Every 7-10 years, technology development and delivery undergoes a fundamental shift that opens up new business models and value generation opportunities. These shifts fundamentally change the way that technology is consumed and the value that it can bring. These shifts change what is possible and break down the barriers to innovation. Today, mobility, consumerization and cloud computing are signposts that mark the shift that is underway.
So what is the implication for IT?
- Opportunities - but at the same time, risk
- Agility - but at the same time, a need for control
- Flexibility – but also the possibility of lock-in
The HP cloud offerings announced today are a start down the road to changing the way, infrastructure is built, applications are developed, services are defined and information is delivered. I will not cover the details in this post (you can see the press release for the official view), but focus instead on some of the underlying philosophy.
Early adopters of cloud services have found these techniques can provide both an improved “time-to-value” as well as cost flexibility. Today, many mainstream organizations see cloud services as a key delivery model that can increase their ability to address organizational objectives in a demanding and unpredictable world -- a world where a major constraint is the number of seconds in a day. A world where cloud enabled practices can be a cornerstone of their ability to gain access to the right IT services, from the right places, at the right time, at the right cost; and create the means to speed innovation, enhance agility and improve financial management.
HP believes organizations will need to implement a hybrid delivery strategy that will leverage cloud services as part of their IT delivery and consumption strategy. To make this happen, HP’s focus is on enabling choice, not making choices for organizations. Hopefully everyone recognizes that if you have a well understood set of computational requirements that are stable and consistent, it is better to own these capabilities – in those cases, “the cloud” will not be cheaper similar to the reason why it can be cheaper to own a home rather than rent one. So our view is that new more flexible solutions will be combined with traditional means to build and consume IT services. HP is also trying to continue to support a market where there are leaders and laggards in the adoption of cloud, so one size cannot fit all organizations.
In order to deliver on the promise of the cloud and hybrid delivery, where everything has to be sourced and assembled at will -- information in all forms must be harnessed and exploited from inside and outside the enterprise in a secure fashion. This is an area where HP is performing research and development, since there are still many unknowns about the best way to address this need. This flexibility demand creates an environment where the IT mix can rapidly shift as organizational requirements change. Naturally, this will require changes to how software is architected and written. Application development and operational infrastructure must be visible, accessible and manageable in a consistent manner. Standardization must be in place to allow portability of services across deployment models and reduce lock-in.
HP’s approach to address this area is called the Converged Cloud - providing the unconstrained access to IT resources that organizations require, fulfilling their objectives. HP Converged Cloud provides access to “Infrastructure Anywhere,” “Applications Anywhere,” and “Information Anywhere.” Today’s announcements are just the start of a whole series of offerings and services we’ll be hearing more about over the coming weeks.
HP will deliver the HP Converged Cloud experience across four key customer scenarios. The typical journeys that customers tackle to fully embracing the cloud:
- Making it safe for corporate developers to unleash innovation for mobility and consumerization while leveraging public cloud infrastructure safely and securely throughout the service lifecycle
- Cloud-enabling existing data centers beyond virtualization to include automation and full hybrid delivery
- Cloud Services provisioning from infrastructure, application, network, information, and SaaS-centricity standpoints.
- Sourcing new virtual services from outside the enterprise that deliver the information in the context of your enterprise, and then consumption of that information directly by the user, application or business process.
HP’s Converged Cloud will be underpinned by a single architecture built on proven, industry-leading Converged Infrastructure (Servers, Storage, Networking) and new Converged Management and Security software (Automation, Management, Security); and combined with enterprise-class, hardened open source technology (OpenStack) to deliver an enterprise-class IT service delivery capability which delivers the flexibility and choice the industry demands.
If you are on twitter you might try to watch the tag #convcloud on Thursday starting at about 1PM EDT. There is a twitter chat scheduled. I know if I have 2¢ to add, I’ll chime in.