|By John Cowan||
|December 14, 2012 08:00 AM EST||
Barb Darrow recently published one of the latest opinions on HP’s long-term strategy in the wake of fresh announcements around the HP cloud coming out of beta. Darrow doesn’t outright slam the tech giant but I detect a slight snicker or two. Marred by some serious write downs after getting the shaft in two big acquisition deals, questions are no doubt coming from all angles at HP. However, we should not be so quick to toss the HP baby out with the cloud bath water. I for one am quite bullish about the prospects of HP in a utility computing world.
My outlook for HP is a little rosier than most because I see the cloud for what it really is: the underlying IT infrastructure utility for the next great commodity market.
From my perspective any company with the capability to see straight into the design, manufacture and delivery of compute, network and storage infrastructure is the company to bet on in the future.
I have news for you: markets don’t give a rat’s IaaS about whether you built the orchestration software or it’s your homegrown app store that customers are coming to visit to download a movie. That is merely window dressing for the real moneymaker and really the future of cloud computing: Exchange Traded IT Infrastructure Contracts.
Making the argument that HP is not well positioned for the future is like telling Exxon or Shell that they are in trouble in a world shifting to alternative energy because they didn’t invent new solar panels. BFD. Cloud software – from provisioning to orchestration and everything in between – merely make up the tools to help access the cloud and make use of utility computing.
Interesting, but not so much.
I envision a possibility where the production of compute power and compute as a service is financed years in advance on a futures contract. I see a future where financial hedging strategies play a bigger role inside the enterprise than the traditional RFP process for the last great IT project.
So HP built a cloud offering on OpenStack and partnered with ActiveState to build a pass play. Good for them. The software layer to the utility-metered cloud is an increasingly open ecosystem of partnerships, co-opetition and collaboration. The more software players HP can gather to run and operate on top of HP’s most important asset to the future of cloud is the most forward looking strategy I’ve seen from them in a long time.