HPE CEO Whitman: High Cost Of Checking Out Of 'Hotel California' Public Clouds, Especially AWS, Boosts Hybrid IT

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HPE CEO Meg Whitman on Wednesday said inflexibility, security issues and the high cost of getting out of public clouds – particularly Amazon Web Services (AWS) – is helping to slow the movement to the public cloud and boosting hybrid IT.

"What we all know is whatever data you put into the public cloud – particularly AWS – it is a bit like Hotel California you check in and you do not check out and if you try to check out it is immensely expensive and takes a long period of time," said Whitman, during a question and answer session with press and analysts at HPE Discover 2017. 

Whitman continued: "So our view is that the world is going to be hybrid. There are applications that absolutely will go to the public cloud. But there are also a lot of applications that as we create the ability to have private cloud on-prem, at public cloud economics, both from a total cost of ownership as well as a consumption-based pricing model many organizations are going to choose to have those same economics with the same agility on-prem, as opposed to moving to the public cloud."

[Related: CEO Whitman: HPE's Hybrid IT Innovation Is Saving Customers Staring Into Public Cloud 'Abyss']

HPE, in fact, highlighted a host of those cases at Discover including a decision by $40 billion pharmaceutical maker Merck to opt for an HPE hybrid IT solution instead of a public cloud deployment. Also, cloud collaboration workspace provider Smartsheet and online gaming company LiquidSky both moved from public cloud deployments to private, HPE-powered hybrid IT solutions.

Whitman said she is not "denying" there are workloads moving to the public cloud as is evident from AWS's quarterly results, but there is clearly a "slow down" in that movement as a result of companies hitting what she called the "cloud cliff" facing serious "security, control, cost" and "flexibility" issues. "People are rethinking what the right mix is for their company," she said.

CRN reached out to AWS for comment but had not received a reply at press time.

Whitman said the gap between private cloud and public cloud has narrowed over the last several years with a slew of private cloud infrastructure and cloud consumption innovation from the likes of HPE that was simply not available four years ago."That is the way we see the world," she said."Obviously, this will be proven out over time."

HPE partners said they are regularly delivering private clouds at 30 to 50 percent cost savings with offerings that are more secure and flexible than public cloud.

LiquidSky, a cloud service which allows gamers to install and play any game, embraced the Cloud@scale offering from CB Technologies, an Orange, Calif. HPE Platinum partner, because it provided better performance and economics in a more robust managed cloud environment, said LiquidSky CEO Ian McLoughlin, in a video testimonial at the show.

"We started the company on a public cloud infrastructure, but over time as we grew we needed to move towards a private cloud solution," said McLoughlin. "Cloud@scale was great for us because it gave us the speed and drove in the ease of use that we had with public cloud. HPE gave us more bang for the buck. We can actually fit double the amount of users per server which gives us much better economics.''

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