then respond aggressively to the organizational demands of the business units, but at the same time respect their responsibilities to protect the organization from risk, to protect the organization from excessive cost.

So it's a position for future competitive advantages, but at the same time, due diligence around protecting the business. That's what services does in an aggressive deployment model that we're in today around cloud.
Services can enable IT to be relevant that way, because IT can then respond aggressively to the organizational demands of the business unit.

Gardner: I'm afraid we're about out of time. I want to remind our listeners that there is a lot of news and information about the HP Converged Cloud and other news and activities here at HP Discover that you can find online by searching for HP Converged Cloud or HP Discover 2013, even looking at the cloud news in particular and finding some context for it, particularly around the ideas of openness and choice of hybrid supports, and then of speed to some markets.

I also want to remind our listeners and readers that this is part of a series of podcasts coming to you from the HP Discover Conference. We'll also be hearing from customers and users of this technology and learn more about how they have been deploying and adopting technology for business benefits.

So with that, a quick round of last words. To you first, Christian, what in your mind is the most important change that HP has brought to the cloud landscape with this series of announcements?

Verstraete: Two things -- first, and you hit the nail earlier, the whole concept of hybrid cloud, looking at multiple ways and multiple clouds to address the needs of the business. And second, within that frame of hybrid cloud, making sure that there is consistency across the different clouds, and that's where we're using OpenStack.

Gardner: Paul Muller, what's different in your mind about what HP has been doing this week?

Muller: It is all about accelerating the introduction of applications and improving the user experience. It is not about technology for technology’s sake. The single biggest difference.


Gardner: And lastly, Tom, what jumps out at you as a differentiator in terms of the market in general and what HP is doing?

Norton: I think the market is looking for someone that can help with the integration component pieces of it. As the hybrid and heterogeneous deployments continue to grow and more and more services are offered that way, organizations need help consolidating that into a more integrated approach, so they have that kind of overall cloud concepts that give them the value they are looking for. So it's becoming more and more about integration.

Gardner: Well, we're going to leave it there. We've been exploring the vision and implications of the Converged Cloud news here at HP Discover and learning more about HP strategy for businesses to build, operate, and consume IT services across public, managed, and private cloud.
I think the market is looking for someone that can help with the integration component pieces of it.

So thanks to our co-host, Chief Evangelist at HP Software, Paul Muller. Thanks again, Paul.

Muller: It’s always fun catching up. Thanks, Dana.

Gardner: And thank you too to Christian Verstraete. He is the Chief Technologist for Cloud Solutions at HP. Thank you, Christian.

Verstraete: Thank you, Dana.

Gardner: And lastly, Tom Norton. He is the Vice President for Big Data Technology Services at HP. Thank you, Tom.

Norton: Thank you, Dana, it was a pleasure.

Gardner: And I would also extend a big thank you to our audience for joining this special HP Discover Performance Podcast coming to you from the HP Discover 2013 Conference in Las Vegas.

I'm Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, your host for this ongoing series of HP sponsored discussion. Thanks again for joining, and come back next time.

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes. Download the transcript. Sponsor: HP

Transcript of a BriefingsDirect podcast on HP's cloud initiatives and strategy announced at HP Discover 2013 in Las Vegas. Copyright Interarbor Solutions, LLC, 2005-2013. All rights reserved.

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Monday, July 16, 2012

Where Cloud Computing Ultimately Takes Us: Hybrid Services Delivery of Essential Information Across All Types of Apps

Transcript of a BriefingsDirect podcast from the HP Discover 2012 Conference on hybrid services delivery and converging the evolving elements of cloud computing.

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod. Download the transcript. Sponsor: HP.

Dana Gardner: Hello, and welcome to the next edition of the HP Discover Performance podcast series. I'm Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, your co-host and moderator for this ongoing discussing of IT innovation and how it's making an impact on people’s life.

Once again, we're focusing on how IT leaders are improving performance of their services to deliver better experiences and payoffs for businesses and end users alike. This time, we’re coming to you directly from the recent HP Discover 2012 Conference. [Disclosure: HP is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]

We’re now joined by two top HP evangelists to discuss the concepts around HP’s Converged Cloud. Please join me in welcoming our co-host Paul Muller, the Chief Software Evangelist at HP. Welcome.

Paul Muller: Hi, Dana. How are you doing?

Gardner: I'm doing great. Good to be with you again. We are also here with Christian Verstraete, Chief Technologist for Cloud Strategy at HP. Welcome back, Christian.

