Like it or not, IT organizations need to come to terms with some new realities. They can either continue to manage IT the way they always have and slowly, but surely, watch providers of cloud services take over the tasks they currently manage; or they can seek to strike the right balance between modern IT systems that they manage on premise and the myriad services that are being offered in the cloud.
The challenge many IT organizations face is finding the budget to upgrade internal systems that are a capital expense, versus relying more on the operating expense model being put forward by providers of cloud services. There are, of course, certain classes of application workloads that, at least not yet, can’t really run on an external cloud because of security and compliance issues. But even then, it’s only a matter of time before the folks who make these rules gain more confidence in third-party cloud services. The end result is that most of the rest of this decade is likely to be a hybrid cloud computing environment that will require fundamental changes to the way enterprise IT is managed.
Against that backdrop, Hewlett-Packard today extended its line of cloud computing platforms and services at the HP Discover 2012 conference. The company announced the general availability of HP Cloud Compute and the public beta of HP Cloud Block Storage while also unveiling HP Cloud Application Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering, which is based on the Cloud Foundry Open PaaS Project. In addition, HP released an update to a suite of offerings that are intended to automate the management of IT operations across hybrid cloud computing environments.
According to Steve Dietch, vice president of worldwide cloud for HP Enterprise, HP now has a robust set of private, public and hybrid cloud computing options that IT organizations can use to right size their IT investments. In essence, Dietch says that rather than being the builders of every IT service, IT organizations are going to need to recalibrate what services they build versus orchestrate. In theory, that should make for a more agile IT environment that utilizes technologies such as cloudbursting to give businesses the flexibility they are increasingly expecting to see from IT.
Naturally, it may take a little while for a host of technology and cultural issues to get worked out. But the one thing that is for certain is that enterprise IT as we once knew it will never be the same again.