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HP Helion brings together all the speed, agility and cost benefits of cloud computing, and with all the possibilities and interoperability of open source. Providing the cloud practitioner in you, the flexibility, reliability and security that enterprises need to move forward with confidence.

In this blog, we will explore the unique challenges and solutions of enterprise cloud deployment and usage. And in so doing, help you on your way to design, build and manage enterprise-grade infrastructure, platform and application services for the Cloud. Come join us now on this journey….

Displaying articles for: March 2010

HP SaaS and the Cloud: Seeing the Light

Wouldn’t it be easier if you kept all of your lights on in your house all of the time? Think how cool that would be. No more getting out of bed to turn lights on. No more fumbling around aimlessly for a light switch. No more banging your shins on furniture. By keeping every light on, you’d be assured that whenever you need light, you’ll have light. 

Sure you’ll be over-provisioned 99% of the time, but hey, who’s getting tired of bruised shins? 

Well, if home lighting worked like traditional IT, this actually wouldn’t be a bad model. You could keep all the lights on to avoid extensively long light procurement cycles when demand increased. You’d pay for the lighting in a large, one-time capital investment so budgeting would be predictable. And, you’d have the peace of mind knowing that no matter the circumstance, each of your house guests would have light when they need it, ensuring lifestyle continuity and house guest satisfaction. 

Of course, the reason why we don’t use this capacity planning model is that home lighting is provided in an on-demand, pay-as-you-use service model.  

Sound familiar?

Elastic resources is an old concept  

Lighting is very similar to cloud compute resources – it’s elastic. The reason is obvious – the demand on lighting fluctuates to extremes and in condensed timeframes. Consider the following demand drivers: 

  • Time of day

  • Occupancy of the rooms

  • Need for lighting, e.g., sleeping or reading

  • Time of year (Christmas lights vs. daylight savings)

Fortunately for us, our homes come with power switches so that we can regulate our lighting consumption and manage the utility-based cost of electricity. In essence, we do our best to optimize our electricity bills by using lights only when needed and using energy efficient light bulbs to further minimize the cost. Also, if you’ve owned your home for a few years, you instinctively understand when your budget needs to increase depending on the situation, e.g., higher electricity bills during certain times of the year. After a while, you really aren’t surprised by the electricity bill as it becomes very predictable. 

Transforming Capacity Planning to Elasticity Planning 

So, when it comes to home lighting, you’ve instinctively used an ‘elasticity planning’ model in lieu of a capacity planning model. 

Pretty cool, huh?  

Interesting side note on elasticity planning in action… 

My sister’s family just came back from a week long vacation and their home power bill was 25% less than normal due to lower power consumption. 

Back to blog… 

If only optimizing the cost of cloud compute resources was that easy. Hmmm, well maybe it is that easy. After all, it seems like doing our best to minimize the cost of cloud would be paramount since lower costs is one of the cloud’s promises: 

  • How can we optimize the resources that are already in use?

  • How can we optimize the amount of resources depending on the fluctuating demand?

  • How can we make the variable pricing model of the cloud predictable? 

… and The BIG question is… 

  • How can we change from traditional on-premise capacity planning to cloud-based elasticity planning? 

The irony of the cloud 

What makes elasticity planning even more important to cloud is that elastically expanding more cloud compute resources doesn’t necessarily result in meeting more business demand. For example, if your application in the cloud is slow due to inefficient methods, expanding compute resources will not allow you to meet greater business demand. 

These types of performance problems will impact both low and peak usage.  The cloud creates what I refer to as a ‘business value trap’ – it beckons you with promises of lower cost, but may actually result in higher costs… oh the irony.

Making the cloud deliver on its cost promise 

The first step in elasticity planning is to tune your application, thereby optimizing the required compute resources. This is equivalent to using an energy efficient light bulb – higher efficiency leads to less electricity, which results in lower costs. 

Tuning the application means that method call chains and SQL statements are efficient and optimized. It also means that there are no memory leaks, so that all required CPU and memory resources are minimized to support maximum business demand. 

Once you’ve tuned the application in the cloud, you need to right-size the application’s compute resource footprint. In essence, you need to know the optimal compute resource footprints to support fluctuating business demands. 

