Showing posts with label Tom Norton. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tom Norton. 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.

You may also be interested in:

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

HP Experts Analyze and Explain the HAVEn Big Data News From HP Discover Conference

Transcript of a BriefingsDirect podcast on how HP's new HAVEn Initiative puts the full power and breadth of big data in the hands of companies.

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're here in 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, I'm surprised your voice is holding out after this week.

Gardner: Right, it’s been quite busy. There has been a lot said about big data in the last year and HP has made an announcement for a broader vision for businesses that gained actionable intelligence from literally a universe of potential sources and data types.

We're now joined by two additional HP executives to explore the implication and business values from the HAVEn news at Discover. Please join me now in welcoming our guests. First is Chris Selland, Vice President of Marketing at HP Vertica. Welcome, Chris.

Chris Selland: Thanks Dana, it’s great to be here. It's great to work with you again, Paul, and I'm really looking forward to this.

Gardner: And we're joined by Tom Norton, Vice President for Big Data Technology Services at HP. Welcome, Tom.

Tom Norton: Hello, Dana.

Gardner: Let’s go to Chris first. Fairly recently, only critical data was given this high-falutin' treatment for analysis, warehousing, applying business intelligence (BI) tools, making sure that it was backed up and treated almost as if it were a cherished child.

But almost overnight, the savvy businesses, those who are looking for business results, are more interested in all the data or more information of any kind so that they can run their businesses and find inferences in the areas that they maybe didn’t understand or didn’t even know about.

So what do you think has happened? Why have we moved from this BI-as-sacred ivory tower approach to now more pedestrian?

Competitive issue

Selland: First-and-foremost, it’s really that it’s become a competitive issue. Competitiveness issue might be a better way to say it. Just about every company will pay attention to their customers.

You can tell senior management that this data is important. We're going to analyze it and give you insights about it, but you start realizing that we have an opportunity to grow our business or we're losing business, because we're not doing a good enough job, or we have an opportunity to do better job with data.

Social media has been the tip of the arrow here, because just about all industries all of a sudden realize that there is all data out there floating around. Our customers are actually talking to each other and talking about us, and what are we doing about that? That’s brought a lot of attention above and beyond the CIO and made this an issue that the CMO, the CFO, the COO, the CEO start to care about.

We’ll drill down on this, as we go through the discussion today. Big data is about far more than social media, but I do think social media gets a lot of the credit for making companies pay a lot more attention. It's, "Wait a minute. There is all this data, and we really need to be doing something with this."

Gardner: Paul Muller, as you travel around the world and speak with businesses and governments, are you seeing a shift in the way that people perceive of data as an asset or have they shifted their thinking about how they want to exploit it?

Muller: At the risk of reaching for the third rail here, which is the kind of a San Francisco West Coast joke, in the conversations that I'm having consistently around the globe, executives, both CIOs, but also non-IT executives, are realizing that big data is probably not the most helpful phrase. It’s not the size of the data that matters, but it’s what you do with it.

It’s about finding the connections between different data sets to help you improve competitiveness, help you improve efficiency if you are in the public sector, help you to detect fraud pattern. It's about what you do with the data in that connected intelligence that matters.

To make that work, it’s about not just the volume of data. That certainly helps, not having to throw out my data or overly summarize it. Having high-fidelity data absolutely helps, but it’s also the variety of data. Less than 15 percent of what we deal with on a daily basis is in structured form.

Most of the people I meet are still dealing with information in rows and columns, because traditionally that’s what a computer has understood. They’ve not built the unstructured things like video, audio, images, and for that matter social, as Chris just mentioned.

Finally, it’s about timeliness. Nobody wants to might be making tomorrow’s decision with last week’s data, if that makes sense. In other words, with a lot of the decisions we have to make, it’s usually done through a revision mirror, which is not helpful, if you're trying to operate today’s thoughts as well.

Variety of systems

Gardner: Chris, it seems as if we have more interest, more business activities, and more constituencies within businesses looking for inputs that help them make decisions or analysis. But we’ve got a variety of systems. We’ve got relational databases, flat files, and all sorts of social APIs that we can draw on.

How do you make sense of this? Is there a common thread now? Is there a way for us to think about data beyond the traditional IT definition of data, and what does that mean for actually then getting access and managing it?

Selland: To pick up on what Paul was saying. I have a love-hate relationship with the term "big data." The love part is the fact that it really has been adopted. People gravitate to it and are starting to realize that there is something here they need to pay attention to. And that’s not just IT.

It’s funny because if you go to something like Wikipedia and you look for the origins of the term "big data," you’ll actually find that in IT circles, we've been talking about big data for about a dozen years. There are probably five or six different people. There is a discussion on Quora, you can look it up if you are interested in the creation of the term which was about a dozen years ago.

