Hewlett Packard Enterprise's unique partnership with NTT America is a classic example of a New IP partnership -- built on the strengths of each and to the advantage of both in that it delivers innovative products, market access, interoperability, security and more.
The infrastructure picture
According to Christopher Davis, senior director of corporate marketing, Americas, NTT Communications Corp. (NYSE: NTT), the partnership benefits enterprise customers as well as NTT and HPE. NTT already had a relationship with HP before the company split because NTT and HP were complementary companies with very little overlap, he notes. (See HPE & Microsoft: Teaming Up for Cloud Wars.)
Now, their partnership continues in order to give NTT's customers access to an innovative product set so that they can be more competitive themselves. At the same time, NTT brings the strengths of its experience in understating and addressing its customer requirements particularly around software-defined networking (SDN), says Davis. "Our enterprise cloud was the first SDN available globally," he says.
The New IP combination of SDN and customer portals allows the self-management that the companies demand, and SDN pulls network functions virtualization (NFV) into the network strategy. "On the network side, NTT sees that business want more IT control and governance," he says, adding that NFV allows IT managers to roll out features and manage firewalls from a central portal and central location. They can turn [services] on and off remotely and so are saved the time and bother of traveling to each location to physically plug in hardware or manage updates, he adds.
The services side
There are two key pain points in cloud adoption, according to Davis. One is concern about interoperability which requires regular testing at each stage of migration. The other point of hesitation is the financial decision. The problem is that enterprises would like to know upfront exactly how much they will save as a result of cloud services. But it's impossible to come up with a precise figure without a full "assessment of what to move it and when to move it," he says.
Some enterprises might move everything, but some may have a key piece of intellectual property that they may not want to release to the cloud. Or they may have applications that are not suitable for a virtual environment. This is where a hybrid cloud can prove particularly advantageous in setting up a proper assessment and migration plan, adds Davis. It makes it possible to see "which applications and services are suitable to move to the cloud and which aren't," he says, noting that each enterprise's migration has to be addressed on its own terms and not forced into a cookie-cutter approach. The hybrid approach also offers greater assurance of security.
Another big concern for enterprises considering a move to the cloud is the possibility of putting their data at risk. "Companies don't want to see their names in breach reports," says Davis.
Appreciating the primary importance of securing data, NTT has purchased different security companies over the years and brought them together under the NTT Security brand. NTT Security. Davis also stressed that enterprises have to plan their security when their planning their migration. They need to be proactive about it, rather than patching only after breaches occur.
The cost challenge
Though it is impossible to be certain exactly how much companies will save on the capex and opex side by migrating to the cloud, they will save money, according to Chuck Adams, director, Partner Ready Service Provider Program, HPE, who was quoted in a press release on the partnership, saying, "NTT Com's IaaS offers customers the option to purchase services that run applications on the latest and most efficient IT infrastructure without the overhead required to do so."
When businesses move to the opex model, they only have to pay for what they use, which allows for more efficient budgets and improved cash flow, Davis explains. They don't have to set aside funds to lay out infrastructure that is more extensive than what they need at present in anticipation of future growth, he says. "It's not just pay as you go, but pay as you grow."
For example, one of the specific areas in which cost savings can be realized is in data recovery-as-a service (DRaaS), which thanks to the advances in virtualization and NFV, Davis characterizes as a very fast growing market.
Whereas in the past, businesses found DRaaS expensive to set up and to store their data for backup, by using virtualized infrastructure, they can take advantage of the economies of scale and economies of cost, he says. Not only do businesses see a huge decrease in cost, but they have a more efficient way to shift from data works as needed because, "The cloud makes it very easy to back up data and to move it from location A to location B," he adds.
— Ariella Brown, Freelance Contributor, special to The New IP