Does Cloud Have a Silver Lining?

In my weekly readings I stumbled upon a very good post from Randy Bias at CloudScaling.com. There is so much noise and discussion on blogs and Twitter about what Cloud is and what it isn’t. There is an argument that “true cloud” is only public, but at the same time we see a trend among big enterprises to deploy cloud solutions within their own datacenters. I wrote about this trend in my blog post “Cloud Purists vs. Reality.”

I agree strongly with Randy’s Cloud definition. In his article, he says there are two aspects of the cloud operational model:

  1. self-service operational model for consumers
  2. highly automated, low opex, operational model for operators

I might be a little selfish here looking at the situation from vendor perspective, but I truly believe that the second aspect of this definition is a lot more important than the first one. As Randy himself noted in his article, there is no “one size fits all” billing model for SaaS.

Self-service is good when the service itself belongs to the domain expertise of the requestors, but the complexity increases greatly when the service is highly specialized. One good example of such service in our own HP SaaS Portfolio is HP Application Security Center. We are happy to provide our enterprise customers with self-service ability to scan their web applications for security vulnerabilities and provide them with a report, but it’s not what they ask for. They rely on HP expertise in the security space to interpret the results and to recommend fixes. But regardless of how our customers wish to consume the service, our needs as a service provider are still very much in alignment with Randy’s definition above.

We need to have a highly automated, scalable and secure environment. The good news is that we can leverage the power of HP hardware and software stack to reduce our operational cost. We use HP Operations Orchestration to automate our processes, and we run our business on HP Blades. The definition of a “true cloud solution” is open to interpretation, but what matters to me is our revenue, profitability and most importantly customer satisfaction. At least one thing is certain – customers are very interested in our offerings, and we want to do our best to pass our cost savings to them and provide them with industry leading solutions in IT management to be consumed in SaaS model.

Tags: cloud| SaaS
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