On December 13, Charles Babcock released an article titled “5 worst cloud washers of 2011” on the InformationWeek website. Always interesting to look at who is included in the list. And there in number four place, HP CloudSystem. Frankly I was astonished, so I eagerly read what Charles had to say. Indeed, companies such as Latisys are precisely using HP CloudSystem to Anchor their Private Cloud Solution. So, are they completely wrong, or did Charles miss something?
Well then I started to read and that is when my jaws dropped.
First, Charles talks about HP dropping its TouchPad tablet hardware. Frankly I have difficulty seeing what that has to do with HP CloudSystem, but knowing people sometimes mix things up, I didn’t bother too much.
But then came the next paragraph, and that one blew my mind away. So let me quote it: “Cloud Service Automation, part of Cloud System, does include gleanings from the 2010 Stratavia acquisition, which tracks configuration changes in deployed systems, useful in launching cloud workloads. But much of Cloud Service Automation is a reassembly of predecessor products, such as HP Network Management Center, the former OpenView, and HP Performance Center. Together, they provide configuration management, monitoring, and deployment in the cloud, as they did earlier for physical assets in the data center. HP's services consultants say they want to do more Cloud Discovery Workshops for prospects. Maybe a place to begin would be HP's own marketing department, so that it learns to blur the line less between old and new.” You know what. That is all wrong. Why?
As described in a blog entry about HP’s Cloud Strategy, written well before the discussed article was published, CloudSystem exists in three flavors, two of which include CSA, Cloud Service Automation, the main element discussed in Charles’ article. To clarify, Cloud Service Automation does NOT include HP Network Management Center, OpenView and Performance Management.
Cloud Service Automation consists of a number of specific developments complemented with the re-use of datacenter automation technologies acquired from Opsware. It actually includes following components:
- A newly developed portal
- A newly developed service catalog
- A newly developed module called CSA Controller, serving as integration point between the modules and exposing the API’s
- A version of our unified Configuration Management Database
- Operations Orchestration (our orchestration tool)
- Server Automation
- Sitescope, a probe system to monitor the health of the provisioned VM’s and services
- Optionally, Application Deployment Management and Database & Middleware Automation (previously known as Stratavia, that was correct) and Network Automation
We usually complement this with 3PAR for storage virtualization in our CloudSystem Enterprise offering. We also have the Matrix Operating Environment, included in all CloudSystem offerings, to manage the provisioning of our blade resources. Server Automation takes care of the management of non-blade and even non-HP offerings, making Cloud System the most open cloud offering in the marketplace.
So, yes we use some tools that started their life before the term “cloud” came on the horizon, but is that a crime? And does that make us “cloud wash” our cloud offering? Ultimately it is our customers who judge and we have hundreds of them installing CloudSystem today.
I cannot judge for the other four nominees of Charles’ 2011 CloudWash list, but strongly believe that HP CloudSystem should NOT be on that list. The information in the article is incorrect, so I can only assume that the rational for putting HP on the list no longer makes sense. It looks like it’s easy to get cloud washed these days, doesn’t it?
Here’s another list of cloud washers… this one seems to hit the mark a little better.