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HP Clouds – If IBM Can Do It Why Can’t We?

By John | July 10, 2008

Here’s the scenario: You are huge hardware/software vendor and you need to re-brand your traditional hardware, software, and professional services line. You go out and find a large gullible organization that has lot’s of cash and offer to sell them this new cloud thing. You tell them it is the latest and greatest new thing and that everyone is doing it. Basically you sell them the same overpriced hardware, fat proprietary software and services solution that you were trying to sell last year. However, instead of calling it provisioning, orchestration, and an operations management solution, this year you call it a cloud. IBM has been hugely successful with this as a global strategy and particularly with the Chinese government. The issue at hand is that it has become a lot harder to sell hardware and fat proprietary software combos in a world where pesky open source solutions keep driving down the prices.

So it looks like HP has one-upped IBM by playing the cloud card with the US government. HP announced today that they will be helping the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) DISA move to a new cloud infrastructure. HP will be backing up it’s freight trucks to the DISA loading dock and will unload an army of services architects, project managers, grunts along with crates of hardware and software. In HP’s own words here is what DISA is going to get:

HP will provide DISA a broad array of HP products, software and services to implement and support the cloud infrastructure. HP software featured in the solution includes HP Operations Orchestration, HP Server Automation, HP Service Manager, HP Operations Manager, HP Systems Insight Manager and HP ProLiant Essentials. HP will also provide ProLiant server blades, implementation services and on-site operations management.

One can only wonder if the forecast will be calling for rain in a year from now when DISA tries to untangle their new cloud infrastructure.

Topics: cloud computing, hp, ibm, ibm blue cloud | 7 Comments »

7 Responses to “HP Clouds – If IBM Can Do It Why Can’t We?”

  1. dave Says:
    July 11th, 2008 at 7:42 am

    It would be good if you were able to present all the facts correctly. There are no “army of services architects, project managers, grunts along with crates of hardware and software” – this can be done with minimal architects, pm’s and grunts. If you understood DISA you would realize that DISA does not have “lots of cash” – 80% of their spend is provided by the Services and Agencies that they support. Also, did you ever think that DISA might not be buying anything – perhaps this is a fee for service transaction. DISA is not in the business of buying hardare and software – they pay their contractors a fee for service for compute power

  2. John Says:
    July 11th, 2008 at 8:33 am

    Actually Dave,

    I do understand DISA a little bit. A while back I implemented a huge Computer Associates implementation that costs millions of dollars by a deal that was cooked in someones back yard (not me I was just engaged to do the services work).

    If you want to research another “what DOD” doesn’t spend on IT look up “Telos and IBM in the late 1990′s.

    Thirty years and I have never seen a minimal implementation done by IBM, CA, or HP for a large enterprise. My research indicates that DISA’s budget for 2009 is 1.2 Billion dollars. I guess when you say not a lot of money it’s all relative. Also saying that DISA isn’t buying anything and they are only paying a fee for service seems pretty silly – don’t you think. Just because they use contractors doesn’t mean that someone isn’t paying for it. Is HP doing this for free?

    However, you are correct I do not know the facts and I can only go by my experience of dealing with large vendors like (IBM, CA, and HP). I would love to see the budget for this minimal services contract. If you want to post some facts to contradict my assertions I am all ears.

    Bottom line Google is not running HP Blade servers and Opsware to manage their Cloud infrastructure and I’ll bet their infrastructure is a lot more cost effective than the HP DISA proposed implementation. IMO, implementing bloated proprietary software implementations proposed by IBM, HP, and CA are not the kind of clouds enterprises should be looking at withe the availability of todays new technologies.

  3. James Urquhart Says:
    July 12th, 2008 at 12:00 am

    Right on, John. There is no way a company with tens of thousands of employees will service such a high visibility account with 5 guys and a handful of product licenses. Nor will this grow organically (as Google most certainly has), HP will be looking for a few big-bang announcements of major project rollouts. Doing it “a server at a time” ain’t gonna happen–and that increases risk greatly, in my experience.


  4. Jayadeep Says:
    July 18th, 2008 at 12:11 am

    I am with you John – having worked for one of the companies you mention here, I know for a fact that simple solutions are always get sidelined when compared to the complex ones with a large potential for continous revenue stream. Labor is preferred against many automated solutions. So people should look to Google and Amazon for developing cloud solutions, not the big guys – see my related thoughts at

  5. dave Says:
    August 13th, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    so let’s see if i get this correct – google provides a similar service – to the rest of the world. are you saying it’s not a good thing for DISA to provide a secure cloud service to their customers, they are an ISP? perhaps hp is providing this for free, i have no clue, if it were me i would provide it for free and have disa’s customers pay a fee per use – that would certainly me more profitable than hawking a bunch of boxes and non-propreitory software. as to whether the google IT is more cost effective -i would hope that to be true seeing that they get to spread their costs over the billions of people that can use their service whereas disa can only spread it over the 3 million people that protect our country

  6. John Says:
    December 19th, 2008 at 6:50 am

    Hey Dave,

    “There are no “army of services architects, project managers, grunts along with crates of hardware and software” – this can be done with minimal architects,”

    Remember this statement? How do like these apples…

  7. Cloud Droplets #28 Chillin Christmas in da Hood | IT Management and Cloud Blog Says:
    December 19th, 2008 at 9:50 am

    [...] How do you like these apples? [...]