Practically Speaking About Cloud Computing:
IT Infrastructure – Part 2
As we discussed in the first part of the article, IT Infrastructure is the main backbone of the business and businesses have already begun the work to reinvent their IT infrastructure. They have started moving towards more efficient deployment systems. Server virtualization is mainstream now. Though we are seeing public/private/hybrid cloud offerings in IaaS, PaaS and SaaS, the ultimate goal is making ‘IT as a Service’. Public cloud offering definitely helps to lower up-front capex; but the opex part of management remains intact even in cloud computing. The adoption of cloud is picking up fast but this is not to say that enterprises are going in to cloud for everything. As can be seen from Amazon Web Services customer base and Salesforce customer base, the cloud adoption has started more with SMBs than large enterprises in the beginning. Quite understandable because they are the ones starved of capex funds! Not to mention here that the security apprehensions that are not yet fully vanished from the mindset.
Meanwhile innovation is taking place. Recently HP and Microsoft have jointly announced what can be called as ‘private cloud boxes’ or ‘service in a box’ appliances. The sole purpose of these appliances is to speed up and simplify the deployment of business services. The new appliances, the result of a long partnership between HP and Microsoft, called as ‘Infrastructure2applications’, squarely addresses the issues we listed. The new appliances are based on HP s converged infrastructure offering with G7 Server Hardware and Microsoft Software. Both the companies have acquired the expertise to deliver IT infrastructure the way businesses want them, either on-
premise or via the Cloud! The current portfolio consists of Microsoft SQL, Exchange Server and Business Intelligence product lines.
HP + Microsoft box appliances:
- Business Decision Appliance: This is a self-service BI Solution based on Microsoft SQL Server. This also includes Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and Sharepoint services. This solution encompassing BI analytics, can be installed and configured in an hours’ time.
- Messaging System Solution: Do you feel that going in for public cloud email services like Google Apps, Microsoft BPOS, IBM Lotus etc., unsafe? Here comes the solution which is best of both the worlds. Based on Microsoft Exchange 2010, this is lower TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) solution that can be sized to the need. Large mail boxes, Centralized archiving, Built-in High Availability and Inbox productivity tools are the innovations.
- Enterprise Data warehousing Solution: The complexity involved in deploying data warehouse solution is known to people who are living with it. This solution is a boon to them. This is based on Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse and has the agility to grow up to 500 TB of information. A demo of these products are available at the HP site.
CIO s are facing the challenge of getting rid of their old IT infrastructure, that has become inflexible, unmanageable, inefficient and high TCO scrawl of silos. IT infrastructure stands at an inflection point now, where in productive, efficient and innovative service offerings are on the anvil. As we move to this new phase, we see that this holistic set of IT infrastructure comprising hardware, software, services, is more aligned towards the business goals.