HP’s Support of OpenStack Affirms Open Source, Inter-Operable Cloud Solutions

HP became the latest technology behemoth to support OpenStack, joining company with the likes of AMD, Canonical, Cisco, Dell, Intel and Citrix on July 27. Emil Sayegh, HP’s VP of Cloud Services, announced Hewlett Packard’s support for OpenStack in a blog post featuring the following highlights:

• Recognition of the importance of open source, inter-operable solutions for the cloud computing industry
• Active participation in the OpenStack community
• Sponsorship of the OpenStack Design Summit and OpenStack Conference in October 2011.
• Belief that collaboration with OpenStack marks an “opportunity to enable customers, partners and developers with unique infrastructure and development solutions across public, private and hybrid cloud environments.”

The last bullet point indicates that HP is likely to deliver hardware that comes pre-loaded with OpenStack software that can support customers seeking to build public, private and hybrid cloud computing deployments. HP’s affirmation of OpenStack arrived in conjunction with analogous but different affirmations from Nebula and Dell. Nebula announced its intent to launch an appliance pre-loaded with OpenStack software while Dell revealed details of an OpenStack Cloud Solution that enables customers to quickly deploy OpenStack based cloud solutions using a combination of hardware, software and professional services. OpenStack can now claim support from over 90 companies and more than 1200 contributors.

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Quotes from conference call between Dell’s Steve Schuckenbrock and Sanford Bernstein

Select Quotes from Steve Schuckenbrock, President of Dell Services (April 5, 2011):

“You know the demand for IT and the torque frankly in the system for CIOs, when you balance the huge demand for efficiency with really sort of unprecedented levels of efficiency being driven through cloud like execution, and whether that’s a public cloud, private cloud, whatever the case might be, the reality is, is there’s a significant amount of standardization that’s occurring in the world. And that standardization brings all sorts of value from an efficiency standpoint, and places real pressure on CIOs to make sure they embrace those opportunities as quickly as possible.

And at the same time, there’s increased demand based on sort of any information available anytime, anywhere to basically any device for flexibility and for speed, and the ability to respond to this enormous sort of expectation. You know I guess probably best summarized by us as consumers, and our need for instantaneous gratification of any information available anytime.

And it’s this torque between these two things that I think creates a tremendous opportunity and a bit of an inflection point. Dell, I believe, is positioned exceptionally well to respond on both of those two fronts. We have terrific leadership in the standardization of technology. We are in fact very focused on standing up highly virtualized, highly efficient, you might even call it optimized data center infrastructures for our customers, and we are doing the same with our own data centers from a services standpoint.

And that certainly gives the counter balance that says, from a flexibility standpoint, you get greater speed, when there’s standardization, you can respond faster, you can innovate faster. And you get a repeatable quality and cost proposition as a result.

Cloud services is certainly something that brings new levels of efficiency as well as flexibility. When you look from a cloud services standpoint, it’s the ability to frankly deliver an infrastructure all the way through a set of applications in a manner that takes advantage of all the efficiencies of the cloud, whether that be a private cloud or a public cloud, but at the same time, responding to this need for speed. The fact that people want just in time kind of capacity, they want the ability to provision services themselves, and to be able to turn them on and turn them off at their whim, as opposed to these sort of monolithic, contractual structures that have been a part of the services industry for so long.

And from a talent factory standpoint, there is a huge need for access to the right skill sets in the right place at the right time, and sometimes those skill sets are local and consultative in nature, and other times those skill sets might be leveraged in a cost optimized location someplace around the world. But these talent factories are vital in terms of being able to help customers move their applications to the standardized or optimized infrastructure footprint that I described above. And I think all three of these capabilities are absolutely crucial to embrace what’s happening in the services space today.”

