HP Tech Talk: Cloud Service Automation

Why Cloud Lifecycle Management Matters


HP’s Stephan Spector introduces an expert guest on Cloud Service Automation, Neelam Chakravarty, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, HP Software Cloud and Automation.

Neelam explains the fit between HP Cloud Service Automation (CSA) and the broader HP Converged Cloud Strategy.  She reinforces the theme that we have discussed in earlier episodes that in the real world customers need to manage the deployment of workloads regardless of the origin of the application, either on private or public cloud or in a managed asset environment.

HP has recently announced UI improvements, which we discuss along with native integration of HP Cloud OS into HP’s Cloud Service Automation product, and touch on TOSCA and HP’s contributions in developing this new world-wide standard for interoperable and portable cloud. With a strong commitment to TOSCA , HP’s long term focus is in the customer’s long term interest, allowing a mix of open source and proprietary cloud resources for planning and management.

Interview by Andy McCaskey of SDRNews




Roku_150x86  This episode is also available on the SDRNews Roku channel, in the Roku Channel Store (Science and Technology Category), or by channel code SDR12.




NeelamNeelam Chakrabarty is a Sr. Product Marketing Manager for Cloud and Automation Software products at HP. She has been working in the tech industry for over 15 years, in wide variety of roles including engineering, product management and product marketing, both in SMB as well as enterprise sectors. She has been with HP since 2010 and her primary focus is on solving customer problems with cloud solutions. She’s passionate about using technology-driven innovation to solve small and large problems, no matter the industry or space. You can follow her on twitter at @neelamc 


Episode Transcript:

Announcer: Who would’ve ever thought you’d have to manage the lifecycle of
a cloud? Coming up next on HP Tech Talks.

Andy: Hi, I’m Andy McCaskey from SDR News. This program’s called HP Tech
Talks, where we talk about how Hewlett-Packard is defining a new
style of IT. We talk with HP experts from networking, servers,
and storage.

Today we’re going to be talking with the folks from HP Cloud.
Our guide for cloud services, as always, Mr. Stephen Specter.
Stephen, how are you doing?

Stephen: I’m doing great. Happy New Year to yourself, Andy, and everyone
else out there watching. It’s exciting to start again and
continue our cloud journey. I know everyone uses that word, as
well as HP.

I have with us another expert for us who knows more about cloud
than just about anyone else I know. She’s quite sharp. She is
the senior product marketing manager for our cloud service
automation solution. Let me to introduce you to Neelam
Chakrabarty. I have to look to make sure I say that right.
Neelam, did I get that right?

Neelam: You got it perfectly right.

Stephen: Great. Neelam, I’ll let you go ahead and introduce yourself,
and then we’ll get started.

Neelam: All right. Hello everyone. Happy New Year to you. This is
Neelam Chakrabarty. I am a product marketing manager with Cloud
Service Automation. I’ve been with HP for three years now,
mostly working in the cloud area. I’ve had experience in both
enterprise as well as small business.

Andy: Cloud is happening so quickly, and there’s so much going on, it must
be an exciting place to work at HP.

Neelam: It is. It is definitely very exciting. Specifically the product
I am working on, which is HP Cloud Service Automation, is one of
the core elements of the larger or the broader HP [inaudible
02:18] cloud strategy. Definitely the [inaudible 02:22] here are
very exciting. I’m very excited to be part of this team.

Andy: Maybe you can set the stage and show how cloud service automation
fits into HP’s greater vision of cloud computing.

Neelam: All right. Let me first tell you what the product is. Cloud
Service Automation is basically life cycle management for cloud
services. What I mean by life cycle is, like anything else in
the world, some cloud services have life cycles too. Which means
that you need to design and create a service, then you publish
it into the catalogue so your users can view them and order

Then you finally have to manage the services. Once you’re done
with everything, your users no longer require the services or if
they are out of compliance, you retire them. That’s a complete
life cycle of the cloud service.
Cloud Service Automation helps customers manage this complete
life cycle in both private cloud as well as hybrid cloud and
[inaudible 03:23].
Now as you may know, and as the customers may know, HP Cloud’s
[inaudible 03:27] cloud strategy is really supporting that true
hybrid cloud strategy, which not only includes private and
public cloud, but managed cloud, which is managed by a third
party as well as traditional IT. [inaudible 03:43] we call them,
choice [inaudible 03:48]. HP Cloud Service Automation definitely
offers all these three ingredients to build a successful cloud.
Our latest release of Cloud Service Automation is CSA 4.0, and
we announced it at HP Discover this past December. There’s some
really new, exciting additions to this release. One of the very
new ones is something that users can see, and they’re really
excited about, is the new UI.
We had a pretty good UI, but we overhauled it to make it more
modern and fresh. If you look at the latest applications and
tools out there, they have really good looking UI. It’s not just
the looks but the design. Easy navigation, because the consumers
are not necessarily highly technical. Anybody who uses the UI
has to be able to navigate it much more quickly.
With that in mind, we have overhauled the UI both on the
consumer side, consumers who order the services, and the
IT/admin side. The product is much more user-friendly and very
intuitive in nature.

Andy: Neelam, why should customers care about native integration of cloud
OS in the Cloud Service Automation world?

Neelam: HP Cloud OS, as you may know, is a technology that has been
built using open source OpenStack. OpenStack has been creating a
lot of buzz in the industry today, because of the openness and
helping customers avoid vendor lock-in.

A lot of customers are experimenting, but OpenStack is, again, a
technology that is going to be a reality soon. HP has been a
leader in this open source technology. It seriously believes
that clouds are meant to be open. It has developed this new
technology cloud, called HP Cloud OS, which is an operating
system for cloud.
Its native integration with Cloud Service Automation means now
customers have more choice. You no longer have to choose between
vendor A or B, you have a choice which is open. You can use a
number of tools and technologies that can work with OpenStack.