As a matter of fact, this is the problem that Vertica was created to solve. It was that, as this big data thing became real, which it is now, traditional databases would be unable to handle it. So the good news is that there has been a recognition in business circles outside the CIO -- the CMO, the COO, and the CFO -- that has just started to happen in the last 18 to 24 months, in a big way.
The love part is that people are paying attention to big data. The hate part is that it’s much more than “big”.

The love part is that people are paying attention to big data. The hate part is that it’s much more than “big”.

I like the Doug Laney definition of big data. Doug is an analyst who is now at Gartner Group, although when he coined term, he was actually at another firm. He said it is the 3Vs -- volume, velocity, and variety. Volume is a part of it and it’s certainly about big.

But as Paul was just talking about, there is also a tremendous variety these days. We've already talked a little bit about social media, but the fact that people equate "social media" with "big data" is another pet peeve of mine.

Social media is driving big data, but it’s only a very small part of it. But it’s an important part, because it’s what’s brought a lot of that other attention. You're looking at audio, video, and all of this user-created content and such, and there is such a variety. Then, of course, it’s coming in so fast. Then, we’d like to sometimes add the forth V, which is value. How is this all going to make money for me? What do we do about this strategically as a business.

So there is just a lot going on here and this is really what’s driven the HAVEn initiative and the HAVEn strategy. We have this tremendous portfolio of assets here at HP from software to hardware to services and HAVEn is about putting that portfolio behind these different analytic engines – Vertica, IDOL, Logger, and Hadoop - that complement each other and their ability to integrate and build solutions.

Broad strategy

So how do we bring this together under a single broad strategy to help companies and global enterprises get their hands around all of this, because it’s a lot more than big? Big data is great. It’s great that the term is taken off, but it’s a lot bigger than that.

Gardner: All right. Before we go into the HAVEn announcement, I’d like to remind our readers and listeners that there is a lot of information available, if they search online for HP, HAVEn, or HP Discover 2013. But before we go there, let’s go to Tom Norton.

We've been talking about data, big data, the movement and shift in the market, and we also find ourselves talking about platforms and certain types of data format and technologies, but there is more than that. It seems that if we're going to change these organizations so that they use data more effectively, we need to go beyond the technology. Give me an idea from the technology services' perspective of what also needs to be considered when we go about these shifts in the market.

Norton: When you think about a data platform, that’s not new. Both Paul and Chris mentioned that data platforms and data analysis have been around for years, but this is a shift. It is different in a number of ways: We mentioned velocity, volume, and variety, but there is also a demand, as Chris mentioned, to have this access to information faster.

The traditional systems or platforms that IT is used to providing are now becoming legacy. In other words, they're not providing the type of service level to meet the workload demands of the organization. So IT is faced with the challenge of how to transform that BI environment to more of a data refinement model or a big data ecosystem, if you want to still hang on to big data as a term.

IT is challenged there, and the goal overall is to be able to provide that service level that Paul mentioned to be able to support through timeliness, and the type of actions the business wants to take. So the business is now demanding an action from IT.

The ability to respond quickly to this platform transformation is what we want to help our customers do from our technology services' perspective. How can we speed the maturity or speed the transformation of those traditional BI systems which are more sequential and more structured to be able to deal with the demands of the business to have relevant and refined information available to them at the time they need it, whether it’d be 1.5 seconds or 15 hours.

The business needs the information to be able to compete and IT needs to be able to adapt, to have that kind of flexible, secure, and high-performing platform that can deal with the different complexities of raw data that’s available to them today.

Gardner: Tom, on other programs, we’ve talked about application modernization and application transformation. We're following a similar trajectory with data. We're bringing in more data types, but we don’t necessarily want to assimilate them into a common warehouse or format. We're looking to do integration with the data, do hybrid activities with the data, buy-and-sell data, or barter it. It’s really transformed data.

It used to be that the way data came about was as a refuge from the application. So is the role of services for managing the data continuum and lifecycle similar to what we did with applications over the past 10 years?

Similar to cloud

Norton: I think it's similar It’s actually very similar to cloud in some ways, when you think of a platform which enables a service. When you consider the models that people are looking at today concerning cloud, there is a maturity reality that goes with it. We start with a platform and then you start looking at the service-level catalogs, automation, and security, and then you look at the presentation layers.

Data platforms are exactly the same. You have to take what was the very singular service that was offered and start looking at more complex content. So you have to consider data sources, which could come from many different places. You have to consider data source from a cloud, from a traditional BI system, or from other data sources within the organization.

Acquiring data in that context has to be considered. Then, as was mentioned earlier, you have to consider that processing and the service levels for processing of that raw material to produce refined information that’s useful.