Christian Verstraete: Thank you, Dana.

Gardner: We've been hearing an awful lot around the notion of an HP converged cloud, and it has a lot of different aspects to it. There are a lot of different products to support it -- public, private, application development, data services, and analysis services -- but one thing that really caught my attention and notice was that you’ve separated the notion of hybrid computing from hybrid delivery. Can you help me understand better why they're different and what HP means by hybrid delivery?

Verstraete: Hybrid computing typically is combining private and public clouds. We feel that many of our customers still have a traditional environment, and that traditional environment will not go away anytime soon. However, they're actually looking at combining that traditional environment, the data that’s in that traditional environment and some of the functionality that's out there, with the public cloud and the private cloud.

The whole concept of hybrid delivery is tying that together. It goes beyond hybrid computing or hybrid cloud. It adds the whole dimension of the traditional environment. And, to our mind, the traditional environment isn't going to go away anytime soon.

Gardner: One of the things we’ve also seen in the evolution of public cloud is that things are very segmented. There are data services, infrastructure services, and workloads that you can put in, based on certain platforms using certain tools and APIs.

What you seem to be saying at HP is that that should be deconstructed and allowed to be more of a lifecycle, converged. Paul, help me understand how the traditional understanding of cloud computing as segments of infrastructure services has changed?

Muller: From that perspective, the converged cloud is really about three things for us. The first is having greater levels of choice. The key point that Christian just made is that you can't afford to live in the world of, "It’s just public; it's just private; or I can ignore my traditional investments and infrastructure." Choice is critical, choice in terms of platform and application.

The second thing, though, is that in order to get great choices, you need consistency as an underlying platform to ensure that you're able to scale your people, your processes, and more importantly, your investments across those different environments.

Consistent confidence

he last one is probably the biggest area of passion for me -- confidence. We spoke a little bit earlier about how so many clients, as they move to cloud, are concerned about the arm’s-length relationship they have with that provider. How can I get back the confidence in security and service levels, and make sure that that confidence is consistent across both my on-premises and-off premises environments?

Gardner: Another thing we've seen to date is an emphasis on workloads, just creating elastic-compute resources for things like an environment to run an application. But you seem to have a much deeper emphasis on data services. Why is data more important than, or as important as, workloads -- or have we moved beyond the importance of workloads?

Verstraete: People have started looking at cloud from pure infrastructure, reuse, and putting workflows in some particular places in infrastructure. The world is moving beyond that at the moment. On one end, you have software as a service (SaaS) starting to play and getting integrated in a complete cloud environment and a complete cloud function.

We also have to realize that, in 2011, the world created about 1.8 zettabytes of data, and that data has a heck of a lot of information that enterprises actually need. And as enterprises understand what they can get out of the data, they want that data right there at their fingertips. What makes it even more interesting is that 90 percent of that data is unstructured.

We've been working for the last 30 years with structured data. We know all about databases and everything, but we have no clue about unstructured data. How do I know the sentiments that people have compared to my brand, my business, my product? That's the sort of question that's becoming important, because if you want to do warranty management or anything else, you want to understand how your users feel. Hence, the importance of all of this data.

We know all about databases and everything, but we have no clue about unstructured data.

Gardner: Perhaps we should say information instead of data.

Verstraete: You're right.

Muller: I’d add something else to what Christian just said. We were here with the Customer Advisory Board. We had a pre-meeting prior to the actual conference, and one of them said something I thought was kind of interesting, remarkable actually.

He said, "If I think back 30 years, my chief concern was making sure the infrastructure was functioning as we expected it to. As I moved forward, my focus was on differentiating applications." He said, "Now that I'm moving more and more of the first two into the cloud, my focus really needs to be on harnessing the information and insight. That’s got to become the core competency and priority of my team."

Verstraete: There's one element to add to that that we shouldn't forget, and that is the end-user. When you start talking about converged clouds -- we're not there yet, but we're getting there -- it's really about having one, single user experience. Your end-user doesn't need to know that this function runs in a public cloud, that function runs in a private cloud, or that function runs in the traditional environment.

No. He just wants to get there and use whatever it is. It's up to IT to define where they put it, but he or she just wants to have to go one way, with one approach -- and that's where you get this concept of a unique user experience. In converged cloud that’s absolutely critical.

Composite hybrids

Gardner: Another term that was a bit fresh for me here was this notion of composite hybrid applications. This was brought up by Biri Singh in his discussion. It sounds as if more and more combinations of SaaS, on-premises, virtualized, physical, and applications need to come together. In addition to that, we're going to be seeing systems of record moving to some variety of cloud or combination of cloud resources.

