HP Q&A: Converged Cloud is company's chief initiative

Saar Gillai, head of HP's Converged Cloud, talks about how HP provides an on-ramp to the cloud for enterprises

By , IDG News Service |  Cloud Computing

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.

The primary difference is that we provide phone support -- direct human access -- at our basic [support] level. If there is a problem, you don't have to look at a Twitter feed to see if the network down. Anywhere else, if you want to talk to a human being, you have to use a different pricing tier.

Also, there is a philosophical disagreement about how you design an application. In some cases, [cloud providers] will say the resiliency is the application's problem and if there is a problem, it is because the application wasn't designed to make due with our resiliency capabilities.

While we feel it is very important to allow customers to build their application in a resilient fashion, we believe that you shouldn't just leave everything up to the application because that puts too much burden on the developers.

So, in our world, we believe we have some responsibility for business continuity. That is the enterprise mindset. Enterprises expect that. As a vendor, you have some responsibility in ensuring that your customer can get the resiliency out of your system.

IDGNS: Rackspace recently launched a program to bring in partners to offer OpenStack deployments, which the company plans to turn into a federated network in which customers can easily move around their virtual workloads from provider to provider. What is HP doing to foster interoperability with its own OpenStack services?

Gillai: HP has always been a supporter of open solutions and interoperability. We have not used lock-in mechanisms to differentiate ourselves from the competition, and we don't plan to do that in the cloud. The differentiation that is going to come between my OpenStack and someone else's OpenStack will not be based on lock-in.

Specifically with Rackspace, we talk with them all the time. We consider them to be more of a partner than anything else. We're collaborating on a lot of things together. We're supporting the concept of ensuring of the ecosystem and maintaining interoperability.

IDGNS: What is the state of OpenStack? We've heard it still may be a bit rough around the edges. But it must be usable if HP is offering it in its enterprise cloud offerings. What work still needs to be done?

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