And that’s very similar to when you start thinking about what cloud would do. Like the performance from a presentation perspective of how quickly the environment is able to deliver an app, is very similar in terms of presenting information that can be useful to the business. Then you have to look at the presentation format.
You have to consider data source from a cloud, from a traditional BI system, or from other data sources within the organization.

We've had discussions about mobile users, for example, on how social media not only produces information, but there are expectations from mobile users today of how they can get access to it. Considering that format, it's very similar to what we've done in terms of applications and very similar to the approach that you need to take. When you look at a cloud platform, you have to look at that.

Data is unique in that it is both the platform and the service. It’s slightly different than cloud at least in that way, where you're presenting services from that. Data is unique because there is a specialized platform that needs to be integrated, but you have to consider the information service that’s presented and approach it like you would in application. It’s a really interesting approach and an interesting transformation for IT.

Gardner: Chris Selland, let’s get back to the news of the day of the HAVEn initiative, the HAVEn vision. Tell us in a nutshell what it is, what it includes, and then we can talk about what it means.

Selland: I talked about the tip of the spear before. In this case the tip of the spear are our analytic engines, our analytic platforms, the Vertica Analytics Platform, Autonomy IDOL, ArcSight Logger. HAVEn is about taking this entire HP portfolio and then combining those with the power of Hadoop.

We have been talking about our open partnership. There are a number of Hadoop distributions, and we support them all. It's taking that software platform, running it on HP’s Converged Infrastructure, wrapping HP’s services around it, and then enabling our customers, our consultants of course, our channel partners, our systems integrators, and our resellers to build these next-generation analytic-enabled solutions and big-data analytic enabled solutions that customers need.

I keep talking about big data is in a classic crossing-the-chasm moment -- for those of you who have read the book, and while I don't want to do a primer on the book, it’s basically about when the attention around this topic starts to shift, and of course IT still remains very much at the center, but now it becomes a business-enabler.

Changing the business

It’s when technology starts to change the business, and that’s what’s going on right now. When you're talking to businesspeople, you can't talk about platforms and you can’t talk about speeds and feeds. When you say Hadoop to a businessperson they usually say, "God bless you," these days.

You have to talk about customer analytics. You have to talk about preventing fraud. You have to talk about being able to operationally be more effective, more profitable, and all of those things that drive the business. It really becomes more-and-more a solutions discussion.

HAVEn is the HP platform that provides our customers, our partners, and of course, our consultants, when our customers choose to have us do it for them, the ability to deliver these solutions. They're big-data solutions, analytic-enabled solutions. They're the solutions that companies, organizations, and global enterprises need to take their businesses forward and to make their customers more satisfied to become more profitable. That's what HAVEn is all about, the fundamental story behind the HAVEn initiative.

Gardner: It’s very interesting and fascinating to think about these working in some sort of concert. When I first looked at the announcement and heard the presentations, I thought, "Oh ArcSight. Isn’t that an odd man out? Isn't that an outlier?

Why, in your understanding, would having great insights to all the data from your system be something relevant to alter the data that you're driving from your applications, your outside data sources, your customer interactions, the social media, the whole kit and caboodle. Help me understand better why ArcSight is actually a good partner?
Even though social media has been the tip of the spear here for business attention around big data, it’s much, much bigger than that.

Selland: It really goes back to what I said earlier, that even though social media has been the tip of the spear here for business attention around big data, it’s much, much bigger than that. One of the terms that people are starting to hear now, and you're going to hear a lot more about, is the "Internet of things."

There are various third-party estimates out there that within the next few years, there are going to be about 150 sensors per person worldwide, and that number is going to keep growing. Think about all the things that go on in your car, on a factory floor, in a supply chain.

We tend to think about the fact that everybody is walking around with a computer in their pocket these days, a smartphone, but that’s not just communicating with you. It’s communicating with the network to provide quality of service, to monitor what’s going on, to obviously manage your calls and your downloads, and everything else.

There's so much data flowing around out there. The Logger Engine essentially reads and interprets and connects to all of these different sources, various types of machines, system log files, and real-time data as well. It’s not just about being able to interpret social media. It’s being able to pull in all of these different data types.

As the internet of things grows, and the sensors go everywhere, McKinsey estimates that, just to give a tangible example, a typical jet engine throws off about two terabytes per hour of data. What do you do with all that data? How do you manage that data?

Internet of things

Think about all of our IT systems, all of our physical systems, all of our network systems. Think about all these sensors that are in this Internet of things. It’s becoming huge and the ability to process this data from machines, systems, and log files is a huge, huge part of this.

