HP BTO Executive on How Cloud Service Automation Aids Visibility and Control Over Total Management

Updated: June 10, 2010

We're here with HP's Shoemaker examine an expanding set of CSA products, services, and methods designed to help enterprises exploit cloud and services values, while reducing risks and working toward total management of all systems and services. The discussion is moderated by me, Dana Gardner, principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions.

Here are some excerpts:

Shoemaker: When we talk about management, it starts with visibility and control. You have to be able to see everything. Whether it's physical or virtual or in a cloud, you have to be able to see it and, at some point, you have to be able to control its behavior to really benefit.

Once you marry that with standards and automation, you start reaping the benefits of what cloud and virtualization promise us. To get to the new levels of management, we've got to do a better job.

Up until a few years ago, everything in the data center and infrastructure had a physical home, for the most part. Then, virtualization came along. While we still have all the physical elements, now we have a virtual and a cloud strata that actually require the same level of diligence in management and monitoring, but it moves around.

Where we're used to having things connected to physical switches, servers, and storage, those things are actually virtualized and moved into the cloud or virtualization layer, which makes the services more critical to manage and monitor.

All the physical things

Cloud doesn't get rid of all the physical things that still sit in data centers and are plugged in and run. It actually runs on top of that. It actually adds a layer, and companies want to be able to manage the public and private side of that, as well as the physical and virtual. It just improves productivity and gets better utilization out of the whole infrastructure footprint.

I don't know many IT shops that have added people and resources to keep up with the amount of technology they have deployed over the last few years. Now, we're making that more complex.

They aren't going to get more heads. There has to be a system to manage it. The businesses are going to be more productive, the people are going to be happier, and the services are going to run better.

We're looking at a more holistic and integrated approach in the way we manage. A lot of the things we're bringing to bear -- CSA, for example -- are built on years of expertise around managing infrastructures, because it's the same task and functions.

Ensuring the service level

We've expanded these [products and services] to take into account the public cloud ... . We've been able to point these same tools back into a public cloud to see what's going on and making sure you are getting what you are paying for, and getting what the business expects.

CSA products and services are the product of several years of actually delivering cloud. Some of the largest cloud installations out there run on HP software right now. We listened to what our customers would tell us and took a hard look at the reference architecture that we created over those years that encompassed all these different elements that you could bring to bear in a cloud and started looking, how to bring that to market and bring it to a point where the customer can gain benefit from it quicker.

We want to be able to come in, understand the need, plug in the solution, and get the customer up and running and managing the cloud or virtualization inside that cloud as quickly as possible, so they can focus on the business value of the application.

The great thing is that we've got the experience. We've got the expertise. We've got the portfolio. And, we've got the ability to manage all kinds of clouds, whether, as I said, it's infrastructure as a service (IaaS) or platform as a service (PaaS) that your software's developed on, or even a hybrid solution, where you are using a private cloud along with a public cloud that actually bursts up, if you don't want to outlay capital to buy new hardware.

We have the ability, at this point, to tap into Amazon's cloud and actually let you extend your data center to provide additional capacity and then pull it back in on a per-use basis, connected with the rest of your infrastructure that we manage today.

A lot of customers that we talk to today are already engaged in a virtualization play and in bringing virtualization into their data centers and putting on top of the physical.

We announced CSA on May 11, and we're really excited about what it brings to our customers ..., industry-leading products together with solutions that allow you to control, build, and manage a cloud.
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