New Orleans, La. – The last time Michael Capellis was in the high tech spotlight he was trying to save MCI Worldcom. That did not go well for the 30-year veteran of the IT industry.
Today, the last CEO of Compaq took the main stage at Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) Partner Summit, held here, to deliver a keynote address about the cloud as the chief executive of VCE, the VMware, Cisco and EMC (Nasdaq: EMC) Vblock alliance, formerly known as Acadia.
He said that the cloud is not just marketing hype but an evolution that started six or seven years ago. The man who once introduced the Compaq PocketPC as well as the ProLiant server told the audience that cloud will happen and that there would be no way of reversing the trend.
“The take away here is that the cloud is not a buzzword but an identification of seven to 10 years of development; stage by stage, piece by piece and that’s a trend that can’t be reversed. It will dominate 100 per cent. However, I have been right only 60 per cent of the time,” Capellas joked.
Capellas said that consumers have already accepted the cloud and that commercial business would follow.
Here are his proof points:
There are 200 million Facebook users that connect via a mobile device;
More than 60 billion instant messages are sent per day and 40 per cent of that come from business users;
About 25 million users concurrently share data online using Skype; and
On average consumers own three connected devices.
“200 million mobile users on Facebook. Is that a cloud or not cloud? That’s why the cloud is going to happen,” Capellas said.
But analysts attending the conference weren’t willing to accept Capellas’ prediction that it would be 100 per cent all cloud in three years. Both Paul Edwards of IDC Canada and James Alexander of InfoTech Research Canada said there will be on-premise solutions for a long time.
“What Capellas said was a good story, but frankly no on-premise solutions in the next three years is not going to be the case. However, what he said about private and public clouds and more hybrids clouds will happen in terms of how customers want to access them it will not be just one but many for different kinds of applications or for a specific geography,” Alexander said.
Capellas said that private clouds will lead over public in an about an 80 to 20 split, but he was adamant that the cloud would be the foundation of how people would deploy applications and that productivity gains would increase by 50 per cent.
“The cloud standard will emerge and channel partners have an unbelievable opportunity because you will have to lead this market transition,” he said.
Capellas added that there will be more than 400,000 applications currently being developed every day that are purpose-based and location based and be suitable for the commercial business world.
The VCE combines the strengths of Cisco, EMC, Intel and VMware. Capellas said VCE’s approach is to take the leader in networking topology and add the best in class information management and Intel x86 architecture, which is best in class and then put again the best in class in virtualization with VMware on top.
Vblock consists of Cisco UCS, Nexus and MDS switching, EMC Symmetrix and Vmax storage with unified management and VMware virtualization solutions.
“The benefits is that there is no configuration. You get it when you want it and it comes with a predictable cost model,” Capellas added.
Alexander, who once resold Compaq hardware as a solution provider in Canada, said that VCE really means business because its more than just an alliance. In Vblock they have an actual product that can be resold by a reseller. “That’s really important. Vblock has happened and it was not clear to resellers when they initially announced it because there are so many alliances in this industry and they really don’t mean anything. They always looked like an exercise in writing press releases. VCE isn’t because they now have something tangible to sell. It now has a process in place with people like Capellas involved carrying business cards that say Virtual Computing Environment company and not Cisco or EMC or Vmware. It’s now clear that they are committed and that’s an important step in terms of making virtual data centres a reality,” he said.