BMC CEO Bob Beauchamp and CTO Kia Behnia

BMC CEO Bob Beauchamp talks about his company’s cloud strategy, why BMC thinks IBM and HP are the wrong answer for management buyers, and how BMC’s acquisitions have positioned the company to dominate the evolving management market.

By John Gallant, Scot Finnie and Johanna Ambrosio
Tue, September 14, 2010

IDG News Service — As if managing your current IT operations wasn't challenging enough, along comes cloud computing to plaster on another layer of complexity. How does your current management strategy need to evolve to support private cloud? How do you seamlessly control a hybrid private-public cloud? No one has all the answers, but BMC Software (BMC) -- a champion of the concept of business service management -- is moving aggressively toward making cloud just another service option to be managed, like networking, storage and applications. In this installment of the IDG Enterprise CEO Interview Series, BMC CEO Bob Beauchamp spoke with IDGE Chief Content Officer John Gallant and Computerworld Editor-in-Chief Scot Finnie and Technologies Editor Johanna Ambrosio about BMC's cloud strategy, why BMC thinks IBM (IBM) and HP (HPQ) are the wrong answer for management buyers, and how BMC's acquisitions have positioned the company to dominate the evolving management market. BMC's chief technology officer, Kia Behnia, also took part in this discussion.

(Read more from the IDG Enterprise CEO Interview Series, including Q&As with Cisco CEO John Chambers, Riverbed CEO Jerry Kennelly and SAS CEO Jim Goodnight.)

Cloud

You're managing and building 150 cloud-based data centers for clients. Are these mostly private clouds?

Behnia: We're actually quite active on the public clouds that some of the service providers are developing. But the majority of them are private clouds.

Beauchamp: We've done some work with Amazon, for instance, around enterprise service-request management. So if someone requests a service, our engine can determine whether or not the most economic place to provision is in EC2 or Google (GOOG) or elsewhere. And then if they say that's where we want to go, we can go provision it and do the chargeback. It goes through their procurement processes, so you've got auditability and control.

How do you define the cloud? There are so many different definitions out there.

Behnia: We actually just use the "new" NIST National Institute of Standards and Technology definition because we find that to be the most pragmatic and most vendor-neutral. It's fundamentally that the cloud focuses on delivering services. I think this sometimes gets lost in a lot of the discussion around cloud computing. Everybody's talking about infrastructure and hypervisors and virtualization, all of the components. At the end of the day, what customers really care about is getting secure, reliable, trusted services, whether that's from their internal IT department or from the external broker to their IT department, or from an external provider directly.

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