HP Cloud OS and Cloud Service Automation work together to give
you a solution that helps you provision into an external
environment, as well as management capabilities which include
compliance, security, monitoring, that is offered by CSA. The
tightness of the integration means a more robust and scalable

Andy: All right. As an example, just to make sure I’ve got the concept
here, if you have a template that is developed to support cloud
operations in one environment-let’s say in a private environment-
you could transfer that to some other vendor’s public cloud for
certain operations. There’s an inter-operability issue here. Do
I have the idea?

Neelam: Yes, that’s exactly correct. Let’s say that for example, if you
built your private cloud using an offering that supports
OpenStack. If you were to, let’s say, tomorrow decide that you
want to port your workload up to the cloud. For that to happen,
first of all, it’s not possible today.

For that to happen, you have to have an underlying architecture
that both of them support OpenStack. If you have a public cloud
that’s built on top of OpenStack and you have a private cloud
that builds on OpenStack, it makes the workloads portable, and
that’s what we are trying to do there.

Andy: I see the acronym TOSCA. What is that?

Neelam: Well, if you Google “TOSCA,” the first link that comes up talks
about an opera. That’s not what it is. [laughs] TOSCA is an
acronym that stands for “topology orchestration specification
for cloud applications.”

What that is is it is a new, emerging cloud standard, just like
any other standard that we have in IT. The goal of TOSCA, which
actually driven by a nonprofit consortium called [inaudible
07:59]. It is supported by large names like IBM, SAP [SP], HP,
The goal of TOSCA is basically to build or lead into building
inter-operable and portable clouds. Today, now that cloud has
become more of a reality, it’s no longer hype, the next step in
advancement of cloud is basically trying to find inter-operable
With so many solutions available out there, customers get driven
into single vendor solutions. They get locked down into the
solution for a long time. But customers are looking for best of
grace technologies and tools, which are not necessarily built by
the same vendor.
If I want to use a mix of all these different technologies, I
want them to work together. I want them to work in vendor A’s
environment, I want them to work in vendor B’s environment. My
business needs change, and at a later point in time if I’ve
changed my mind to go to another technology and another
environment, I should be able to do so. TOSCA standard helps me
to make my cloud [inaudible 09:09].

Andy: As you work with customers, there surely must be some one or two
critical items that you have to work with them to help them
understand that’s really essential to utilization of the
product. What would that be?

Neelam: One is that you have to understand your customer requirements,
as any other business. Why it becomes critical in cloud
applications is that not all applications are built to be ported
into the cloud. You understand the applications, you understand
the need.

As Stephen mentioned, cloud is a journey. That is what is our
philosophy. It’s not a one-time event. If you are thinking of
migrating to cloud, you have to put a plan together that starts
with prerequisites automating on your tasks and processes, then
slowly taking the non-critical applications into the cloud,
testing them out, and then taking more critical applications as
you become more mature and your environment becomes stable.
Cloud Service Automation helps you to grow. You don’t have to
make an [inaudible 10:22] investment into a big monolithic
solution, because it has that open and flexible architecture.
Today your business needs are small, or you’re experimenting
with cloud. You start small.
But tomorrow, you want to bring in some other critical
components of cloud, for example security, compliance,
monitoring. You can add that at a later point of stage. Cloud
Service Automation’s open architecture helps you to grow and at
the same time be flexible.

Andy: Do you find certain business units or certain departments are maybe
unrealistic in their expectations? Or maybe they’re trying to
move too quickly? If so, who would they tend to be?

Neelam: Yes, there are, because there has been so much hype about cloud
and the benefits of it in terms of cost savings and bringing
about business agility, time to market. IT organizations are
under pressure to show those results quickly.

Cloud is not something that you implement and start seeing the
results, because as I mentioned, it does need up front planning.
Then once you have put the services into the cloud, it does take
time for it to mature. There is a learning curve, because there
has been a back end change in the processes and tasks. By the
time everything stabilizes and you really start reaping the
benefits, there is sometime [inaudible 11:46].
Customers, initially when we started maybe a few years back,
that was the expectation. As customers themselves are maturing
and they’re understanding cloud more and more, they are level
setting the expectations. Now they understand that if they
implement cloud today, they aren’t going to see the benefits
Some of the low-hanging fruit they do see, but then clearly the
bigger benefits come at a later point and stage.

Andy: Right. If people wanted to get more information about Cloud Service
Automation and this product and the new user interface, where
would be a good place for them to go?

Neelam: They should come to me. No, just kidding. They will go to That is one of the websites that talks about the
product. As I mentioned, CSA is just a product that fits into a
bigger solution, which we call Cloud Management. The other
website to visit then is

Andy: Okay. Stephen, that’s a hard act to follow. Neelam, thanks so much
for joining us here today. Look forward to having a chance to
see you maybe in person in some of the future HP Discover

Neelam: Thank you.

Andy: Thank you.

Neelam: My pleasure.

Andy: Stephen, what’s coming up next in the cloud journey in our
description here?

Stephen: We’ll keep moving on. I think my description of Neelam knowing
everything about cloud was pretty accurate. She really
understands the fundamental aspects of it. It’s great to have
her on our team, certainly.

The next step is we’re going to start to look at some of the
companies that engage with us. A big part of cloud is not doing
things yourself, but actually engaging partners. HP has a lot of
people, a lot of products, but there’s certain pieces of our
cloud that will come from our partners. I thought it would be
interesting to take a look at some of the alliances and learn a
little bit about who works with HP and what type of solutions
we’re looking for partners with.

Andy: Excellent. Again, thanks for joining us here. Also thanks to you
folks for joining us today. We’ll see you next time on HP Tech