If You Were An OEM Facing The Cloud What Would You Do?

Before the Alliance, Coalition, and Partnership start the Cloud Wars, everybody raise your Guinness and say “Brilliant!”

YouTube Guinness Brilliant Six Pack Commercial

It’s obvious now that Cloud Computing is no longer just a concept. Amazon EC2 has been around for a while, vCloud Express was announced late last year, Microsoft is moving full steam ahead with Azure, and new internal cloud infrastructure and storage solutions are appearing on the scene weekly. CTOs and IT Directors are starting to see legitimate solutions for offloading some or all of their development and production workload and infrastructure to alternatives in The Cloud.

Put yourself at the helm of one of the Original Equipment Manufacturer’s (OEMs) that have made their money selling server, switch and storage hardware in the private data center to date. Faced with the future possibility that companies will have an option to run applications and services on infrastructure they don’t buy, build, or maintain, what would be your strategy for generating reoccuring business in the future?

I bring it up because of all the cloud architecture announcements. EMC announced a coalition with Cisco and VMware, NetApp has a Secure Multi Tennancy alliance with Cisco and VMware, and HP has announced an Integrated Infrastructure partnership with Microsoft. The storage OEMs are the first out the gate with the snap together infrastrucure for the cloud, but I imagine other hardware partnerships are not too far behind. VMware and Cisco UCS may already be the first with Microsoft and HP? Microsoft and VMware conveniently can run on top if it all.

Before the Alliance, Coalition, and Partnership start the Cloud Wars, everybody raise your Guinness and say “Brilliant!”

It’s brilliant because it’s a simple win / win solution no matter what happens. The appeal of Everything as a Service, Iaas, Saas, Haas, and any other “as a service” you want to think up is interesting and efficient whether implemented internally or externally. Those hardware and software providers that have a cookie cutter architecture with guidelines for implementing in a dynamic, do it yourself, modular data center should stand out as go to manufacturers.

The point is that, although the OEM partnerships may have many complex implications that are being discussed in the community from every possible angle, at the heart of the announcements is a simple desire to keep selling products. Selling them no matter who is buying – the traditional IT department or the cloud provider. Like the Guinness six pack, combining the equipment also results in more unit sold for everybody.