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Choice: the key to control in your cloud strategy


Lorenzo Gonzales badge.pngIn the IT world as in life, heterogeneity is a challenge as much as an opportunity: it forces you to think and act outside one single, comfortable habit, and enables differentiated, flexible strategies to solve problems or simply improve performance indicators.


IT is complex. It is a mix of physical and virtual components, with relationships that constantly become more and more complex. It is stretched between efficiency and effectiveness, cost and quality, and pushed at warp speed by relentless growth of services requests. It is simply unrealistic to think that putting all your eggs in one single basket could solve every single problem as if by magic.


Choice among different options is, then, a key success factor of any IT strategy. Being locked into any choice can be risky and expensive, and is surely limiting when unplanned challenges pop up. Not by chance, Choice is one of the three pillars of HP’s cloud strategy, with Confidence and Consistency: the big cloud is in fact a recipient of thousands of services, tailored for different uses, designed to be flexibly combined to solve problems – your unique, unrepeatable problems.


The recent VMware release of vCloud Hybrid Service is not surprising: I had already commented in anticipation in this post. And I can agree that extending the preferred or chosen hypervisor outside enterprise boundaries can solve a number of IT problems, first of all leveraging additional and flexible pools of resources well blended with internals. However, let me stress again here the relevance of the Choice – yours.


In some circumstances, a single hypervisor can be the solution, abstracting infrastructure and providing a comfortable, well-known elastic environment. However, let me provide few examples from my daily activities where a hypervisor, any hypervisor, cannot be the solution:


  • Complex connectivity requirements (for LAN, SAN and WAN) require intervention at the networking level; for instance, that is why HP introduced Virtual Connect, to simplify configuration of physical cards.
  • Workloads may depend on data: latency, jittering, and bandwidth depend on physical infrastructure, and you cannot rely on "infinite elasticity" of the supporting infrastructure.
  • Applications can require physical servers: the world is hybrid, isn't it?


The solution is quite straightforward: just avoid being attracted by the promise of simplicity. You have to carefully evaluate your problems and find the optimal balance among all components – hardware, middleware, software. You will likely find that a single hypervisor choice is a best fit for some applications, but that in a majority of cases a different approach, hybrid, can better solve your problems in the short and long term, provide better performance, and protect your investments.


How to identify your unique route? Learn about Converged Cloud and try the HP Cloud Discovery Workshop at the upcoming HP Discover 2013 in Las Vegas. The workshop can help you design your roadmap on the basis of your unique, unrepeatable needs.


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