Choice, Consistency, Confidence Keys to Improving Services' Performance through Converged Cloud
Choice, Consistency, Confidence Keys to Improving ServicesPerformance through Converged CloudTranscript of a BrieﬁngsDirect podcast from the HP Discover 2012 Conference on hybrid cloudand tying together the evolving elements of cloud computing.Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod. Sponsor: HPDana Gardner: Hello, and welcome to the next edition of the HP Discover Performance podcast series. Im Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, your co-host and moderator for this ongoing discussing of IT innovation and how its making an impact on people’s life. Once again, were focusing on how IT leaders are improving performance of their services to deliver better experiences and payoffs for businesses and end users alike. This time, we’re coming to you directly from the HP Discover 2012Conference in Las Vegas. [Disclosure: HP is a sponsor of BrieﬁngsDirect podcasts.]We’re here the week of June 4 and were now joined by two top HP evangelists to discuss theconcepts around HP’s Converged Cloud. Please join me in welcoming our co-host Paul Muller,the Chief Software Evangelist at HP. Welcome.Paul Muller: Hi, Dana. How are you doing?Gardner: Im doing great. Good to be with you again. We are also here with ChristianVerstraete. Hes the Chief Technologist for Cloud Strategy at HP. Welcome back, Christian.Christian Verstraete: Thank you, Dana. Welcome too.Gardner: Weve been hearing an awful lot here at the conference around the notion of an HPconverged cloud, and it has a lot of different aspects to it. There are a lot of different products tosupport it -- public, private, application development, data services, and analysis services -- butone thing that really caught my attention and notice was that you’ve separated the notion ofhybrid computing from hybrid delivery. Can you help me understand better why theyre differentand what HP means by hybrid delivery?Verstraete: Hybrid computing typically is combining private and public clouds. We feel that many of our customers still have a traditional environment, and that traditional environment will not go away anytime soon. However, theyre actually looking at combining that traditional environment, the data that’s in that traditional environment and some of the functionality thats out there, with the public cloud and the private cloud. The whole concept of hybrid delivery is tying that together. It goes beyond hybrid
computing or hybrid cloud. It adds the whole dimension of the traditional environment, and toour mind, the traditional environment isnt going to go away anytime soon.Gardner: One of the things we’ve also seen in the evolution of public cloud is that things arevery segmented. There are data services, infrastructure services, and workloads that you can putin, based on certain platforms using certain tools and APIs.What you seem to be saying at HP is that that should be deconstructed and allowed to be more ofa lifecycle, converged. Paul, help me understand how the traditional understanding of cloudcomputing as segments of infrastructure services has changed now into something else?Muller: From that perspective the converged cloud is really about three things for us. The ﬁrst is having greater levels of choice. The key point that Christian just made is that you cant afford to live in the world of, "It’s just public; its just private; or I can ignore my traditional investments and infrastructure." Choice is critical, choice in terms of platform and application. The second thing, though, is that in order to get great choice, you need consistency as an underlying platform to ensure that youre able to scale your people, your processes, and more importantly, your investments across thosedifferent environments.Consistent conﬁdenceThe last one is probably the biggest area of passion for me -- conﬁdence. We spoke a little bit earlier about how so many clients, as they move to cloud, are concerned about the arm’s-length relationship they have with that provider. How can I get back the conﬁdence in security and service levels, and make sure that that conﬁdence is consistent across both my on-premises and-off premises environments? Gardner: Another thing weve seen to date is an emphasis on workloads, just creating elastic-compute resources for things like an environment to run an application, but you seem to have a much deeper emphasis on data services. Whyis data more important than, or as important as, workloads, or have we moved beyond theimportance of workloads?Verstraete: People have started looking at cloud from pure infrastructure, reuse, and puttingworkﬂows in some particular places in infrastructure. The world is moving beyond that at themoment. On one end, you have software as a service (SaaS) starting to play and gettingintegrated in a complete cloud environment and a complete cloud function.We also have to realize that, in 2011, the world created about 1.8 zettabytes of data, and that datahas a heck of a lot of information that enterprises actually need. And as enterprises understand