Gardner: Paul Muller, we understand now that we can bring Hadoop benefits to Autonomy's breadth and depth of information, unstructured information to Vertica, speed and ability to do analytics very rapidly and efficiently to ArcSight with machine and other data. How do you take this out to an enterprise, a C-class group of people, and make them understand that you are, in fact, giving them some tools that really weren’t available before, and certainly weren’t cobbled together in such a way? How do you put this in business terms so they can get just how powerful this really is?

Muller: Dana, did you just say Hadoop?

Gardner: I did.

Muller: Bless you.

Selland: Well played.

Muller: Had to be done, Chris. That’s ultimately the question. Let me just give you an example that we talk about and that I share with people quite frequently, and it usually generates a bit of a smirk. We’ve all been on the telephone and called a company or a public service, where you've been told by the machine that the call will be monitored for quality of service purposes. And I am sure we’re all thinking, "Gosh, if only."

The scary part is that all those calls are recorded. They're not only recorded, but they're recorded digitally. In other words, they're recorded to a computer. Much like the airline example that Chris just gave, almost all of that data is habitually thrown away, unless there is an exception to the rule.
What we're able to do with the HAVEn announcement is combine those concepts into one integrated platform.

If there is a problem with the flight or if there is some complaint about the call that escalates the senior management, they may eventually look at it. But think about how much information, how much valuable insight is thrown away on a daily basis across a company, across the country, across the planet. What we've aimed to do with HAVEn is liberate that information for us to find that connected intelligence.

In order to do that, we get back to this key concept that you need to be able to integrate telemetry from your IT systems. What’s happening inside them today? For example, if somebody to send an email to somebody outside of the company, that typically will spawn a question that asks who they send that email to? Was there an attachment there? Is it a piece of sensitive information or not? Typically that would require a person to look at it.

Finally, it's to be able to correlate patterns of activity that are relevant to think about revenue, earnings, or whatever that might be. What we're able to do with the HAVEn announcement is combine those concepts into one integrated platform. The power of that would be something like in that call center example. We can use autonomy technology to listen to the call, to understand people's emotions, and whether they’ve said, "If you don't solve this problem, I'm never going to buy from you again."

Take that nugget of information, marry that to things like whether they are a high net worth customer, what their spending patterns have been, whether they're socially active, are they more likely to tell people about their bad experience, and correlate that all in real-time to help give you insight. That's the sort of being the HAVEn can do it, and that's a real world application that we're trying to communicate in business.

Norton: I want to echo that. I have one more example of what Paul has just indicated. Take healthcare, for example. We're working with the healthcare providers. There are some three-tier healthcare providers. A major healthcare organization could have as many as 50 different business units. These separate business units have their own requirements for information that they want to feed to hospital systems.

Centralized structure

So you have a centralized organizational IT structure. You have a requirement of a business unit within the organization that has its own processing requirement, and then you have hospital systems that buy and share information with the business unit.

Think about three-tiered structure and you think of some of the component pieces that HAVEn brings to that. You have IT which can manage some of those central systems that becomes that data lake or data repository, collecting years and years of historical healthcare information from the hospital systems, from the business units, but also from the global healthcare environment that could be available globally.

IT provides this ecosystem around the data repository that needs to be secured, and and that data pool needs to be governed.

Then, you combine that with information that's coming publicly and needs to be secured. You have those corner pieces which are natural to the Hadoop distributed system inside that data lake that keeps that repository of healthcare information.

The business unit has a requirement because it wants to be able to feed information to the healthcare providers or the hospital systems, and to collect from them as well. Their expectations of IT is that they may need instant response. They may need a response from a medical provider in seconds, or they may look at reporting on changes in healthcare in certain environmental situations that are creating change in healthcare. So they might get daily reporting or they might have half-day reporting.
That's what's driving IT, because they need that very flexible and responsive data repository.

Within HAVEn, you look at Vertica, to drive that immediate satisfaction of that query that comes from the hospital system. Combine that with Hadoop and combine that with the kind of data-governance models that Autonomy brings. Then, look at security policies around the sensors from patients that are being sent to that hospital system. That combination is a very powerful equation. It's going to enable that business to be very successful in terms of how it handles information and how it produces it.

When we start looking at that integration of those components, that's what's driving IT, because they need that very flexible and responsive data repository that can provide that type of insight that the hospital systems need from that from the business unit that's driving the healthcare IT organization itself.

Those are the fits even in a large enterprise, where you can take that platform and apply it in an industry sense, and it makes complete sense for that industry overall.

Gardner: Chris Selland, I think about what companies, governments, and verticals like healthcare, the leaders and innovators in those areas, can do with this. It could really radically change how they conduct their businesses, not by gut, not by instinct, not by just raw talent, but by empirical evidence that can be then reestablished and retested time after time. It strikes me that it's a fundamentally different value that HP is bringing to the market.

