Cloud is a bitter sweet pill for vendors like you, isn't it? If companies move more and more to the cloud, whom will you sell your storage to?
The service provider market is a huge one for HP and is one of the fastest growing markets for us. If you look at the cloud service provider market, you can basically split them into three different entities. Firstly there are those who provide virtualized enterprise applications using VMware or Microsoft Hyper-V. That's where the 3Par platform was designed for — for utility computing — and we are the storage solution provider for many of those providers and the private cloud users also use the same structure. If you look at competitors — like EMC, NetApp, or Hitachi - they don't have architectures which are truly tied to solving the multi-tenancy problems of cloud and that's why we have a strong advantage in that space.
The next type of service providers are those who want to use industry standard server technology with massive scale out models like the Amazons, the Googles and Microsoft Azures of the world. That is moving external storage to internal storage and you will not find a VMAX or a VNX or a NetApp FAS filer in any of these environments, but you may find a ProLiant server with internal storage. That means that we can pick up that business.
The third type of service providers are the tier-2 or tier-3 scale out providers who are dependent on other software solutions and would be using VMware or Hyper V, but they want to buy SDS solutions from companies like HP where they can build out their own solution sets with scale out commodity architectures and there we not only provide the ProLiant hardware, but also the StoreVirtual technology.
So, we have solutions for all three types of service providers. But, EMC and NetApp, don't have solutions for any of them. They may force fit; they may convince a few customers to take an EMC VMAX, but it's not a solution that's optimized for this new IT as a service world.
That's what makes this transition to cloud much more acceptable for HP because whether we have our traditional customer base that we are selling to for their data centres or if they are moving to the cloud, we can sell to the cloud service providers. EMC is trapped.
The service providers will commoditize the storage landscape driving down your margins and profits. So, how do you play that game?
If you are going to play that game out, I prefer to play it as a vendor who has the size, scale, and the supply chain capability like that of HP. So, there is an advantage to size. Certainly we have the assets, the scale, and the position to be the cost leader in that side of the market. So, if the market is going to descend into that space, we are positioned to be a major player.
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