what they can get out of the data, they want that data right there at their ﬁngertips. What makes iteven more interesting is that 90 percent of that data is unstructured.Weve been working for the last 30 years with structured data. We know all about databases andeverything, but we have no clue about unstructured data. How do I know the sentiments thatpeople have compared to my brand, my business, my product? Thats the sort of question thatsbecoming important, because if you want to do warranty management or anything else, you wantto understand how your users feel. Hence, the importance of data all of this.Gardner: Perhaps we should say information instead of data.Verstraete: Youre right.Muller: I’d add something else to what Christian just said. We were with the Customer AdvisoryBoard on Sunday. We had a pre-meeting prior to the actual conference, and one of them saidsomething I thought was kind of interesting, remarkable actually.He said, "If I think back 30 years, my chief concern was making sure the infrastructure wasfunctioning as we expected it to. As I moved forward, my focus was on differentiatingapplications." He said, "Now that Im moving more and more of the ﬁrst two into the cloud, myfocus really needs to be on harnessing the information and insight. That’s got to become the corecompetency and priority of my team."Verstraete: Theres one element to add to that that we shouldnt forget, and that is the end user.When you start talking about converged clouds -- were not there yet, but were getting there --its really about having one, single user experience. Your end user doesnt need to know that thisfunction runs in a public cloud, that function runs in a private cloud, and that function runs in thetraditional environment.No. He just wants to get there and use whatever it is. Its up to IT to deﬁne where they put it, buthe or she just wants to have to go one way, one approach, and thats where you get this conceptof a unique user experience. In converged cloud that’s absolutely critical.Composite hybridsGardner: Another term that was a bit fresh for me here was this notion of composite hybridapplications. This was brought up by Biri Singh in his discussion yesterday. It sounds as if moreand more combinations of SaaS, on premises, virtualized, physical, and applications need tocome together. In addition to that, were going to be seeing systems of record moving to somevariety of cloud or combination of cloud resources.The question then is how can we get to the data within all of those applications to create thosebusiness processes that need to cut across them? Is that what youre talking about with Autonomyand IDOL? Is that the capability we are really moving toward, combining data and informationfrom a variety of sources, but in a productive and useful way?
Verstraete: Absolutely. You got it spot on, Dana. Its really all about using the informationsources that you have. Its using your own private information sources, but combining them withthe public information sources. Don’t forget about those. Out of that, its gathering theinformation thats relevant to the particular thing that youre trying to achieve, be it compliance,understanding how people think about you, or anything else.The result is one piece of information, but it may come from multiple sources, and you need anenvironment that pulls all of that data and gets that data in a useful form, so you can start doingthe analysis and then portraying the information, as you said, in a way that is useful for you.Thats what IDOL and Autonomy does for us in this environment.Muller: I am going to add something to that, which is, of course, not yesterday, not today, but inreal time. One of the critical elements to that is being able to access that information in real time.All of us are active in social media that literally reﬂects your customer’s attitudes from minute tominute.Let me give you a use case of how the two come together. Imagine that you’ve got a customer ona phone call with a customer service operator. You could use Autonomy technology to detect, forexample, the sound of their voice, which indicates that theyre stressed or theyre not happy.You can ﬂag that and then very quickly go out to your real-time structured systems and ask,"How much of an investment has this client made in us? Are they are high net worth customer tous or are they a ﬁrst-time transactor? Are they active in the social media environment? What arethey saying about us right now?"If the pattern is one that may be disadvantageous to the company, you can ﬂag that very quicklyand say, "We want to escalate this really quickly to a manager to take control of the situation,because maybe that particular customer service rep needs some coaching or needs some help."Again, not in a week’s time, not in a month’s time, but right there, right now. That’s a reallyimportant point.Gardner: This is a bit of a departure. Thinking about systems of record again, one of theobstacles that folks have is to get a single view of the customer. You might have to dig into threeor four databases and cut across multiple applications.They are all internal, but you would get some very powerful insights that you could extend toyour business processes -- sales, marketing, research into what new requirements will be cominginto products and services, more efﬁciency in how you could provide service and support tothose customers and so on.Abstraction in the cloudWe’re elevating that now to an abstraction in the cloud where almost an unlimited amount ofinformation could be brought to bear on a question about a customer or a business process.
