Most companies today have a bunch of IT-related projects stuck on the back burner, due a shortage of people, infrastructure, funding, or a combination of these. HP wants to help its customers break through those backlogs by making people and infrastructure more efficient and allowing them to focus instead on their businesses, said Nick van der Zweep, Director of Business Strategy for HP’s Industry Standard Servers and Software group, at HP Discover this week.
That’s one reason cloud computing is at the top of HP’s agenda.
“For example, a business might want to deploy an entire service immediately, with cloud servers, storage infrastructure, VMs, and physical machines,” van der Zweep told SiliconAngle.com founder John Furrier in the Cube. “They want to deploy rapidly because they want to get their service out into the market and collect checks.”
Cloud computing will help with deployment and on-going operations by making infrastructure available on-demand. “HP CloudSystem will let customers, if they choose to, automatically reach out to a service provider when they run out of resources, and pull virtual machines into that service,” he said. “The customer of course wasn’t looking for a virtual machine, they were focused on their advertising campaign, for example.”
To enable capacity on-demand, or cloud-bursting, van der Zweep said, “You can connect up with HP or our partners and get a private cloud in your data center. It can be green-field, or you can pull in your current equipment you’ve bought from us in the past and build a private cloud – then if you want, we’ll flip the switch and that cloud will be able to pull in capacity from public cloud service providers.
“We just introduced local bursting as well – HP will deploy extra capacity at the customer site, and customers can burst over to that and pay as they use it. They don’t have to go into the public cloud,” van der Zweep said. “Once the customer has their equipment deployed on-site, HP would put another 20% of additional capacity on-site – an internal cloud.”
HP believes that there isn’t an endpoint of everyone moving to public cloud, or private cloud, or IT infrastructure disappearing, he explained, because “there are pluses and minuses to each.” HP’s approach is to try to simplify management of these options so that customers don’t need a team of people for each option, which scares people off, van der Zweep noted.
Right now, about 70-80% of customers are trying to turn their infrastructure into a private cloud, he said. In a private cloud solution, “we think about absolute security, multitenancy, keeping customers’ data segregated – we can make 3PAR storage multitenant, with complete separation of customers. We have to do this with every aspect of infrastructure, to bring it up to cloud level. We’re investing heavily in this.”
Looking ahead to the next five years, IT processes need to change significantly to make cloud take off, van der Zweep commented. “Right now we talk internally about being at Stage 0 of the cloud – a lot of investment, but evolution must happen, especially in software, to glue this together holistically, to tie back into traditional IT processes.
“It’s complicated because right now there’s no common definition of what cloud is. Our strategy is to be very heterogeneous, and provide customers with a simplified view of IT, across traditional private and public environments, and drive it to make it really simple to tap into any of the options in the marketplace,” he said.