A cloudy je ne sais quoi

Red Hat Hybrid Cloud Programme lead on why it’s good to resist definition

Lucy Carey
Red-Hat.1

Alessandro Perilli talks cloud visions, PaaS debates, and cross-company plotting.

Alessandro Perilli recently made the jump from
working as Gartner private cloud research lead to heading to up the
newly formed Open Hybrid Cloud Programme Office at Red Hat. In this
interview, he outlines the needs for pragmatism in the market, and
why the people just aren’t ready for PaaS.

JAX: What attracted you to Red
Hat?

Perilli: I saw an enormous potential
to differentiate and disrupt the cloud management market.

Many vendors have the assets to put together a cloud
offering, but almost all of them are copycats of market leading
solutions. So when a customer wants a real alternative to the
market leading solution, there is no compelling reason to adopt one
vendor over another. I believe that Red Hat’s foundational
technologies, architectural approach, and the business model make
its cloud offering a true alternative.

What do you think you’ll bring to the
table?

I have spent a large part of my career working for
Fortune Global 2000 large enterprise organizations. In my previous
position, I was the lead analyst at Gartner for Technical
Professionals Research division for private cloud computing. In
last three years I got involved with some of the biggest private
cloud projects in the world. So I think I have a good understanding
of what customers want and what the market is missing in terms of
cloud offerings.

Can you outline the Red Hat cross-company
vision? What are the key objectives?

In terms of cloud offering, Red Hat wants to help IT
organizations in serving and protecting the business in the cloud
era.

Serving the business means offering the right cloud
platform for every business case, no matter if it’s private or
public, IaaS or Paas, for traditional workloads or cloud workloads.
This in turn means empowering lines of business through
self-service provisioning, accelerating their application
development by supporting DevOps initiatives, helping them consume
public cloud offerings through brokerage.

Protecting the business means remaining competitive by
increasing IT agility through automation, retaining control and
governing all these different cloud platforms, protecting
investments already done in existing IT infrastructure.  

What do you think are the key issues for the
cloud market at the moment?

What enterprise customers want from a private cloud
and a public cloud is different. And in most cases, it doesn’t fit
the definitions.

Too many players in the cloud market are obsessed by
definitions and develop an idealistic view of the market that
simply doesn’t match the real world. Customers don’t care about
definitions. They care about solving problems in a way that fits
their culture, their pace, their maturity level.

So we all need to be more pragmatic and listen to what
the market truly demands.

What do you make of the ongoing “PaaS is dead”
argument?

Like IaaS or SaaS clouds, PaaS clouds are tools to
solve a problem. You can use multiple tools to solve the same
problem but not all of them are equally efficient. However,
sometimes the most efficient tool requires us to develop new
skills, to get used to it and that takes time.

PaaS is more efficient than IaaS in solving certain
problems but it requires more time than IaaS to master it.

So a more appropriate question is “Is the market ready
to use PaaS?” I think the market overestimated the adjustment time
and it is simply not there yet.

Do you think AWS dominance of the sector will
ever be contested?

Of course. At some point in time you get disrupted, no
matter how strong your market leadership.

What do you think are the key strengths and
differentiators of Red Hat’s hybrid cloud?

We offer a comprehensive set of cloud platforms to
support most business cases.

Our cloud platforms have a modular architecture
approach so the technology can adapt to clients’ needs and maturity
level.

The technology is open source, which makes easier to
extend it and support the existing IT infrastructure, to introduce
innovation faster, and to provide the level of transparency that is
necessary in some scenarios.  

And we are the most credible provider of open source
technologies to the enterprise market. I think that’s a good
starting point.

 

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