This really is a radical departure and very powerful. But whats missing for me is how I actuallyavail myself of it. Its a good vision, but if I am a developer, a business analyst, or a leader in acompany and I want a dashboard that gets me this information, how do we get this ﬁre hose andmake it manageable and actionable? Christian?Verstraete: There are two different elements in this. The ﬁrst thing is that we’re using IDOL 10,which is basically the combination, on one hand, of Autonomy and, on the other hand, of Vertica.Autonomy is for unstructured data, and Vertica for structured data, so you get the two comingtogether.We’re using that as the backbone for gathering and analyzing the whole of that information.Weve made available to developers a number of APIs, so that they can tap into this in real time,as Paul was just mentioning a minute ago, and then start using that information and doingwhatever they want with it.Obviously, Autonomy and Vertica will give you the appropriate information, the sentiment, andthe human information, as we talked about. Now, its up to you to decide what you want to dowith that, what you want to do with the signals that you receive, and thats what the developercan do in real-time at the moment.Gardner: Paul, any thoughts in making this ﬁre hose of data actionable?Muller: Just one simple thought which is meaning. The great challenge is not lack of data orinformation, but its the sheer volume as you pointed out, when a developer thinks about takingall of the information thats available. A simple Google query or a Bing query will yieldhundreds, even millions of results. Type in the words "Great Lakes," and what are you going toget back? Youll get all sorts of information about lakes.But if you’re looking, for example, for information about depth of lakes, where the lakes are,where are lakes with holiday destinations, its the meaning of the query thats going to help youreduce that information and help you sort the wheat from the chaff. Its meaning thats going tohelp developers be more effective, and thats one of the reasons why we focus so heavily on thatwith IDOL 10.Gardner: And just to quickly follow up on that, who decides the meaning? Is this the end userwho can take action against this data, or does it have to go through IT and a developer and abusiness analyst? How close can we get to those people at a granular individual level that theycan ascertain the meaning and act on it?Muller: Its a brilliant question, because meaning in the old sense of the term -- assigningmeaning is a better way of putting it -- was ascribed to the developer. Think about tagging a blog,for example. What is this blog about? Well, this blog might be about something as you’re writingit, but as time goes on, it might be seen as some sort of historic record of the sentiment of thetimes.
So it moves from being a statement of fact to a statement of sentiment. The meaning of theinformation will change, depending on its time, its purpose, and its use. You cant foresee it, youcant predict it, and you certainly cant entrust a human with the task of speciﬁcally documentingthe meaning for each of those elements.Appropriate meaningWhat we focus on is allowing the information itself to ascribe its own meaning and the user toﬁnd the information that has the appropriate meaning at the time that they need it. Thats the bigdifference.Gardner: So the power of the cloud and the power of an engine like IDOL and Vertica broughtto bear and serving up the right information to the right person at the right time rather than themhaving to ﬁnd it and know what they want.Verstraete: Exactly, thats exactly what it is. With that information they can then start doingwhatever they want to do in their particular application and what they want to deliver to theirend-user. You’re absolutely spot on with that.Gardner: Lets go to a different concept around the HP Converged Cloud, this notion of a virtualprivate cloud. It seems as if we’re moving towards a cloud of clouds. You don’t seem to want toput other public cloud providers out of business.You seem to say let them do what they do. We want to get in front of them and add value, so thatthose coming in through our cloud, and accessing their services vis-à-vis other clouds can getbetter data and analysis, security, and perhaps even some other value-added services. Or am Ireading this wrong?Verstraete: No, you’re actually reading this right. One of the issues that you have with publicclouds today isnt a question of whether public cloud is secure or not secure or whether itscompliant or not compliant. Many customers don’t have the transparency to understand what isreally happening, and with transparency comes trust.A lot of our customers tell us, "For certain particular workloads, we don’t really trust this or thator that cloud, because we don’t really know what they do. So give us a cloud or something thatdelivers the same type of functionality, but where I can understand what is done from a securityperspective, a process perspective, a compliance perspective, an SLA perspective, and so on?"Where I can have a proper contract, not these little Ts and Cs that I tick in the box? Where I canhave the real proper contract and understand what Im getting into, so that I can analyze mypotential risk and decide what security I want to have and what risk Im prepared to take?"Gardner: So the way in which I would interface with the HP managed services cloud of cloudswould be through SLAs and key performance indicators (KPIs) and the language of businessrisk, rather than an engineer’s check list. Is that correct?
