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HP Discover, think cloud, think mobile, think hybrid

on ‎12-13-2013 03:59 AM

Facebook at Discover.jpgAs HP Discover is winding down here in Barcelona, it’s time to pounder on the key messages of the last couple days, on the customer meetings and on the discussions with colleagues, partners and other attendees. Here are some of the themes I’ll keep in mind.


There is more than big data

We have talked a lot about big data this year. We had great announcements and it’s increasingly one of the subjects that keeps popping up in discussions. Because we have done a lot of work in that space, we keep speaking about it. The announcement made around Earth Insight only attracted even more attention to our big data offering.


Tim Campos, the CIO of Facebook shared with us some insights on how they use big data in their enterprise. They use the lifeblood of their enterprise to look for monetization opportunities. And they use HP Vertica for doing so. The reason of the choice, not just technology, but the culture of the people. The HP people meshed well with their culture, making the partnership work. This is something we often forget.


In some conversations, attendees told me they got the impression we had lost our momentum in other spaces and seemed only focused on big data. That’s actually not true. Yes, big data is important for us and it shows the breath of our capabilities and our innovation potential. But at the same time we are moving forward full steam in the other areas.


Cloud, it’s all about hybrid

There were plenty of announcements in the cloud space. Let me highlight two. First, we announced the next generation CloudSystem. CloudSystem has been around for a while. It is a proven converged infrastructure allowing enterprises to build and manage integrated private cloud environments. It’s been out there for several years with more than a 1000 customers and 40% of the Fortune 100 using them. But this announcement is a little different as, from now on, CloudSystem is powered by HP CloudOS, HP’s hardened OpenStack environment, making it a truly open private cloud offering. And that is what many customers want.


Actually let me tell you a personal story. I ran into a customer who is using converged infrastructure, but rather than using HP’s cloud software stack, decided to use another stack. He told me he wanted to burst to a variety of clouds, including AWS, Azure, HPCloud and others, but he told me his environment did not seem to allow him to do that. And sadly he is correct. His environment requires the stack provider to develop bespoke links to each of the clouds he wants to address. That was not an issue to him when he made his original choice, but today, when he wants to expand, it is becoming a big issue. It will require major investments. Lesson learned, think open, think standards right from the start.


The second announcement is around the software portfolio to provision, deploy and manage applications in the cloud. Cloud Service Automation 4.0 was announced today. A new, slick extensible interface allows easy user navigation, while a brand new marketplace displays the services available.


What’s also new is that HP CloudOS is packaged with CSA 4.0, giving you a complete cloud environment allowing you to not only provision infrastructure, but also application and services. Bursting, aggregation and intermediation are possible, ensuring you always have access to enough infrastructure capacity, whether it is in your own cloud or in a service provider one, while you can directly integrate SaaS services from external companies. And all of this is now powered by a hardened and enterprise ready version of OpenStack.


Applications and Mobility

As I mentioned yesterday, applications are core to building cloud environments. Often enterprises look at modernizing some of their user and customer facing applications. They want mobile access, allowing their users a full BYOD policy and helping them on the road getting to the information they require. They also want to provide their customers and partners direct access to the information they need, they want them to be able to interact with the enterprise digitally. This requires the building of mobile applications, and I discovered that is what we do for several customers today. Not only do we develop the applications, but we also have a small team that consults on the actual ergonomics of the application.


What is the best way to streamline the application, avoiding you having to interact with multiple modules and needing to write down things you found in one app that you need to enter in another. Somebody told me the story of a railway company that had one mobile app to look at the train schedule while another app allowed you to buy train tickets. But believe me or not, there was no link between the two… So, you had to retain the train number and time to enter it in the other app. Maybe not the smartest way of doing things.


But if you open up your systems and applications to mobile access, it becomes difficult for you to know exactly how many users you will have at any moment in time. So, having the back-end of the application running in the cloud where you can scale up or down the resources according to demand, is a smart move. And this brings me back to application transformation, a topic that I discussed with Peter Schofield in the previous post.


If you decide to migrate your application to the cloud, you may in return ask yourself whether mobile enabling it is not of interest. Mobile and cloud are really going together.


Business Value of Cloud

And this brings me to the last point I retain from HP Discover in Barcelona. I was fortunate to have a discussion with Niels Oldenburger on the business value of cloud. What value does cloud actually bring and how do we maximize that value. We all know about ITSM and the ITIL framework, but is that still applicable to cloud. Interested in the outcome of that discussion, listen to our conversation we titled Value Chain and the New Style of IT.





As every year, HP Discover has been a tiring, but immensely interesting event. As every year, I have not been able to do everything I wanted to, but I met with many people, customers and colleagues. What I retain out of it is the fact the new style of IT is moving and progressing fast. Whether we call the future the digital enterprise, the new style of IT, Somoclo (Social, mobile, cloud), I don’t know, but I can tell you it’s no longer about cloud, but it’s about the integration of cloud and mobile, about the exploitation of social, business and other information. And things are just starting. With the Internet of Things arriving we are doomed to be living in a very different world within the next 5 to 10 years. As information technology continues creeping into our daily lives, we expect more and more. And frankly, with what I’ve seen of the future (in the NDA zone), which I’m unfortunately not allowed to talk about, the future is bright, and HP is right up there to help making it even brighter and better

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