HP has, of course, been a very large company with a long heritage, but are we really stepping outside of the traditional role that HP has played? It sounds as if HP is becoming a business-services company, not a technology services company. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Bridging the gap

Selland: Yes and no. First of all, we do need to acknowledge that there is a need to bridge the gap between the IT organization and the business organization, and enable them to talk the same language and solve problems together.

First of all, IT has to become more of an enabler. Second, and I mentioned this earlier and I really want to play this up, it's absolutely an opportunity for our partners. HP has a number of assets, but one of our greatest assets is HP's partner network -- our partner ecosystem, our global systems integrators, our technology partners, even our services providers, our training providers, all of the companies that work in and around the global HP.

We can't know every nuance of every business at HP. So the HAVEn initiative is very much about enabling our partners to create the solutions we're creating. We're using our own platform to create solutions for the core audiences that we serve, which in many cases, are things like IT management solutions or security solutions which are being featured and will continue to be featured.

We're going to need to get into all of these different nuances of all of these different industries. How do these companies and organizations compete with each other in particular verticals? We can’t possibly know all of that. So we're very reliant on our partners.

The great news is we have, we have what I believe, is the world's greatest partner network and this is very much about enabling those partners and those solutions. In many cases, those solutions will be delivered by partners and that’s what the solutions are all about as well.
We have what I believe, is the world's greatest partner network and this is very much about enabling those partners and those solutions.

Gardner: Just to drill down on that a bit, if there are these technologies that are available to these ecosystems within verticals and attacking different business problems, what's the next step with HAVEn? Now that we put together the various platforms, given the whole is greater than the sum of the parts in terms of a business value, what's the vision beyond that to making these usable, exploitable?

Are there APIs and tools or is that something also that you are going to look to the partners for, or both? How does it work in terms of the go to market?

Selland: There absolutely are APIs and tools. We need to prime the pump, to some degree, with building and creating some of our own solutions to show what can be done in the markets we serve, which we're doing, and we also we have partners on board already.

If you look at the HAVEn announcements, you'll see partners like Avnet and Accenture and other partners that are already adopting and building HAVEn-based solutions. In many cases, we've started delivering to customers already.

It's really a matter of showing what can be done, building what can be built, and delivering them. I mentioned earlier the crossing-the-chasm moment we're having. The other thing that happens, when you get into this market, is you're moving from its being purely a CIO decision to where the business starts getting involved.

Great ROI

There is great return on investment (ROI), there's this big data analytic solution we're going to enable, and we are going to build to deliver better customer loyalty. We are going to better customer retention and lower churn. The first thing I need to say is, "Okay, show me the numbers, show me the money." Those are Jerry Maguire terms, and the best way to do that is show examples of other companies that have done it.

So you run into a situation where you need to be able to show who is doing it, how they're doing it, and how they're making money with it. You've got to get that early momentum, but we're already in the process of getting it, and we've already got partners on board. So we're really excited.

Gardner: Tom Norton, what are your thoughts about my observation that this takes HP to a different plane in terms of the level of value it can bring to a business, and then perhaps some additional thoughts based on what Chris said in terms of how this fits into a value chain?

Norton: You can take two separate perspectives, but you can't separate them. In order for my group, TS, to be able to help IT transform, IT has to be aligned to that business decision anyway, or they have to be aligned to the business requirements and the workloads that business may be presenting.

For me to help to build an integration plan or to build a design for a data platform like this transformation of a data platform, I have to have some idea of what the workload requirements may be from the business. I have to know if the business is trying to do something that's going to require an immediate type of satisfaction, or they are going to do something that can be done in more of a batch format.
I have to have some idea of what the workload requirements may be from the business.

Those expectations of a business in terms of when they want to be presented with that business aligned information, that's going to determine short term and midterm what IT needs to do.

You can't separate those two, especially when we're starting to drive and accelerate the kind of format and the kind of workloads that businesses may need. You may get requirements from 20 different businesses and each business may have 10 different business requirements that they have in terms of the presentation of information.

So how can we get to the point where we can separate from the business, the view of what IT is doing? The business shouldn't need to know about Hadoop, as Chris mentioned earlier. They shouldn't need to know how Hadoop is integrated with Vertica, integrated with Autonomy, or how the three are combined and secured, but they should have an expectation that they're going to get the information that they need at the time they need it.

We really can't design a platform, unless we know that spectrum, and how we can create a road map for how to resolve that and how to mature it. So we have to know that, and the second part is going to be, as you've mentioned before, from how the business needs to access it.

Flexible technology

If the business is going to a more distributed, a remote, or a mobile type of workforce or mobile access, our design requirements for IT have to be for the infrastructure. The technology has to be flexible enough to deliver information to those consumption formats.