The question then is how can we get to the data within all of those applications to create those business processes that need to cut across them? Is that what you're talking about with Autonomy and IDOL? Is that the capability we are really moving toward, combining data and information from a variety of sources, but in a productive and useful way?

Verstraete: Absolutely. You got it spot on, Dana. It's really about using all of the information sources that you have. It's using your own private information sources, but combining them with the public information sources. Don’t forget about those. Out of that, it's gathering the information that's relevant to the particular thing that you're trying to achieve, be it compliance, understanding how people think about you, or anything else.

The result is one piece of information, but it may come from multiple sources, and you need an environment that pulls all of that data and gets at that data in a useful form, so you can start doing the analysis and then portraying the information, as you said, in a way that is useful for you. That's what IDOL and Autonomy does for us in this environment.

Muller: I am going to add something to that, which is, of course, not yesterday, not today, but in real-time. One of the critical elements to that is being able to access that information in real-time. All of us are active in social media, and that literally reflects your customer’s attitudes from minute to minute.

One of the critical elements to that is being able to access that information in real time.

Let me give you a use-case of how the two come together. Imagine that you have a customer on a phone call with a customer service operator. You could use Autonomy technology to detect, for example, the sound of their voice, which indicates that they're stressed or that they're not happy.

You can flag that and then very quickly go out to your real-time structured systems and ask, "How much of an investment has this client made in us? Are they are high net worth customer to us or are they a first-time transactor? Are they active in the social media environment? What are they saying about us right now?"

If the pattern is one that may be disadvantageous to the company, you can flag that very quickly and say, "We want to escalate this really quickly to a manager to take control of the situation, because maybe that particular customer service rep needs some coaching or needs some help." Again, not in a week’s time, not in a month’s time, but right there, right now. That’s a really important point.

Gardner: This is a bit of a departure. Thinking about systems of record again, one of the obstacles that folks have is to get a single view of the customer. You might have to dig into three or four databases and cut across multiple applications.

They are all internal, but you would get some very powerful insights that you could extend to your business processes -- sales, marketing, research into what new requirements will be coming into products and services, more efficiency in how you could provide service and support to those customers, and so on.

Abstraction in the cloud

We’re elevating that now to an abstraction in the cloud where almost an unlimited amount of information could be brought to bear on a question about a customer or a business process.

This really is a radical departure, and very powerful. But what's missing for me is how I actually avail myself of it. It's a good vision, but if I am a developer, a business analyst, or a leader in a company and I want a dashboard that gets me this information, how do we get this fire hose and make it manageable and actionable?

Verstraete: There are two different elements in this. The first thing is that we’re using IDOL 10, which is basically the combination, on one hand, of Autonomy and, on the other hand, of Vertica. Autonomy is for unstructured data, and Vertica for structured data, so you get the two coming together.

We’re using that as the backbone for gathering and analyzing the whole of that information. We've made available to developers a number of APIs, so that they can tap into this in real-time, as Paul said, and then start using that information and doing whatever they want with it.

Obviously, Autonomy and Vertica will give you the appropriate information, the sentiment, and the human information, as we talked about. Now, it's up to you to decide what you want to do with that, what you want to do with the signals that you receive. And that's what the developer can do in real-time, at the moment.

The great challenge is not lack of data or information, but it's the sheer volume.

Gardner: Paul, any thoughts in making this fire hose of data actionable?

Muller: Just one simple thought, which is meaning. The great challenge is not lack of data or information, but it's the sheer volume as you pointed out, when a developer thinks about taking all of the information that's available. A simple Google query or a Bing query will yield hundreds, even millions of results. Type in the words "Great Lakes," and what are you going to get back? You'll get all sorts of information about lakes.

But if you’re looking, for example, for information about depth of lakes, where the lakes are, where are lakes with holiday destinations, it's the meaning of the query that's going to help you reduce that information and help you sort the wheat from the chaff. It's meaning that's going to help developers be more effective, and that's one of the reasons why we focus so heavily on that with IDOL 10.

Gardner: And just to quickly follow up on that, who decides the meaning? Is this the end user who can take action against this data, or does it have to go through IT and a developer and a business analyst? How close can we get to those people at an individual level so that they can ascertain the meaning and then act on it?

