Saar Gillai, named head of Hewlett-Packard's cloud operations in January, is on the hot seat.
Turmoil in the upper ranks has caused consternation among customers over the past few years and while Amazon made early inroads in dominating the market for cloud services, HP has been relatively late to the game. The company announced its strategy to seamlessly extend existing enterprise resources through a hybrid cloud approach using OpenStack just a year ago.
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Today, HP's Converged Cloud still remains a bit of a dark horse in the race for cloud business, though it offers compute, storage, and content delivery services, and has been upgrading its IT management software to accommodate virtual workloads in the cloud as well.
Prior to leading HP's cloud business, Gillai headed the development, marketing and sales of HP networking products for the cloud, and served as chief technology officer for the networking group. He also worked at Cisco Systems as well as 3Com, prior to HP's acquisition of 3Com. IDG News Service spoke with Gillai, whose title is senior vice president and general manager, about how HP is faring in its approach of offering cloud services to enterprises.
IDGNS: How has customer adoption been thus far with HP's cloud services?
Gillai: Customer adoption has been great. We have over 1,000 customers deploying CloudSystem [software], and that is a good indicator for us, because people are using it for driving private clouds. In addition, we have thousands of customers in the public cloud as well [and some of these] are very large customers.
The cloud is happening faster than most people think, and that is because the value proposition is so great. The base cases for adopting cloud, such as development, testing, and analytics, is a no brainer. The time to value for the customer is so fast, it is so easy to see how they can get value from it.
But we are talking to the customers about the journey. Over time they'll want to migrate additional capabilities -- some of which may be more complex than what they already have in the cloud. You want to make sure you have an architecture that will give you a line of sight, so you won't have to change architectures midstream.
The whole idea behind HP's Converged Cloud is to bridge between traditional private and public across a common management stream. If you are using all the HP lifecycle tools today, you will be able to continue to use those as you move to different cloud architectures that HP provides.
IDGNS: In previous interviews you stated that HP can offer service level agreements that other providers -- such as Amazon -- can't. Explain.
Gillai: The most valuable thing that HP offers is business continuity. SLAs only matter when things go wrong. When things are going well, nobody cares.