UPDATED 13:10 EDT / DECEMBER 13 2013


“Can you debunk the myth that HP is not really in the cloud business?” | #HPDiscover

As John Furrier and Dave Vellante always say, “software is the key to the future.” Therefore, they were extremely pleased to welcome Jerome Labat to theCUBE. Jerome is the CTO with HP Software, and he was interviewed at the HP Discover 2013 Conference, event taking place in Barcelona.

“Traditionally, HP has been a major hardware company,” said Furrier, asking Labat to describe his role within the company.

“Over the past few years I’ve been involved with various technologies; we have all these great assets, from infrastructure, all the way up to software. One of the things our customers like is full integration between the fundamental machinery pieces that are fully automated and software enabled, and the applications, the workloads deployed on top of your data center. That is where the software comes in, helping you build, deploy and operate those complex workloads. You can do that in a private environment or in a public or managed cloud.”

“Can you debunk the myths that HP is not really in the cloud business?” asked Furrier.

“A couple of years ago HP came with this vision of the hybrid cloud, and early on we knew that a customer would leverage the resources available in a public environment, as well as the fact that certain workloads needed to come back to a private environment, behind your firewalls, because of security, data constraints, compliance and so on. The result of that was the discovery that we needed to construct a bridge from the traditional environment to this new cloud environment. All the work from the past two years has been about creating solutions in software that can enable that bridge,” replied Labat. The trend for the future is that “you’ll be leveraging the cloud, yet protecting your assets.”

Essence of cloud : Accessing resources, not APIs


Encouraged by Furrier to present use cases of customers using the HP cloud, Labat explained: “We have a lot of financial institutions, or healthcare, a lot of companies in Europe have been among the early adopters of this notion of hybrid environment. It’s the ability to leverage existing resources, presenting them to the end users and the IT services in a self-service fashion. The true essence of the cloud is the ability to access resources instead of APIs. The reality is not everybody is ready to go and build applications or provide resources through a set of APIs, so we had to find a way to evolve to it. By creating a layer of software that sits on top of your infrastructure and the management layers, you could actually expose the services from IT in a catalogue.”

Cloud technology is an evolution


Further explaining the cloud, Jerome Labat continued: “The cloud technology is an evolution of where the business and the IT business is going, into this notion of IT as a service or IT as a problem.”

Dave Vellante wanted to obtain from Jerome Labat the HP vision for the HP Software, and he attempted to formulate it: “We have the foundation, and we’re going to continue to absorb and learn, while bringing in new thinking. One of the key ideas we focused on is ‘how do we use data?’ It’s great having all this amount of information coming from all the systems, but how can I leverage it? Our next step is taking this data in order to have better operating environments. One way I can do that is by having (predictive) insights, a faster tool to intercept and interpret my log files.”

Breaking it down, the evolution looks something like this:

1. Maintaining the foundation through continuous learning
2. Bringing in new thinking
3. Exploring ways of leveraging data – predictive insight

“Haven looks like a very promising platform,” noted Vellante, anticipating it to compete in the same space with the other Big Data OS and the platform guys. He asked Labat if his impression that HP is trying to transition into a Software as a Service environment was correct, and what this process required from a platform standpoint.

“We are definitely moving towards Software as a Service. From a technology perspective, you have to think about your applications a little bit differently, but it’s not an All or Nothing. You still have to support the base and the core. At the application layer there’s a hybrid model; not everything is going to be in the public cloud, as not everything is going to be in a private environment. And it’s not just a technology problem, but a People & Technology problem,” argued Labat. “The mentality of how you operate and perform in a SaaS environment changes how you think about the problematic.”

Regarding the OpenStack, Labat commented: “Serving our customers is all about choice.We have to support choice and heterogeneity when it comes to deploying workloads. OpenStack is a building block for your infrastructure, and from a cost perspective, it’s a choice. Our public cloud is running on top of OpenStack and we are committed to it 100 percent.”

Asked by Furrier to “put a bumper sticker on the cloud vision, from a software perspective,” Labat obliged: “The cloud that the enterprise relies on.”

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