If you're dealing with finance, for example, and you're going to have a sales force selling capital investments to their largest investors, a $100 million a year investors, the expectation of those salespeople to that investment model is that they can provide their customers -- probably the most important customers that that finance organization has -- information within 15-30 minutes. That's the time that the salesperson is talking to them about what may be happening with their portfolio.

Think about how complex that can be. You have to access social media, as was brought up earlier, and be able to get information on Twitter feed so that they can provide a meaning-based analysis on how this stock portfolio is being reflected in the market.

To get that in that time frame of 0-30 minutes requires a different design, than someone who is going to look at market reporting trends over a 24-hour period and present that each morning. So it’s very important that we have that alignment between technology and business, and unless we can understand both, we're not going to be able to drive that road map in the direction that's going to satisfy the business requirements.

Gardner: Paul Muller, when we think about the value to the business, and we recognize that IT is in the middle between when data is analyzed and inferences are gathered, acting on those inferences and putting them into place perhaps goes back in through IT.
It seems to me that HP is in a unique situation now by pulling together these different data analysis types.

There are applications that need to be addressed. There are mobile devices that need to be reached. It seems to me that HP is in a unique situation now by pulling together these different data analysis types, making it available in a holistic context, but also being a provider of the means to then be actionable, to create applications, to populate applications, and to allow IT to be the traffic cop on this two-way street or multi-way street.

Tell me how HP is differentiated. Given what we've now seen with the HP Discover announcements with cloud, with converged infrastructure and with HAVEn, give us a bit more of an understanding of how HP is uniquely positioned?

Muller: Dana, you made such a great point. Insight without action is a bit like saying that you have a strategy without execution. In other words, it’s pretty close to hallucination, right?

The ability to take that insight and then reflect that into your business rapidly is critical. I have a point of view that says that almost every enterprise is defined by software these days. In other words, when you make an insight and you want to make a change, you're changing the size. If you are Mercedes, you're changing one of the 100 million lines of code in your typical S class. Some of the major based around the planet now hire more programmers than Microsoft has working on Windows today.

Most companies are defined by software. So when they do get in an insight, they need to rapidly reflect that insight in the form of a new application or a new service, it’s typically going to require IT.

Absolutely critical

Your ability to quickly take that insight and turn that into something a customer can see, touch, and smell is absolutely critical, and using technique like Agile delivery, increasing automation levels, DevOps approaches, are all critical to being able to execute to get to that.

I would like to come back up to Chris’ response to just touch on a conversation I had with a CIO last week, where he said to me, "Paul, my problem is actually not about big data. It’s great, and we’ve got it, but I still can’t work out what to do with it. We should have a conversation about innovation in the profits of big data." So, Chris, do you want to maybe take Dana’s question?

Selland: It’s really, first of all, our focus. It's not just big data, but helping our customers be successful in leveraging big data is a core focus and a core pillar of HP strategy. So first of all it’s focus.

Second of all, it’s breadth. I talked about this earlier, so I don’t want to repeat myself too much. The software, hardware, and converged cloud assets, capabilities of services, and of course their service’s portfolio -- all of the resources that the global HP brings to bear -- are focused on big data.

And it’s also the uniqueness. Obviously, being an HP Software Executive, I'm most familiar with the software. If you really look at it, nobody, none of HP’s competitors, has anything like Vertica. None of HP’s competitors have anything like IDOL. None of HP’s competitors has anything like ArcSight Logger. None of HP's competitors has the ability to bring those assets together and get them interoperating with each other and get them solving problems and building solutions.
Your ability to quickly take that insight and turn that into something a customer can see, touch, and smell is absolutely critical.

Then, you take our partner channel, wrap it around that, and you combine it with the power of open-source industry initiatives like Hadoop. HP has very much openness of the core of everything we're doing. We have all sorts of partners helping and supporting us around here.

I haven’t even talked about technology partners, BI, or visualization partners. We're partnering with all of the major Hadoop distribution. So there is just tremendous breadth and depth of resources focused on the problem. At the end of the day, it really is about execution, because that’s the other thing that I talked about earlier, customers. They want to hear big ideas and they want to know how technology helps them get there, but they also want to see proof points.

Muller: Let’s just start from that. Chris, maybe we'll finish on a slightly controversial note here, but it’s worth talking about. Then, maybe this is potentially a good segue to Tom. I met with a CIO again. I was speaking to some of our listeners and met with some CIOs in South Africa a couple of weeks back. This head of manufacturing turned to me and said, "You know, Paul, I understand big data technology is there, I understand. I can pretty much ingest this. At least the potential is there that I can.

"What I'm not sure is, in my industry, how does it matter to me? Don’t just talk to me about technology. How can I turn that into a justifiable business case that the business will want to invest in?" And it kind of struck me that the technology in some respect is slightly ahead of our customer’s ability to think of themselves as innovators rather than as infrastructure managers.

