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It’s not about herding cats – it’s about herding clouds


herding cats.PNG


Guest post by Alain Decartes, Strategic Software Initiatives Lead, Cloud and Service Providers, HP Software Marketing


This year at HP Discover, I have the great pleasure of sharing a session with Alex Ryals, Director Solution Strategy for Avnet. While the title of our session is “In the New Style of IT, it’s not about herding the cat’s, it’s all about herding the clouds” we are not going to herd any cats. (Even though in many Mediterranean cities like Barcelona thousands of free-roaming cats are part of the urban landscape. Groups of these stray and feral cats are often times visible in public parks, redeveloped industrial areas or nearby the beaches. I have seen some very nice (although not so healthy) specimens roaming the streets around the Sagrada Familia or in the Parc Güell (two sites you must enjoy if you visit Barcelona for the first time). But don’t worry if you are an animal lover, the Catalan Animal Protection Law (Decreto 2/2008 de Protección de los animales) prohibits the killing of healthy companion animals. Although common in the past, this option of feline removal is no longer legal.)


Alex and I are going to leave the cat herding to the “Animal Protection Office” and are concentrating on another subject that is creating as much debate in the IT community as the cats are at the Barcelona city council. The city of Barcelona actually implemented the free-roaming cats’ management program in 2009 so it is time to catch up and take action on how we are going to herd our clouds with a free-roaming cloud management program.


You can register for HP Discover here so you don’t miss any of the action!


In the past, IT had a single choice of deployment platforms, what we now call traditional IT. Today, with the advent of cloud computing, IT organizations have multiple choices of platforms such as private cloud, managed private cloud, managed virtual private cloud, public cloud and traditional IT. There are also many proprietary and open source technologies (OpenStack, Apache Cloudstack, Xen Cloud, KVM …) to choose from.


There are a few questions that have to be answered to choose between these technologies:


  • But how will they manage this “collective” cloud? How will they secure it?
  • How will they determine which cloud or on-premise service provides the best ROI to their business stakeholders? 
  • Are Open Source oriented solutions going to simplify their life or make it more complex?


IT organizations must transform themselves from being a builder of custom IT services to being an internal service provider. This means they need to source some IT services externally, build IT services where they offer competitive differentiation, and provide a single portal where their internal customers can access all the IT services. That’s why you need to herd your clouds into a single provisioning and managing environment with your own free-roaming cloud management program.


HP can help ensure your applications are deployed to the right deployment model, based on your business requirements. IT organizations will be able to match applications to the right delivery model. In some cases, it may be best to deploy in a public cloud. In others, it may be best to deploy in a private cloud. Or the best model may be a mix of private and public cloud services, or a mix of traditional IT and private cloud.


How did this resonate with Avnet?


As one of HP’s largest global enterprise distributors, Avnet has invested significantly in cloud computing and are working through their partner network to help customers solve many of these hybrid IT challenges. Avnet provides not only resources to help their partners architect and sell the cloud solution components (hardware and software) but also the complementary software required to integrate it into the enterprise and the implementation services to make it a reality.


They have orchestrated the different clouds in customer environments by:

  • Orchestrating the dynamic provisioning, change or decommissioning of infrastructure, workflow, network services, and applications as business/application demands change.
  • Federating multivendor environments from a single solution through orchestration and automation: HP hardware, third party hardware , VMWare, MS, Redhat, OpenStack, traditional IT and different private and public cloud 
  • Adding the capability to automatically provision best of breed virtual and physical security appliances within infrastructure requirements
  • Monitoring application, service and business process level with business health triggers and sensors to initiate software defined actions and operations spanning over multi-vendor physical and virtual infrastructure with end-to-end application, infrastructure and security management.

With HP Hybrid IT, enterprises and service providers will be able to provide the speed, agility and security required for IT organizations to be a core part of the business value delivery chain. Herding your clouds is not just about deploying the cloud software but also about managing the lifecycle of the your workloads that run in the as private cloud, managed private cloud, managed virtual private cloud, public cloud and traditional IT, from change management before the provision to enterprise monitoring after the deployment.


Would you like to listen to how HP could help you to herd your cloud and how Avnet really did it? Come and join us at HP Discover in Barcelona during the B5972 session: In the New Style of IT, it’s not about herding the cat’s, it’s all about herding the clouds! Thursday 4th December at 11.30am.

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