Muller: Absolutely, exactly right. Thats the important point. Christian talks about this all thetime. It’s not about cloud; it’s about the service, and it’s about describing that service in terms ofthat a businessperson can understand. What am I going to get, what cost, at what quality, at whattime, at what level of risk and security? And can I ﬁnd the right solution at the right time?Registry requirementGardner: I always go back to the notion that service-oriented architecture (SOA) came ﬁrst andthen the concepts around cloud and SaaS came later. And I still hold that, because there arecertain elements of cloud that go right back to a registry and repository, enterprise service bus(ESB) with APIs and integration points and the ability to deliver services across a variety ofdifferent systems, outputs, and devices.One of the things that’s interesting about SOA is the requirement for that registry. You havesomething called the HP Cloud Marketplace, which is a layer on top of the converged cloud orwithin the converged cloud.As a business, how do I start thinking about how I might start using the HP cloud to make newand better revenue, using some of these data services, recognizing the security, and being able tonot just do IT differently, but actually do business differently? Is there anything you can tell meabout the HP Cloud Marketplace that would help people understand how there is a businessopportunity here too?Verstraete: The marketplace isn’t there yet at the moment. It’s on its way. One of the elementsthat were trying to do with HP Cloud Services in particular is to provide developers with a richenvironment in which they can actually develop their applications.We propose that once their applications are developed, once they are happy about thatapplication, that they put that application on the marketplace. Through the marketplace, we willpromote all the applications to our customer base and to our prospects, so that they can decidewhich service and applications they want to use. This will give business to the originaldeveloper.Gardner: Paul, could you add to that?Muller: Dana, you and I have talked about this one before. Youre one of the few industryanalysts who really understands the fact that enterprise architecture’s concepts and constructs arecritical to somebody trying to establish cloud.Everything you spoke about, the notion of what services I have, where I can ﬁnd them, who isproviding them to me, keeping track of the relationships and the communication, the protocols,the contracts between each of those, is absolutely critical. The marketplace is one element of
that. It helps you manifest that, but of course, it has to be used in concert with enterprisearchitecture principles.Gardner: So a layer of governance on this marketplace would allow for that KPI- and AP-basedlanguage of business to allow for granular permission, access control, and a lower risk ability touse public services in an enterprise setting.Verstraete: In some of the early versions of that marketplace that weve been working on, one ofthe concepts that we put in place is basically to say that if youre an enterprise, and the ITresponsible for that enterprise will decide, amongst all the applications that are available inmarketplace, which IT applications that are available to my company. I, as a user, then go in andsee only what Im eligible to use.So you get these elements, where you can start within a very large service catalogue. You zoomin and get a service catalog, which is speciﬁc for a particular enterprise. That’s part of thatgovernance that Paul was just talking about. That’s where these things start to manifestthemselves.Gardner: If we go back full circle to earlier in our discussion talking about data and analyticservices, perhaps a permission-governed ﬁlter combining what application services with whatdata services are either available or should be made available, gets us very close to a whole newway of using IT to do business.Data and sovereigntyMuller: Youve touched on a really important point here. You mentioned data, and the minuteyou mention data and cloud, any CIO on the planet that I speak to, certainly any regulator, willuse two words -- "data" and "sovereignty." "Where is my data allowed to be at any point intime?"Thats such a critical point. Its one of the reasons we’re such a big fan of choice. When we thinkabout cloud, and as Christian mentioned, we’re very open to other cloud providers integratingand working with us. With different regulators and in different countries, you’re going to want tosee different types of approaches taken.HP obviously isn’t going to be able to meet every permutation of that. Our partners will be ableto ﬁnd those markets, specialize in those areas, and provide that sort of regulatory comfort forthat particular customer. We, of course, want to embrace them and integrate them into ourplatform.Gardner: Before we break off, I’d like to ask you some of your impressions about the usershere. Youve been talking with CIOs and leaders within business. Christian, ﬁrst with you, doesanything jump out as interesting from the marketplace that perhaps you didn’t anticipate? Whereare they interested most in this notion of the HP Converged Cloud?