Muller: It's a brilliant question, because meaning in the old sense of the term -- assigning meaning is a better way of putting it -- was ascribed to the developer. Think about tagging a blog, for example. What is this blog about? Well, this blog might be about something as you’re writing it, but as time goes on, it might be seen as some sort of historic record of the sentiment of the times.

So it moves from being a statement of fact to a statement of sentiment. The meaning of the information will change, depending on its time, its purpose, and its use. You can't foresee it, you can't predict it, and you certainly can't entrust a human with the task of specifically documenting the meaning for each of those elements.

Appropriate meaning

What we focus on is allowing the information itself to ascribe its own meaning and the user to find the information that has the appropriate meaning at the time that they need it. That's the big difference.

Gardner: So the power of the cloud and the power of an engine like IDOL and Vertica brought to bear is to be bale to serve up the right information to the right person at the right time -- rather than them having to find it and know what they want.

Verstraete: Exactly, that's exactly what it is. With that information they can then start doing whatever they want to do in their particular application and what they want to deliver to their end-user. You’re absolutely spot-on with that.

Gardner: Let's go to a different concept around the HP Converged Cloud, this notion of a virtual private cloud. It seems as if we’re moving toward a cloud of clouds. You don’t seem to want to put other public cloud providers out of business.

You seem to say, Let them do what they do. We want to get in front of them and add value, so that those coming in through our [HP] cloud, and accessing their services vis-à-vis other clouds, can get better data and analysis, security, and perhaps even some other value-added services. Or am I reading this wrong?

Many customers don’t have the transparency to understand what is really happening, and with transparency comes trust.

Verstraete: No, you’re actually reading this right. One of the issues that you have with public clouds today isn't a question of whether public cloud is secure or not secure or whether it's compliant or not compliant. Many customers don’t have the transparency to understand what is really happening, and with transparency comes trust.

A lot of our customers tell us, "For certain particular workloads, we don’t really trust this or that cloud, because we don’t really know what they do. So give us a cloud or something that delivers the same type of functionality, but where I can understand what is done from a security perspective, a process perspective, a compliance perspective, an SLA perspective, and so on?

They ask: "Where can I have a proper contract, not these little Ts and Cs that I tick in the box? Where can I have the real proper contract and understand what I'm getting into, so that I can analyze my potential risk and decide what security I want to have, and what risk I'm prepared to take?"

Gardner: So the way in which I would interface with the HP managed services cloud of clouds would be through SLAs and key performance indicators (KPIs), and the language of business risk, rather than an engineer’s check list. Is that correct?

Muller: Absolutely, exactly right. That's the important point. Christian talks about this all the time. It’s not about cloud; it’s about the services, and it’s about describing those services in terms of what a businessperson can understand. What am I going to get, what cost, at what quality, at what time, at what level of risk and security? And can I find the right solution at the right time?

Registry requirement

Gardner: I always go back to the notion that service-oriented architecture (SOA) came first and then the concepts around cloud and SaaS came later. And I still hold that, because there are certain elements of cloud that go right back to a registry and repository, enterprise service bus (ESB) with APIs and integration points, and the ability to deliver services across a variety of different systems, outputs, and devices.

One of the things that’s interesting about SOA is the requirement for that registry. You have something called the HP Cloud Marketplace, which is a layer on top of the converged cloud or within the converged cloud.

As a business, how do I start thinking about how I might start using the HP cloud to make new and better revenue, using some of these data services, recognizing the security, and being able to not just do IT differently, but actually do business differently?

Is there anything you can tell me about the HP Cloud Marketplace that would help people understand how there is a business opportunity here, too?

Verstraete: The marketplace isn’t there yet at the moment. It’s on its way. One of the elements that we're trying to do with HP Cloud Services in particular is to provide developers with a rich environment in which they can actually develop their applications.

We propose that once their applications are developed, once they are happy about that application, that they put that application in the marketplace. Through the marketplace, we will promote all the applications to our customer base and to our prospects, so that they can decide which service and applications they want to use. This will give business to the original developer.

Through the marketplace, we will promote all the applications to our customer base and to our prospects, so that they can decide which service and applications they want to use.

Gardner: Paul, could you add to that?

Muller: Dana, you and I have talked about this one before. You're one of the few industry analysts who really understands the fact that enterprise architecture’s concepts and constructs are critical to somebody trying to establish cloud.

Everything you spoke about, the notion of what services I have, where I can find them, who is providing them to me, keeping track of the relationships and the communication, the protocols, the contracts between each of those, is absolutely critical. The marketplace is one element of that. It helps you manifest that, but of course, it has to be used in concert with enterprise architecture principles.

