I love being right.
A while back I wrote a blog about how Cisco doesn’t have a Cloud offering like HP does with CloudSystem Matrix. Some folks asked if UCS compares to Matrix and I cleared that up - No. Then they asked if VCE compared to Matrix and again I stated that it did not compare to Matrix in that all VCE was is a bundle of servers, storage and networking from a loose coalition of vendors. It is not a Cloud. The UCS offering and VCE are missing key components of a Cloud including a self-service portal, automated infrastructure and application deployment, resource pool mgmt (capacity planning, service availability mgmt, rebalancing), chargeback/billing, Cloud APIs, etc. One would have to layer on additional software from BMC, CA and others in order to build a Cloud on top of VCE. And the integration of that solution would be very very complex.
I was talking to a Cisco UCS reseller the other day and showed them a demo of CloudSystem Matrix. They told me that they have been trying to piece together components to build a Cloud and that it was HARD. They needed to source pieces from 5 or more vendors in order build out something that a customer would agree is functionally up to meeting the criteria for a true private or public cloud. And then, they would need to call in installation teams from each of those 5+ vendors. And each of these installation people had never integrated their offerings together before It all had to be ‘field integrated’ at the customer site. It turned out to be a hugely custom deal and would take months to get up and running. This reminds me of the old joke, how many people does it take to screw in a light bulb? Cloud is supposed to be easy folks! It should not be more complex than traditional IT.
Well, after they saw the Matrix demo they were completely impressed with the functionality and tight integration. They asked me how many people HP would need to send onsite to install this environment if they ordered one and when I told them the answer, one person, their jaws dropped. They have customer demand for cloud but they simply have not been able to fulfill it. Well, they asked for a Matrix to be installed at their site immediately. Voila – the HP channel gets even larger.
Anyway, looks like Cisco and VCE are feeling the pain. Their execs have acknowledged they have holes. Big holes in my opinion. Cisco is trying to plug one piece of the needed functionality by buying NewScale. And now VCE is partnering with CA to get some cloud software. The trouble is, now they have made things very very confusing for their customers. Just in the area of self-service portals alone it is dizzying. First Cisco suggested BMC, then they go out and buy NewScale, and then they partner with CA via VCE. Not to mention EMC with Ionix. And what must VMware think? They have vCloud as well? Which one should a Cisco customer to use? And where is their integrated Cloud offering to simplify things? Things have just become much more complicated.
Cloud System Matrix is clearly strategic for HP. Since we introduced Matrix in 2009 it has garnered widespread market acceptance and industry analyst kudios. We continue to invest and have regularly addied more capabilities including additional hypervisors, heterogeneity, automated disaster recovery and more. In 2011 we took it to a completely new level with the announcement of CloudSystem and further addied advanced application deployment, workload/policy management, and much more. And stay tuned, we have more industry leading innovations coming shortly. If we contrast this with Cisco and specifically VCE, both are widely known that they are dealing with financial problems and losses putting the future of their offerings in question. EMC’s 1Q11 10-Q filing discloses that VCE has already had a cumulative loss of $85.7 with an losses increasing every quarter. How long can the losses be sustained before VCE goes away.
Well, our customers are happy and buying CloudSystem Matrix clouds in droves. McKesson, Roswell Park, Mahindra, SFR, SteinMart, and many many more have deployed a Cloud based on Matrix and are proud of it. They love how they can order a complete integrated solution and have one person set up the entire environment. Quickly too. A handful of days is all that is needed. Plus we are open too, if our customers want to plug into a Cisco network , no problem. Non-HP storage, no problem. Hyper-V, no problem.
Tell me what you think?
Nick van der Zweep