Verstraete: A lot of customers, at least the ones that I talk to, are interested in how they can starttaking advantage of this whole brand-new way with existing applications. A number of them arenot ready to say, "Im going to ditch what I have, and I am going to do something else." They justsay, "Im conﬁdent with and comfortable with this, but can I take advantage of this newfunctionality, this new environment? How do I transform my applications to be in this type of aworld?" Thats one of the elements that I keep hearing quite a lot.Gardner: So a crawl-walk-run, a transition, a journey. This isn’t a switch you ﬂip; this is really aprogression.Verstraete: That is why the presence of the traditional environment, as we said at the beginning,is so important. You don’t take the 3,000 applications you have, plug them around, they all work,and you forget about a traditional environment. Thats not how it works. Its really that period tostart moving, and to slowly but surely start taking the full advantage of what this convergedcloud really delivers to you.Gardner: Paul, what is that community here telling you about their interests in the cloud?Muller: A number of things, but I think the primary one is just getting ahead of thisconsumerization trend and being able to treat the internal IT organization and almosttransforming it into something that looks and feels like an external service provider.So the simplicity, ease of consumption, transparency of cost, the choice, but also the conﬁdencethat comes from dealing with that sort of consumerized service, is there, whether its bringingyour own device or bringing your own service or combining it on and off premises together.Verstraete: Chris Anderson in his keynote Monday said something that resonated quite a lotwith me. If you, as a CIO, want to remain competitive, youd better get quick, and youd betterstart transforming and move. I very much believe that, and I think thats something that we need,that our CIOs actually need to understand.Gardner: We also heard from Intel’s CIO today on the main stage that using data effectively willbe what makes you a disrupter rather than be disrupted. So, that seems to be a recurring theme.Im afraid we’ll have to leave it there. I want to thank our two guests. We’ve been joined byChristian Verstraete, the Chief Technologist for Cloud Strategy at HP. Thank you so much.Verstraete: Thank you, Dana.Gardner: And our co-host Paul Muller, the Chief Software Evangelist at HP. Thank you, Paul.Muller: Its always great having the opportunity to catch up with you, Dana.Gardner: And I’ll also thank our audience for joining us for this special HP DiscoverPerformance podcast, coming to you from the HP Discover 2012 Conference in Las Vegas.
Im Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, your host for this ongoing series ofHP sponsored discussions. Thanks again for joining, and come back next time.Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod. Sponsor: HPTranscript of a BrieﬁngsDirect podcast from the HP Discover 2012 Conference on hybrid cloudand tying together the evolving elements of cloud computing. Copyright Interarbor Solutions,LLC, 2005-2012. All rights reserved.You may also be interested in: • HP Expert Chat Explores How Insight Remote Support and Insight Online Bring Automation, Self-Solving Capabilities to IT Problems • Investing Well in IT With Emphasis on KPIs Separates Business Leaders from Business Laggards, Survey Results Show • Expert Chat with HP on How Better Understanding Security Makes it an Enabler, Rather than Inhibitor, of Cloud Adoption • Expert Chat with HP on How IT Can Enable Cloud While Maintaining Control and Governance • Expert Chat on How HP Ecosystem Provides Holistic Support for VMware Virtualized IT Environments