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May 13, 2015

HP not competing directly in public cloud but ‘being smart’

Briefing: CBR spoke to Xavier Poisson, VP Helion Cloud, EMEA about his views of the cloud market, and HP's real public cloud position.

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Xavier Poisson said that he laughed when he saw the articles about HP’s departure from the public cloud market, stating that to the contrary he believes the company has been smart about how it has positioned itself.

"The position of HP has been smart, we have not said we will compete head to head on public cloud or that we’ll compete head to head on virtualisation."

"We would embrace open on legacy and we continue the job of HP, which is to enable the enterprise to build their IT – it is a different motion than saying we are making cloud. We are making cloud and other things and that is why we cannot be compared to Amazon."

However, education is still clearly required for the company and he is keen to educate people on its position and the market itself:

"To educate people, we have a public cloud in the US, this has not changed, it is working and we are very proud of it."

"The problem is that people believe that there is only one system that’s working, which is absolutely false. It’s complicated because people want to simplify the market and say that we are only doing public cloud or you are not doing public cloud – no we are doing hybrid."

"In this sense we are not public cloud we are hybrid, so we do both private and public."

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One of the issues that HP faces is that it is in a highly competitive market where companies are frequently being compared based on the share of the market they hold. With HP, it is a company which places an emphasis on quality over quantity and on collaboration.

The collaborative work that it is doing can be seen no more clearly than through its contributions to the Kilo OpenStack program, however, this could be seen as contributing to the ‘enemy’ and of diluting the importance of one company’s input.

However, Poisson is not concerned about this and suggests that there is a give and take way about open source: "We have hundreds developing code for OpenStack and for cloud foundry, and because we are in a foundation, we give back to the community everything we do."

"HP Helion OpenStack is very near the trunk on purpose, for every single release we have some specific areas where we contribute more than the others and in an area where we are contributing less then we take advantage of the other contributors."

For Poisson the demand on the market to avoid vendor-lock in is one of the reasons why there is an industry move to open source.

"I believe the industry is answering a need of the customers to avoid vendor lock in, it is both technology and business models. Because you need to make the tech which is complicated because of its interoperability. Open source is based a lot on life cycle management and that is where we bring value with the acceleration of cloud native apps."

The birth of cloud native apps and the new generation of digital native companies are two other factors which are leading to a change of thinking.

"The cloud native apps landscape is moving very quickly, with more and more new companies popping up, who think about applications differently. This is because when you are a cloud native app, you are more able to control the scaling of your infrastructure inside the application code."

"This makes it far more independent from the underlying layer, and you can avoid vendor lock in. Open source is a combination of both technology benefits and also because the market is asking for it."

 

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