Part of the problem

Selland: You certainly just defined part of the problem. There is no one-size-fits-all big-data-in-a-box solution, because the answer to that question is something that you really need to have a significant understanding of the business and it’s really a consultative question, right?

You’ve got to have a broad enough portfolio to know that you’ve got the confidence and the assets to eventually solve the problem, but at the same time start with understanding the problem, the industry, and solutions. This is where our service is, and this is where our partner ecosystem comes into play. And having the breadth of the portfolio of software/hardware and cloud services to be able to deliver on it is really what’s it’s all about, but there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question we just asked.

Gardner: Tom Norton, when we think about the observation that the technology is getting a bit out in front of what the businesses understand they can do with it, it sounds like a really good opportunity for a technology consultant and a technology services organization to come in. It sounds as if you have to bring together disparate parts of companies.

We talked about developers. If the people are allowing for analytics to develop wonderful insights, but they’ve never really dealt with the App Dev people, and the App Dev people have never really dealt with the BI people, what do we need to do to try to bring them together? In your company, how would you go about bringing them together so that as insights develop, new ways of delivering those insights to more people and more situations are possible? I guess we're talking about cultural shifts here?
There is no one-size-fits-all big-data-in-a-box solution.

Norton: HP actually has, from a services' perspective, a unique approach to this. You've seen it before in the cloud and you've seen it before in the days of IT transformation, where we started looking at that transformation experience.

HP has developed these workshops over time. They bring IT together with the business to help IT build a plan for how it's going to address the business needs and pull out from the business what the business requirements of IT will be.

It’s no different, now that we're in the data world. Through our services' groups within HP, we have the ability from an information management and analytics approach to work with companies to understand the business value that they're trying to drive with information, and ideally try to understand what data is available to them today that is going to provide that business aligned information.

Through the Big Data Discovery Experience workshops, we're able to ask, "What is the business I am capable of doing with the data they have available to them today, and how can that be enhanced with alternative data sources that may fall outside of the organization today?"

As we mentioned earlier, it’s that idea of what can be done. What's the art of the possible here that is going to provide value to the organization? Through services we can take that all the way down, then say, now once you have got the idea, that says I’ve got a road map for analytical value and the management of the information that we have, and we could have made available to the businesses.

Then, you can align that, as I mentioned before, through IT strategies where you do the same thing. You align the business to IT and ask how IT is going to be able to enable those actions that the business wants to take on that information.

Entire lifecycle

So there's an entire lifecycle of raw material data to business-aligned and business-valued information through a service’s approach, through a consultative approach, that HP is able to bring to our customers.

That’s unique, because we have the ability through that upfront strategy from business value of information to the collection and refinement of raw materials and meeting in the middle in this big data ecosystem. HP can supply that from end to end, all the way from software to hardware to services, very unique.

Muller: I’ve got to summarize this by saying that the great part about HAVEn is that you can pretty much answer any question you could think of. The challenge is whether you can think of smart questions to ask.

Gardner: I think that’s exactly the position that businesses want to be in -- to be able to think about what the questions are to then propel their businesses forward.

Selland: Let me give you a tangible example that I was reading about not long ago in The Wall Street Journal. They were talking about how the airline industry is starting to pay attention to social media. Paul talked before about intersections. What do we mean by intersections?
The great part about HAVEn is that you can pretty much answer any question you could think of. The challenge is whether you can think of smart questions to ask.

This article in The Wall Street Journal was talking about how airlines are starting to pay attention to social media, because customers are tweeting when they're stuck at the airport. My flight is delayed, and I am upset. I'm going to be late to go visit my grandmother -- or something like that.

So somebody tweets. Paul tweets "I'm stuck at the airport, my flight is delayed and I am going to be late to grandma’s house." What can you really do about that besides respond back and say, "Oh, I'm sorry. Maybe I can offer you a discount next time," or something like that? But it doesn’t do anything to solve the problem.

Think about the airline industry, customer loyalty programs or frequent-flyer programs. Frequent-flyer programs were among the first customer loyalty problems. They have all this traditional data, as well which some might call customer relationship management (CRM). In the airline industry, they call it reservation systems.

I gave the example before about a jet engine throwing off two terabytes of data per hour. By the way, on any flight that I'm on, I want that to be pretty boring data that just says all systems are go, because that’s what you want.

At the same time, you don’t want to throw it away, because what if there are blips, or what if there are trends? What if I can figure out a way to use that to do a better job of doing predictive maintenance on my jets?

Better job

By doing a better job of predictive maintenance on my jets, I keep my flights on time. By keeping my flights on time, then I do a better job of keeping my customers satisfied. By keeping my customers more satisfied, I keep them more loyal. By keeping my customers more loyal, I make more money.

