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IT Briefcase Exclusive Interview with Terence Ngai, Director of Cloud Solutions, HP Enterprise

January 15, 2013 No Comments

There is no doubt that there are many challenges associated with implementing cloud solutions, but in most cases, the benefits that Cloud Computing has to offer outweigh the risk.

In the below interview, Terence Ngai, Director of  Cloud Solutions at HP Enterprise, discusses some of these challenges, and offers expert advice for organizations looking to safely and efficiently transition to the Cloud.

  • Q. As organizations move from traditional, dedicated systems to cloud based systems, what challenges can they expect to encounter, and are these problems easily solved?

A. The holistic challenge that organizations face when moving to the cloud is that they will have to think differently about IT. No longer will governments and businesses solely be builders of internal infrastructure and services; they will transform into builders and brokers of infrastructure, application and information services. They need to find the optimal mix of service delivery models to meet their business needs while maximizing the return on investment.

Many customers we have talked to have a common set of questions and challenges.  Where do I start? How do I cut through the hype to find the right solution for my unique needs?  How do I manage the risks? How do I bridge the existing architectures and investment as I transition to the new world?  How do I evolve the mindset of my people, in how they develop an application or web service, and how to separate applications and services from the underlying physical infrastructure? So, for most organizations, changing their IT mindset and frame of thinking will perhaps be the biggest issue in moving to the cloud.

There are, of course, several other more specific concerns. In a recent HP and Coleman-Parkes study, nearly 65 percent of senior business and technology executives said they are concerned about vendor lock-in when implementing cloud solutions, while 72 percent of respondents said that portability of workloads between cloud models also is important when implementing cloud solutions.

Clearly, customers see a lot of challenges in implementing cloud solutions, but they also see that cloud can be a key competitive differentiator, helping to enhance agility and speed innovation. This is where HP comes in. Our role is to help organizations overcome the fear of cloud and focus on reaping the benefits. HP’s cloud point of view is based on a hybrid delivery approach in which organizations can leverage cloud by combining private, managed and public cloud environments with traditional IT infrastructure to optimize their flexibility and agility in delivering services to their users.

  • Q. What advice can you offer to businesses trying to seamlessly integrate cloud computing and third party applications?

A. Not all applications or workloads are created equal. We would advise businesses and governments to evaluate their organization’s application portfolio, segment them according to their respective service-level agreement (SLA) requirements, and then align the applications or workloads to the appropriate deployment model. If necessary, work with an expert vendor to help them develop the right sourcing strategy to deliver the right services, from the right sources, at the right time, at the right cost. These decisions will be based on its organizational policies, SLAs, security and compliance requirements, cost and deployment preferences.

  • Q. What are the top considerations HP takes into account when helping clients transition to the cloud?

A. HP’s top consideration when helping clients’ transition to cloud is to deliver an experience built around a customer-focused set of principles:

Provide Unparalleled Choice  

– In delivery models across private, managed, public and traditional IT, a continuum of SLA choices
– In platform with an open, heterogeneous architecture; multiple operating systems, multiple hypervisors, multiple developer frameworks, and multi-vendor infrastructure
– In partners to work with and choose from, including strategic alliances, value added resellers, system integrators, and outsourcers.

Provide Confidence in the Solution

– In the ability to manage and secure across delivery models
– The scalability enterprises need to drive business forward

Provide Consistency

– Common architecture across delivery models
– Workload portability across delivery models
– Single consumption experience

  • Q. What industries and company sizes do HP cloud solutions accommodate best?

A. HP is focused on delivering cloud solutions that enterprises can rely on. We are committed to meet the demands of large enterprises, as well as governments, developers and SMBs. HP partners with each of its clients to offer solutions and services that align best with the customer’s unique needs, providing flexibility and choice rather than subjecting users to a one-size-fits-all model. We have clients in all vertical industries such as manufacturing, financial, healthcare, utilities, communications and media, public sectors, etc.

HP also offers solutions for certain industries that require them. For example, we recently announced our HP Cloud Solutions for Communications Service Providers (CSPs). CSPs are expanding their traditional business models by partnering with applications and cloud providers to offer subscribers premium applications such as video, audio, messaging and business process services. This requires migrating existing services to next-generation networks and modernizing infrastructures to provide new services that attract and retain business customers. By offering solutions tailored for the communications industry, HP helps CSPs leverage the cloud to identify new revenue opportunities, accelerate delivery of new services to their business customers and achieve higher retention rates among subscribers.

Last June, HP also launched HP Converged Cloud Services for Airlines, the industry’s first hybrid delivery approach to cloud that demonstrates HP’s vision of an “Intelligent Airline Cloud.” The services focus on embedding functionality, analytics, and data into the cloud, thus facilitating the airline industry’s evolution by driving the innovation and flexibility clients require.