Keeping a huge compute resource footprint deployed in the cloud to service low business demand makes about as much sense as keeping all of your lights on in your house during day time. 

So, if you benchmark properly through performance testing, you’ll know the various compute resource footprints needed to support low usage (off-season), medium usage (mid-season) and peak usage (holiday season). This results in two valuable outcomes – one, you’ll validate your application’s global class scale; and two, you’ll make your variable costs in the cloud extremely predictable. 

HP Cloud Assure for cost control 

Performing true elasticity planning in the cloud requires the proper toolset and expertise. HP Cloud Assure for cost control is a service provided by HP SaaS and is meant to help you with your elasticity planning transformation. Its intention is to assure you the right size of your cloud compute footprint, at the right cost.  

I actually had a great conversation with Dana Gardner, Software Productivity Analyst and Social Media Producer, on Cloud Assure for cost control. You may read a transcript or listen to the podcast. 

Avoid the business-value-trap of the cloud. Perform proper elasticity planning! 

HP SaaS and the Cloud: Myth Busters, debunking 6 common SaaS misconceptions

One of my favorite shows on television is MythBusters on the Discovery Channel. The entertaining hosts recreate scenarios and then either prove or debunk common myths. For example, the show has scientifically proven that wearing metal jewelry does not increase your chances of being struck by lightning. And, believe it not, you do not suffer a worse hangover when overindulging with both “hard” and “soft” liquor.

While cloud computing seems to be getting most of the buzz these days, a slew of myths regarding Software as a Service (SaaS) have come to the forefront. Let’s do a little myth busting of our own regarding the most common SaaS misconceptions.

Myth #1: SaaS and cloud computing are exactly the same thing. While most Software-as-a-Service solutions fall under the larger cloud computing definition as “massively scalable and deployed via the Internet” they also have a number of other defining factors. First, SaaS is software that is owned, developed, hosted and managed remotely by one or more vendors for use by customers over the Internet. Also known as “software on demand,” SaaS customers subscribe to a service on a “pay-as-you-go” or for a certain time period rather than having to own the infrastructure, hardware and software to make the application available to the business. Think of cloud as the larger concept,and SaaS as one type of cloud computing—renting application functionality over the Internet.

Myth #2: SaaS is not for enterprise business. In today’s economy, SaaS is a sensible way for businesses to reduce costs and expand capabilities. It is ideal for complex, global implementations required by today’s largest companies. Leading analysts predict that large companies will deploy at least one-fourth of their business applications via SaaS in the next few years.

Myth #3: SaaS is a business purchase that circumvents IT. Again, this myth needs debunking. SaaS is considered one of many tools that IT uses to deliver value to the business. Because SaaS is a cost-effective delivery model for many applications, IT is one of the main purchasers of SaaS solutions.

Myth #4: SaaS adds risk to your security. HP SaaS is ISO 27001 Information Security Management Systems certified and audited by KPMG. The ISO 27001 standard is designed to ensure the protection of critical information and is required by many industries, such as in the finance, health, public and IT sectors.

Myth #5: SaaS is merely ASP repackaged. Application Service Providers (ASPs) and SaaS are related, but definitely not the same. Back in the late 1980s and the 1990s, ASPs offered an early form of application hosting. ASPs essentially moved a customer’s applications into a huge, hosted data center where the customer could access the data. While many ASPs exist today and are viable for certain industries and for certain applications, the model does not lend itself to widespread use. HP SaaS applications are vendor built, pre-deployed, supported 24/7 and do not require moving customer applications into humongous data centers.

Myth #6: SaaS will not last. SaaS is a proven, mature model providing long term benefits for both user and provider. You may not know this, but HP has been in the SaaS business since 2000. In fact, LoudCloud, founded in 1999 by Marc Andreessen, was one of the pioneers of SaaS, with one of the first commercially viable Infrastructure as a Service models. LoudCloud became Opsware, a company HP acquired in 2007. And HP successful deployed utility computing (a predecessor to SaaS), benefiting customers way back in the 1990s. Leading analysts predict that large companies will deploy at least one-fourth of their business applications via SaaS in the next few years. For many applications, SaaS makes the most sense for a long time to come.