So all of this stuff starts to come together. You think about the fact there is a relationship between these two terabytes per hour of sensor data that’s coming off the sensors on the engine, and the upset customers, and social media tweeting in the airport. But if you look at the stuff in a stove-piped fashion, we don’t get any of that.

That’s just one example, and I use that example, because most of us are businesspeople and get stuck in airports from time-to-time. We can all relate to it, but there’s a variant of that kind of example in any and every industry.

How do we start to bring this stuff together? This stuff does not sit in a single database and it’s not a single type of structure and it’s coming in all over the place. How do I make sense of it?

As Paul said very well, ask smart questions, figure out the big picture, and ultimately make my organization more successful, more competitive, and really get to the results I want to get to. But really, it’s a much, much bigger set of questions than just "My database is getting really big. Yesterday, I had this many terabytes and I am adding more terabytes a day." It’s a lot bigger than that.
HAVEn gives us that platform model, which is scalable, flexible, secure, and integrated.

We need to think bigger and you need to work with an organization that has the breadth of resources and the breadth not just inside the organization but within our partnerships to be able to do that. HP has got the unmatched capability to do that, in my view, and that’s why this HAVEn initiative is so very exciting and why we have such great expectations from this.

Gardner: What really jumped out of me in listening to the announcements was that so often in technology we get products and services that allow us to do things faster, better, cheaper, all of which is very important. But what’s quite new here, and different with HAVEn is that we're able to now start enabling organizations to do things they simply could not have done before or in any other way.

It’s really opening up to me a new chapter in business services enablement, both internal services and, external benefits, and external services. So last word to each of quickly on why this HAVEn announcement is something that’s unique and is really more than just a technology announcement. Let’s start quickly with you, Tom Norton.

Norton: I think it’s interesting, because we just talked before about integration. Customers with data as complex as it can be, you need models. HAVEn gives us that platform model, which is scalable, flexible, secure, and integrated. It's what the customers need to be able to react quickly, what IT needs to be able to stay relevant, and what the business needs to know they are going to have a predictable and responsive platform that they can base their analytics on. It’s an answer to a very difficult question and very impactful.

Gardner: Paul Muller, why does this go beyond the faster, better, cheaper variety of announcements?

Fundamental difference

Muller: It’s the ability to bring together a set of technologies that allow you to look at all the data all of the time in real-time. I think that that’s the fundamental difference. As I said, shifting the discussion from why can’t we do it to what do we need to do next is an exciting possibility.

Gardner: Last word to you, Chris Selland, why is this going beyond repaving cow paths and charting new territory?

Selland: I just gave a long answer. So I'll give a short one. It’s really about the future, the competitiveness of the business, and IT becoming an enabler for that. It’s about the CIO, really having a chance to play a key role in driving the strategy of the business, and that’s what all CIOs want to do.
Is this big-data thing real? We think it’s very real and we think you're going to see more-and-more examples.

We have these inflection points in the marketplace, the last one was like 12 years ago, when the whole e-business thing came along. And, while I just used a competitor's tag line, it changed everything. The web did change everything. It forced businesses to adapt, but it also enabled the lot of businesses to change how they do business, and they did.

Now, we're at another one, a very critical inflection point. It really does change everything, and there is still some skepticism out there. Is this big-data thing real? We think it’s very real and we think you're going to see more-and-more examples. We're working with customers today or showing some of those examples how it really does change everything.

Gardner: Great. I am afraid we'll have to leave it there. We've been exploring the vision and implications of the HAVEn news that’s been delivered here at Discover and we are learning more about HP strategy for businesses to gain actionable intelligence from a universe of sources and data types. So if you want more information on HAVEn, you can find it online by searching under HP Discover 2013 or HP HAVEn.

I'd like to now wrap up by thanking our co-host, Chief Evangelist at HP Software, Paul Muller. Thanks again so much, Paul.

Muller: It’s not the size; it’s how you use it, when it comes to big data, mate.

Gardner: Also a big thank you to Chris Selland, Vice President of Marketing at HP Vertica. Thank you, Chris.

Selland: It’s great to be here, thanks.

Gardner: And lastly, a thank you to Tom Norton, Vice President of Big Data Technology Services at HP. Thank you, Tom.

Norton: Thank you very much, Dana; it’s been a pleasure.

Gardner: Great. And also of course the biggest thank to our audience for joining us for 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 listening and come back next time.

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

Transcript of a BriefingsDirect podcast on how HP's new HAVEn Initiative puts the power of big data in the hands of companies. Copyright Interarbor Solutions, LLC, 2005-2013. All rights reserved.

You may also be interested in: