HP Cloud VP: ‘Lock In’ Cloud Computing Services Are An ‘Injustice’

August 3, 2011 Off By Hoofer

Grazed from CRN.  Author:  Stephen Burke.
 

Steve Dietch, vice president of marketing for cloud solutions and infrastructure for Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ), believes vendors that heterogenous cloud solutions are doing customers a disservice.

Speaking at GreenPages’ 15th annual technology summit, Dietch urged customers to avoid "vendor lock in" as they make the move to the cloud; doing so, he said, would ensure they do not perpetuate the IT sprawl that has resulted in as much as 80 percent of IT budgets being spent on maintaining systems with only 20 percent on innovation. Deitch said HP’s cloud strategy is aimed at supporting heterogenous, multivendor environments including everything from Cisco’s Unified Compute System to multiple hypervisors like VMware and Microsoft offerings…

Dietch spoke with CRN Editor News Steven Burke about the challenges being wrought by fast moving cloud computing services adoption. Below is an excerpt from the interview.

How different is the HP support of multivendor, heterogenous cloud systems from the Oracles of the world and other companies?

CloudSystem is an end-to-end HP set of intellectual property pieces, servers, storage, networking, management software and all of the automation for converged infrastructure and cloud service automation. You can almost think of CloudSystem as your cloud-manager managers.So if you have existing infrastructure, if you have IBM, Cisco, Dell, Oracle, we will manage that within your cloud environment.

Are you running into opposition of that from some of the 40 ISVs (Independent Software Vendors) you are working with?

There is no opposition. Everybody has a heterogenous environment. I’d love to think everybody was (only) HP, but they are not. Whether they (ISVs) are grappling with that problem right now, they will grapple with it at some point. Vendors out there (that do not support heterogenous environments) are doing their customers an injustice. They are perpetuating that fragmented island IT perspective and it is just going to make matters worse. We formulated CloudSystem specifically to address that IT cloud sprawl issue.

What percentage of the IT environments that you are going into are multivendor, heterogenous?

Every one of them. There are very few environments (that are single vendor).

When you look at vendors like Oracle (NSDQ:ORCL) would you say that is locking customers into a single vendor stack?

Oracle Exalogic (elastic cloud) is basically a proprietary Oracle environment. It runs Oracle real well. That is great if you want to run Oracle only. (VCE) Vblock is the ability to automate the provisioning of a virtual machine. To get from Vblock to a cloud system you actually have to add in additional elements . You have to add in BMC (NYSE:BMC) or CA or whatever and then you have to stitch it all together. We are providing customers with an integrated system, physical, virtual, and the management software, heterogenous support, full automation. But we are open.

What percentage of customers and solution providers are failing trying to implement private clouds?

It is hard to say. There are a lot of very smart people out there that are experimenting and they are utilizing those experiements and learning from their mistakes. People are not going to get it right every time the first time. But like I said it is important that if you are actually making mistakes, you learn from the mistakes really quickly and utilize that. Those people that are doing that are very successful today.

What is your message to VARs grappling with the cloud computing services phenomenon?

VARs, SIs (Systems integrators), and distributors, everybody’s business model is changing or it needs to change from the traditional means of reselling products and adding services to actually not only becoming the best at doing that, but also becoming a broker of services, aggregating for their customers (cloud services) because it is the wild west out there or they can become a service provider themselves. A lot of VARs are transitioning their business model to becoming a service provider. Everybody needs to change. The traditional VAR model is not going to be sufficient to have a successful business going forward.

Where are you seeing the greatest traction with solution providers moving to the cloud?

People are underestimating the uptick in cloud right now. So we are working with partners like GreenPages to get clients to understand that the cloud hybrid delivery curve is accelerating. It is not flat. It is getting faster. It is moving fast so we are trying to really be aggressive right now and make sure that people understand our point of view and what we are trying to do from a hybrid delivery perspective and why we are different.

Talk about the sales neutral compensation model implemented with HP (NYSE:HPQ)’s direct sales force on cloud service provider sales?

That was announced at our HP Discover Event in June in Las Vegas. Before you basically had a conflict of interest with the (HP direct sales) end user rep. Now we are comping both the service provider rep and the (direct sales) end user reps (on HP CloudSystem) sales.

Talk about the price of the CloudStart system which provides a customer with a private cloud in only 30 days.

That is $450,000 list price, all-in, 30 days, hardware, software and all the services.