For more myth-busting information about SaaS, I invite you to download our free e-Book. Or sign-up for a free 30-day trial (offered for a limited time).

Do you have a myth busting idea that you would like the HP Software & Solutions myth busters to confront? If so, we would like to hear from you.

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About the Author(s)
  • Archie delivers strategic solutions focused on today’s critical and evolving business needs, linked to the growing list of Strategic Enterprise Services including Hybrid Cloud, IM&A including Social Media, Security and Mobility from BYOD to mobile applications. Archie is the author of 4 books so far, and a founding director of the Australian Cloud Security Alliance chapter.
  • Lending 20 years of IT market expertise across 5 continents, for defining moments as an innovation adoption change agent.
  • Global Marketing Manager at HP in the Converged Application Systems organization, ESSN for Cloud Maps Solution which is a key part of HP’s Converged Cloud and CloudSystem strategy. Responsible for leading marketing for Cloud Maps with a focus on creating internal & external awareness, sales & partner enablement, and demand generation. You can follow me on Twitter @BelaniDeepak
  • HP Software Cloud and Automation solution architect serving largest customers in Europe, now leading the Community team for HP Operations Orchestration.
  • This account is for guest bloggers. The blog post will identify the blogger.
  • 15 years in IT industry … started as sys admin, then became a consultant, instructor, solution architect and now in product marketing @HP
  • I am on the WW Cloud and Big Data Solutions Team. I help our customers adopt HP advanced solutions that are made up of products and services from across HP. I have over 30 years experience in the technology business including 17 years of business ownership.
  • Matt is a Master Engineer leading the development of CLIs and SDKs for HP Cloud. Prior to this Matt led the development of the HP public cloud marketplace and developed the HP public cloud websites. He is a regular open source contributor having contributed to wide variety of projects in numerous languages including PHP, JavaScript, and Go. Matt is a published author and conference speaker.
  • Mike has been with HP for 30 years. Half of that time was in R&D, mainly as an architect. The other 15 years has been spent in product management, product marketing, and now, solution marketing. .
  • Nimish Shelat is currently focused on Datacenter Automation and IT Process Automation solutions. Shelat strives to help customers, traditional IT and Cloud based IT, transform to Service Centric model. The scope of these solutions spans across server, database and middleware infrastructure. The solutions are optimized for tasks like provisioning, patching, compliance, remediation and processes like Self-healing Incidence Remediation and Rapid Service Fulfilment, Change Management and Disaster Recovery. Shelat has 21 years of experience in IT, 18 of these have been at HP spanning across networking, printing , storage and enterprise software businesses. Prior to his current role as a World-Wide Product Marketing Manager, Shelat has held positions as Software Sales Specialist, Product Manager, Business Strategist, Project Manager and Programmer Analyst. Shelat has a B.S in Computer Science. He has earned his MBA from University of California, Davis with a focus on Marketing and Finance.
  • René J. Aerdts is chief technologist and leader of the Strategic Pursuits and Cloud Enablement organization within the Chief Technology Office for HP Enterprise Services. René is responsible for creating and delivering direction and content for consultative driven thematic pursuits, where leading edge technologies and offerings are part of the solution.
  • Roger has been trying to get out of Information Technology since programming COBOL on mainframes in the late '80's. But no matter in which continent he awoke, or whom employed him, his passion to enable people with technology was constant. So now he enables businesses to determine their strategy using the latest technologies like cloud computing, mobility, and big data. HP calls these Strategic Enterprise Services, Roger calls them "another day in the office."
  • Stephen Spector is a HP Cloud Evangelist promoting the OpenStack based clouds at HP for hybrid, public, and private clouds . He was previously at Dell promoting their Cloud solutions and was the open source community manager for OpenStack and at Rackspace and Citrix Systems. While at Citrix Systems, he founded the Citrix Developer Network, developed global alliance and licensing programs, and even once added audio to the DOS ICA client with assembler. Follow Stephen at @SpectorTX
  • As a provisioning addict for 20 years, I was involved in projects in EMEA and the US as engineer, solution architect and project manager. In the last 2 years I'm in the Operations Orchestrations Community Assistance Team in HP Software R&D.
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