Gardner: So a layer of governance on this marketplace would allow for that KPI- and AP-based language of business to allow for granular permission, access control, and a lower risk ability to use public services in an enterprise setting?

Verstraete: In some of the early versions of that marketplace that we've been working on, one of the concepts that we put in place is basically to say that if you're an enterprise, and the IT responsible for that enterprise will decide, amongst all the applications that are available in marketplace, which IT applications that are available to my company. I, as a user, then go in and see only what I'm eligible to use.

So you get these elements, where you can start within a very large service catalog. You zoom in and get a service catalog, which is specific for a particular enterprise. That’s part of that governance that Paul was just talking about. That’s where these things start to manifest themselves.

Gardner: If we go back full circle to earlier in our discussion talking about data and analytic services, perhaps a permission-governed filter combining what application services with what data services are either available or should be made available, gets us very close to a whole new way of using IT to do business?

Data and sovereignty

Muller: You've touched on a really important point here. You mentioned data, and the minute you mention data and cloud, any CIO on the planet that I speak to, certainly any regulator, will use two words -- "data" and "sovereignty." "Where is my data allowed to be at any point in time?"

That's such a critical point. It's one of the reasons we’re such a big fan of choice. When we think about cloud, and as Christian mentioned, we’re very open to other cloud providers integrating and working with us. With different regulators and in different countries, you’re going to want to see different types of approaches taken.

HP obviously isn’t going to be able to meet every permutation of that. Our partners will be able to find those markets, specialize in those areas, and provide that sort of regulatory comfort for that particular customer. We, of course, want to embrace them and integrate them into our platform.

Gardner: Before we break off, I’d like to ask you some of your impressions about the users here. You've been talking with CIOs and leaders within business. Christian, first with you, does anything jump out as interesting from the marketplace that perhaps you didn’t anticipate? Where are they interested most in this notion of the HP Converged Cloud?

Verstraete: A lot of customers, at least the ones that I talk to, are interested in how they can start taking advantage of this whole brand-new way with existing applications. A number of them are not ready to say, "I'm going to ditch what I have, and I am going to do something else." They just say, "I'm confident with and comfortable with this, but can I take advantage of this new functionality, this new environment? How do I transform my applications to be in this type of a world?" That's one of the elements that I keep hearing quite a lot.

A lot of customers are interested in how they can start taking advantage of this whole brand-new way with existing applications.

Gardner: So a crawl-walk-run, a transition, a journey. This isn’t a switch you flip; this is really a progression.

Verstraete: That is why the presence of the traditional environment, as we said at the beginning, is so important. You don’t take the 3,000 applications you have, plug them around, they all work, and you forget about a traditional environment. That's not how it works. It's really that period to start moving, and to slowly but surely start taking the full advantage of what this converged cloud really delivers to you.

Gardner: Paul, what is that community here telling you about their interests in the cloud?

Muller: A number of things, but I think the primary one is just getting ahead of this consumerization trend and being able to treat the internal IT organization and almost transforming it into something that looks and feels like an external service provider.

So the simplicity, ease of consumption, transparency of cost, the choice, but also the confidence that comes from dealing with that sort of consumerized service, is there, whether it's bringing your own device or bringing your own service or combining it on- and off-premises together.

Verstraete: Chris Anderson in his HP Discover keynote said something that resonated quite a lot with me. If you, as a CIO, want to remain competitive, you'd better get quick, and you'd better start transforming and move. I very much believe that, and I think that's something that we need, that our CIOs actually need to understand.

Gardner: I'm afraid we’ll have to leave it there. I want to thank our two guests, Christian Verstraete, the Chief Technologist for Cloud Strategy at HP. Thank you so much.

Verstraete: Thank you, Dana.

Gardner: And our co-host, Paul Muller, the Chief Software Evangelist at HP. Thank you, Paul.

Muller: It's always great having the opportunity to catch up with you, Dana.

Gardner: And I’ll also thank our audience for joining us for this special HP Discover Performance podcast, coming to you from the HP Discover 2012 Conference in Las Vegas.

I'm Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, your host for this ongoing series of HP sponsored discussions. Thanks again for joining, and come back next time.

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod. Download the transcript. Sponsor: HP.

Transcript of a BriefingsDirect podcast from the HP Discover 2012 Conference on hybrid services delivery and converging the evolving elements of cloud computing. Copyright Interarbor Solutions, LLC, 2005-2012. All rights reserved.

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