Broadcasting all the way from Barcelona, theCUBE co-hosts John Furrier and Dave Vellante intercepted Seamus Dunne, VP of Technology Services with HP, to talk about the hybrid cloud hype and the financial implications of owning versus renting technology.
Introducing their line of work, Seamus declared: “Largely, in our services business we’ve been focusing on data center, doing a lot of stuff dealing with the flexible capacity service, taking the public cloud agility and flexibility and, using financial instruments and service capabilities, offer you the same capability in your own data center.”
From Dunne’s experience, a lot of customers wonder why is it so difficult to go to the public cloud; there’s a certain hesitation, especially from the Enterprises, because of the trickiness of setting up and because it is not very easy to manage it all.
Furrier was intrigued by the user experience and wanted to know of the biggest issues he encountered with the customers. “Specifically, what makes hybrid cloud different than AWS?” he asked.
What makes HP’s hybrid cloud different from AWS?
“The thing that most customers say to us is ‘Help Me’,” said Seamus. In early stages, customers can put some of their workloads on the public cloud, but sometimes they have to stay on-premise. If they want to take it off-premise, there’s issues like latency and security to deal with, so basically the customers need help in figuring out what their strategy is. After they receive help with that, they usually ask for continuous support regarding the hybrid cloud.
“We are leaders in providing data center support, so we’re putting that whole Enterprise-grade help and support in one package, right across every deployment in our hybrid cloud,” said Dunne.
Furrier quoted Meg Whitman, the CEO of HP: “We build it, we back it and we service it”, asking Dunne to take the viewers through all these stages, explaining the process.
“If we take on-premise, we can help you with your strategy, writing the life-cycle: deploying it, develop your strategy, putting everything in place and supporting it. We’ve built centers of excellence and gathered experts around our on-premise cloud system. We also have our public cloud team, developing an enterprise-grade public cloud. Our next step is unifying that help and support experience. Even though it’s different deployments and different hybrid IT, we’re going to help you manage it, govern it, support it, preventing it from falling, knowing which workloads to put on the cloud and how to manage the whole thing,” boasted Dunne.
“It’s basically the cloud broker model,” noted Vellante. “What does that concept mean to HP and for the customer?”
“The cloud broker is only a small element of what I am describing. We are not simply going to recommend a solution and step away; we’re going to stay with you.” Dunne explained that the customers are pretty knowledgeable when it comes to finding a broker and choosing a solution, but most of them are simply more confident when they know that somebody is going to be next to them in case anything goes wrong in the process or, even better, advise them before anything happens.
What skill set is HP developing to help customers?
“What kind of skill-sets are you bringing in, helping customers solve these problems?” asked Vellante.
“The first thing we’re doing is working with our public cloud team; they have their support centers. The ecosystem that they interact with is very different to a private cloud or on-premise cloud. The monitor, provision and move workloads and they need to talk to different partners. There’s a certain instrumentation that we’re working on with our public cloud team and that’s where we want to make sure that the experience is best, with HP’s public cloud. We bring in test and instrumentation, as well as training and expertise.”
Because Dunne stated that more businesses would migrate to the cloud if they had more trust in their implementation partner, Vellante asked for some success stories.
“We talked about this several months ago and we decided to run a pilot with several customers. We took the customers that we had with the private cloud system, comparing them with the public cloud system customers, and we run pilot programs with selected customers in both segments. I can’t really name customers, but it’s interesting that a number of customers from the financial services, manufacturing and news media wanted to be engaged with this, recognizing that if we could really do this, it would really help them. They knew that because we were already delivering an on-premise solution, having a previous experience and relationship with them through data center care and cloud system. It’s great when you have customers who want to test new things with you. We are pretty happy with where we are right now,” admitted Dunne.
HP on the classic “new cloud” mistakes
“What’s the biggest mistake you saw people making when embarking to a cloud journey?” asked Vellante.
“It’s classic, you probably know the answer already: it’s taking the time to have the right strategy in the first place. Others are pressured into moving on with the cloud, they move to some big names, move workloads only to discover it doesn’t quite work for them. Those bad experiences make those customers hesitant.”
“You have the advantage of the full value chain,” assessed Vellante. “You have the infrastructure, the cloud, the services – you can package that all up. It’s still the early days, but do you see third party providers emerging to do what you do?”
“You’re right about us having the full value chain,” commented Dunne. “We have industry-leading assets right across that value chain. On-premise we can give you public cloud dynamics which are private cloud because of our financial services team; we are in a lucky position. But there are players who are already taking one aspect of hybrid cloud deployments, building expertise and partnerships around the public cloud. Not only cloud brokers, but consultancies and managed service providers. There’s a large ecosystem being built around that, but they only address pieces. We selectively partnered with some of them.”