It’s increasingly likely that successful start-ups will ultimately leverage cloud services in some form or fashion, and so must build a solid foundation to prepare for it. That foundation is a modular converged infrastructure, suggests Chris Christianopoulos, director of sales for converged infrastructure and cloud at Hewlett Packard. He notes that HP Converged Infrastructure—which simplifies, integrates and automates storage, networking, servers and management tools—can provide start-ups with the business agility that is much needed at that early stage.
“The advantage of a common modular infrastructure to start-ups and SMBs is that they can address what they need today, while accelerating their path to cloud,” he says. “When they’re ready to move to a cloud model, they can leverage the investments already made.
“Be mindful,” he advises start-ups. “Leave yourself open for growth.”
Because the Converged Infrastructure is modular, small- and mid-sized companies can avoid over-investment without locking themselves into technology that will later require a heavy upgrade. At the same time, a modular infrastructure doesn’t pigeonhole organizations into one environment or approach, accelerating their IT deployments based on their unique business needs.
Studies show that the bulk of companies over the next two years will initiate some degree of cloud computing, whether private, public or a hybrid model. For many SMBs, cloud simply makes good sense, Christianopoulos notes, as it can greatly accelerate development and, ultimately, time to market.
Others like Alpha Exchange Innovation Campaign winner EidoSearch already see benefit from cloud. The company offers its historical financial query technology to customers via a public cloud in order to increase customer convenience, and can provide consistent and easy upgrades and patches when needed.
Christianopoulos says that, while EidoSearch and similar start-ups might find potential benefit to implementing a private cloud, different models work better for specific businesses. One cloud model does not fit all. Still, what does fit all is being prepared: all SMBs need the flexibility to buy what they need now, while positioning themselves for growth.
“Many businesses have significant peaks and valleys in their data requirements, making the ability to turn IT services on and off quickly and to allocate and decommission them in an automated way a huge benefit,” he says. “Time saved provisioning IT resources directly results in faster time to market which, for a start-up, is critical.”
For businesses looking to quickly “turn on” a private cloud, Christianopoulos points to HP’s CloudSystem Matrix. Built on the foundation of HP Converged Infrastructure, CloudSystem Matrix can be configured for small, medium or large businesses. The systems are pre-integrated for speedy-but-secure cloud deployment, and additional capacity can be added for growth.
Depending on the start-up’s needs, public, private or hybrid cloud models might be appropriate; however, misconceptions still exist around the benefits of each model. For example, it’s a common myth that pay-for-use public cloud is always the most cost-effective model. This is untrue, notes Christianopoulos, who adds that businesses with more consistent IT requirements would likely find a private cloud more effective. Of course, this all depends on specific applications, as well; this reinforces that IT managers at start-ups must carefully evaluate their needs.
For start-ups with limited IT staff to devote to such questions, HP Converged Infrastructure affords them another advantage: reducing complexity, while future-proofing. Rather than servers, storage and networking being managed in separate silos, this provides the capabilities to manage, secure and govern across various cloud models while ensuring integration with traditional environments.
“If I have all these separate systems, I’m not exactly reducing complexity,” he says. “Consider that each silo of service is one more step required when deploying IT resources. But if, as we have, you can take those silos and converge and automate them, you can deliver technology to staff or customers in a matter of hours instead of days.”
For more information on Hewlett Packard, visit: www.hp.com/canada