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Fairbanks ushers CIOs from legacy to modern IT with HPE Helion OpenStack®


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A clear sign that OpenStack® open source technology is progressing became apparent when the second annual OpenStack Benelux Conference attracted more than 500 attendees, making it one of the biggest OpenStack conferences. In a modest market like the Netherlands, that can be called a tremendous success, according to Ruud Harmsen, CEO and founder of Dutch IT firm Fairbanks NV.

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 “OpenStack is on the rise,” Harmsen says. That’s good news for Fairbanks, which began investing heavily in its open source expertise—especially OpenStack—in 2011. Today, the company’s core business is implementing and managing OpenStack-based cloud environments for its customers, propelled by its partnership with Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

 But Fairbanks has only just begun to capitalize on the opportunities in cloud and open source technology. Harmsen estimates that roughly 85 percent of the company’s current target customer base—Internet service providers—is still operating on traditional IT infrastructure. Cloud is quickly becoming a priority as those customers revamp their business models and IT strategies.

 These companies often need help with implementation, and that’s where Fairbanks comes in—not just selling cloud or OpenStack as a one-off deal, but as a full-service platform that Fairbanks can maintain and support for the long haul.

 “OpenStack is not that easy, and everyone who starts with it learns that when they get to the network part, it’s very complex,” Harmsen says. “With our proposition in services, I believe we can enable our customers to offer added value services to their customers.”

That’s one way Hewlett Packard Enterprise stands out as a partner, according to Harmsen. HPE invests not just in the technology platform, but also in training and information, events, organization, and the growth of the OpenStack Community.

Choosing the right cloud

As innovations in cloud pick up speed, companies are restructuring their IT strategies and portfolios to not only keep up, but also unlock new business opportunities and better serve their customers’ needs. Companies no longer have months to get their apps and services on the market. “We have to do it now” is the common refrain, according to Harmsen.

Cloud is a critical enabler to meeting those expectations, but there are serious concerns: Fairbanks’ customers are reluctant to cede too much control, which is a big challenge with public cloud.

While public cloud offers benefits—no-fuss procurement and a degree of flexibility for developers and stakeholders—it also leaves CIOs with less control over the customers or companies’ data. This quandary is feeding the growth of private and hybrid clouds.

On the other hand, investing massively in a proprietary, on-premises private cloud constrains innovation and flexibility as well. The flexibility of open source technology is a key value-add to private and hybrid clouds for the CIOs who work with Harmsen, most of whom are managing rising expectations around application delivery.

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The payoff

Building solutions on HPE Helion OpenStack, Fairbanks can give its customers what they need. And they can do it quickly.

 “We develop the private cloud and we push it to the environment of the customer,” Harmsen says. “Within 7 to 9 weeks, the OpenStack environment is up and running, and they can use the OpenStack cloud in production.”

 This cuts down on the lead time required by the other options in their market by at least four months to maybe years, if you take into account the knowledge that should otherwise be acquired by the support team first.

 “If customers get comfortable enough to ask for the keys to their own car, so to speak, we hand them over,” Harmsen says. And if companies want longer-term guidance and management? “Of course, we can do that too.”

 See more on how Fairbanks NV is offering scalable solutions:

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This story and more at HPE Helion Cloud Stories.


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HPE Helion Cloud Stories - Bringing you the stories of HPE Helion from our customers and partners!

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