  • Q. In your opinion, what differentiates HP Cloud from other cloud services available today?

A. HP is the only vendor who embraces a hybrid delivery approach that optimizes service creation and delivery, and provides a comprehensive portfolio that includes (a) market-leading products and integrated solutions that customers can build and operate cloud services themselves (which include hardware, software and services) and (b) cloud services that customers can consume from HP or HP’s partners in a public or managed cloud environment.

The 3 unique differentiators for HP are our ability to deliver choice, confidence and consistency to our customers, offering them the ability to confidently build, consume and manage cloud environments across infrastructure, applications and information. HP approaches cloud from a systems view, combining traditional IT with the full spectrum of cloud models and SLA options that include private, managed and public clouds. Unlike our competitors, we address infrastructure, applications and information while embracing open and heterogeneous environments. For this reason, HP’s Converged Cloud portfolio provides a cloud infrastructure where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Those parts include: the design, deployment and management of our data centers, our support of and contributions to an open cloud through OpenStack, the support and consulting services we offer, the partners in our ecosystem, the security and support as part of our enterprise-class SLA’s.

  • Q. What solution is HP Cloud currently offering to accommodate the rapid evolution of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)?

A. As mentioned, one of the key design principles as well as unique differentiators for HP Converged Cloud is Choice.  HP understands that customers have a mixed of technology platforms and investments, and they prefer to leverage existing investment as they bridge to the cloud world. We also understand that customers prefer to have a choice of delivery models, technology platform and partners to work with, without vendor lock-in.  HP’s Converged Cloud portfolio is built to allow customers to evolve and adapt their environment to accommodate a plurality of computing devices, operating systems, hypervisors, and development frameworks, etc.

  • Q. How do HP’s recent updates to its Converged Cloud solution provide businesses with a cloud environment that’s fast, flexible, and customized?

A. HP has the scale, market presence and clear vision along with industry-leading portfolio and solid roadmap to help customers leverage the cloud in the smartest way possible. At the recent HP Discover Frankfurt conference in early December 2012, we introduced a combination of new HP products and services to enhance our Converged Cloud portfolio.

New offerings announced included enhancements to the HP CloudSystem  with Kernel-based Virtual Machines (KVM) support, leveraging OpenStack™ technology, and more bursting capabilities – both of which offer customers more choice in service creation and delivery. The new version of HP Cloud Service Automation (CSA) 3.1 provides customers with a comprehensive, unified cloud management platform for brokering and managing enterprise-grade applications and infrastructures specifically for cloud services. This new version also helps simplify the management of multiple cloud environments and ensures business continuity with a highly available architecture that continues to operate even in the event of a failure. The new HP Continuous Delivery Automation (CDA) 1.1 fully automates the application release process, enabling clients to quickly deliver high-quality applications by eliminating delays traditionally caused by manual hand-offs between teams during the application lifecycle. HP also introduced HP Cloud Solutions for Communications Service Providers (CSPs) which enables CSPs to build and operate a public cloud environment for customers of all sizes. This pre-integrated and customizable cloud solution enables CSPs to drive new revenue stream with faster time to value and lower total cost of ownership.

HP also announced new features and functionality enhancements to HP Cloud Services, our public cloud offering with:

  • – The general availability of HP Cloud Compute, a pay-as-you-go model, which allows users to deploy and customize compute instances on demand.
  • – The advancement of HP Cloud Block Storage to public beta, a key offering that enables users to easily move data from one compute instance to another.
  • – HP Cloud Application Platform as a Service (PaaS), that enables enterprises, developers, and independent software vendors to focus on application development and deployment.
  • – HP Cloud Workload Migration Services, that is delivered in conjunction with HP’s partner ecosystem that helps users assess, plan, deploy and migrate existing production workloads to HP’s public cloud without user disruption.

Finally, the newly enhanced HP Global Product Authentication Service (HP GPAS) allows brand owners to detect, combat and reduce the incidence of counterfeit goods and activities.

Overall, cloud is a key strategic pillar for HP and since introducing our Converged Cloud strategy and portfolio in April ‘12, we have continued to build on the company’s long-standing cloud experience and provide innovative new solutions for our customers.

Terence Ngai is the Director of Cloud Solutions in the HP Enterprise Marketing group. He has over 20 years of experience in the enterprise software and hardware industry. He is currently responsible for managing the development and execution of the Converged Cloud plan and go-to-market activities.

Terence is also active in volunteer work, spending time teaching computer classes in elementary schools and running youth soccer organizations. He earned an MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management in 1993, and the master’s and bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering from California State University Northridge.

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