Source: See “2011-04-05-Services-Transcript.pdf”

DELL Inc.
Services Conference Call with Steve Schuckenbrock
Hosted by Sanford Bernstein
April 5, 2011

Dell announces plans to invest $1 billion in cloud computing

Dell announced it plans to spend $1 billion in cloud computing products and services over the next fiscal year in an attempt to gain market share in an environment currently dominated by Amazon, IBM, Microsoft, Google, Rackspace and HP. Over the next two years, the company plans to build 10 data centers devoted to deployment of cloud computing technology in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Moreover, the company plans to open a total of 22 Global Solutions Centers that enable customers to obtain consultative services about the cloud computing strategy that constitutes the best fit for their organization. In support of its plans to invest in cloud computing infrastructure, Dell announced the availability of vStart, a product that integrates server, storage, networking and management ability to provide customers with out of the box, racked and cabled virtualization hardware and software. Designed to instantly enable the virtualization of 100-200 machines in its initial configuration, vStart comes pre-loaded with VMware’s ESXi hypervisor virtualization technology but expects to accommodate a broader range of virtualization technology as the product matures. vStart 100’s technical specifications include a PowerEdge 610 server for managing the VMWare technology, 3 PowerEdge R710 servers, Dell EqualLogic™ PS6000XV iSCSI storage, Dell PowerConnect™ 6248 switches and Dell management tools.

Dell’s decision to invest heavily in cloud computing marks the most explicit recognition from the Texas based IT corporation that the market for PCs and data center servers is insufficient to sustain its growth in an enterprise environment that increasingly seeks IT standardization and efficiency, and a consumer environment that demands access to information in real-time, 24-7. Dell has yet to announce what cloud computing software will power its IaaS and PaaS offerings in the data centers it intends to build. One possibility is that the IaaS platform will feature the OpenStack platform while the PaaS leverages Microsoft Azure. In an April 6 press conference in San Francisco, Steve Schuckenbrock, Dell’s president of Dell Services, noted that Dell’s forthcoming cloud computing data centers will house “public and private cloud capabilities.”

OpenStack Demo Environment to be Launched by Rackspace, Dell and Equinix

Rackspace, Dell and Equinix have decided to launch a demonstration environment of OpenStack, an open source, Infrastructure as a Service cloud computing platform. The OpenStack demonstration environment is intended to entice customers to investigate OpenStack’s cloud computing facilities to the point where they subsequently decide to purchase service offerings that manage the process of building and maintaining a customer’s application environment in the cloud. Rackspace, for example, has a service offering called Cloud Builders that facilitates the process of transitioning a customer’s internally hosted applications into a cloud computing environment. Cloud Builders assists customers design and launch applications either within a public cloud analogous to Amazon Web Services, or a private cloud behind the customer’s own firewall within their own data center.

The OpenStack demo environment will be available in three locations: the Rackspace data center in Chicago, and Equinix data centers in Silicon Valley and Ashburn, VA. The platform will run on Dell’s PowerEdge Intel C based server technology, Platform Equinix, a delivery platform for data centers across the U.S., OpenStack’s open source cloud computing code and Rackspace’s Cloud Builders services and support. OpenStack began in October 2010 as a collaboration between NASA and Rackspace designed to deliver a scalable, open source cloud computing operating system. The project features OpenStack Compute and OpenStack Storage, which respectively provide services to provision virtual servers and deliver an infrastructure for storing terabytes and petabytes of data. Today, over 50 companies have participated in the OpenStack project by providing technical expertise, mindshare, capital and real-time application deployments from partners such as Dell, AMD, Intel, Citrix and Cisco.

The demo of OpenStack represents an important moment for Rackspace, one of the key leaders in the OpenStack initiative. With the release of Cloud Builders, Rackspace has elected to pursue a business model diametrically opposed to Amazon Web Services because it offers customers an array of services to complement its product offering. Amazon Web Services, in contrast, delivers a highly streamlined, flexible, inexpensive deployment environment and experience that explicitly eschews consultative sales and service offerings, with minor exceptions for its premium support customers. If successful, the demo of OpenStack should make Rackspace an even more attractive target for acquisition amidst a flurry of impending acquisition speculations following the recent purchases of Terremark by Verizon and NaviSite by Time Warner. Rackspace CEO, Lanham Napier, denies interest in acquisition conversations in favor of a continued policy of organic growth and revenue stemming from its own acquisitions, such as cloud computing developer Anso Labs in February of 2011. Rackspace also acquired Cloudkick, the cloud monitoring company, in December of last year.