Software // Enterprise Applications
News
11/19/2013
10:20 AM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Salesforce.com, HP Partner For Private Cloud 'Superpods'

HP puts compute, storage, and networking in one box so Salesforce.com customers can run private instances of its sales, service, and marketing clouds.

Salesforce.com announced a strategic partnership with HP on Monday that will bring financial services, healthcare organizations, government agencies, and other large, security-sensitive organizations an option to run private instances of the Salesforce sales, service, and marketing clouds.

HP is contributing the hardware for all-in-one, appliance-style Salesforce Superpods that will run in Salesforce.com datacenters but that are designed to give large, demanding organizations their own instance of Salesforce and, thus, a new level of control services not possible with a standard instance from the vendor's multi-tenant public cloud.

"The salesforce.com and HP partnership is a breakthrough in cloud computing," Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of Salesforce, said in a statement. "The Salesforce Superpod will allow individual customers to have a dedicated instance in the Salesforce multi-tenant cloud, powered by HP's technology and fully managed within salesforce.com's world-class data centers."

[ Want more on the big news from the Dreamforce event? Read Salesforce Debuts Mobilized Salesforce1 Platform. ]

Industry watchers have speculated that Salesforce would offer a private-cloud option ever since it announced a strategic partnership with Oracle in June. Through that deal, Salesforce committed to using the Oracle database and middleware, software that undoubtedly provides crucial infrastructure within the Salesforce Superpods. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and HP CEO Meg Whitman are set to discuss the partnership in more detail on Tuesday in a keynote at the big Dreamforce event in San Francisco.

Given a standardized software stack and control over storage, compute, and networking capacity, CIOs at large corporations could be assured of meeting strict data-residency and data-governance rules, and they would presumably have control over software updates, customizations, and integrations with systems running in their own datacenters.

What's not clear yet is exactly how and when Salesforce will upgrade and update its software and what degree of control customers will have over changes to the environment. The Superpod is a half step toward the hybrid strategies offered by competitors Microsoft and Oracle whereby you can run their CRM software on-premises or in private or public clouds. SAP offers SaaS services separately from software that can be deployed on-premises or as managed services.

Salesforce has stopped short of offering an on-premises deployment option. That's an option that Microsoft in particular is successfully exploiting with its Microsoft Dynamics CRM offering.

"For every 100 CRM deals that we saw last year, about 43 went to Microsoft Dynamics and about 38 went to Salesforce," Constellation Research analyst Ray Wang told InformationWeek when the Oracle-Salesforce partnership was anounced. "The reason Dynamics beat out Salesforce is because there was an on-premises option."

Salesforce also announced its third-quarter results on Monday, reporting strong, 37 percent billings growth over the same quarter last year and solid cashflow. The company reported revenue of $1.08 billion and cash flow of $138 million, exceeding Wall Street estimates. Salesforce is now forecasting fiscal year 2014 revenue of $4.05 billion to $4.06 billion, up 33 percent from last year and a couple of ticks ahead of the prior guidance of $4.00 billion to $4.03 billion.

Emerging software tools now make analytics feasible -- and cost-effective -- for most companies. Also in the Brave The Big Data Wave issue of InformationWeek: Have doubts about NoSQL consistency? Meet Kyle Kingsbury's Call Me Maybe project. (Free registration required.)

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
D. Henschen
50%
50%
D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
11/19/2013 | 10:30:42 AM
HP's New Friends Are Microsoft Enemies
I'm guessing it's no coincidence that HP has been rubbing elbows with the likes of Google and, now, Salesforce.com (rival of Microsoft's Dynamics enterprise apps business). Ever since Microsoft put big money into Dell's privatization (as in billions), there's a chill in the air where the once-strong HP-Microsoft partnership is concerned.
Laurianne
50%
50%
Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
11/19/2013 | 10:52:42 AM
Superpod spin
Fascinating that Salesforce, which preached that private cloud was not cloud, vocally and for the longest time, is calling this arrangement Superpods. That sounds much more hip than private cloud, doesn't it? And much better than datacenter-in-a-box.

Perhaps Salesforce creative adviser Will.i.am got in on the naming action?
David F. Carr
50%
50%
David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
11/19/2013 | 11:34:01 AM
Re: Superpod spin
Wow, this is heresy. Can a private cloud instance of Yammer be far behind?
D. Henschen
50%
50%
D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
11/19/2013 | 12:09:04 PM
Re: Superpod spin
This is "private cloud," but it is running in Salesforce.com data centers. Think of it as "cloudy," just like many of the Oracle and SAP "cloud" options. The new concensus on "cloud" where enterprise apps are concerned seems to be that it lets you tap into apps and services without having to provision or manage the hardware and infrastructure. Another question concerns flexiblity. In what increments can you buy Superpod capacity and quickly can you scale up and down the capacity and related costs?
cbabcock
50%
50%
cbabcock,
User Rank: Strategist
11/19/2013 | 12:26:30 PM
A Salesforce and HP managed service
A Salesforce Superpod is "a dedicated instance in the Salesforce multi-tenant cloud," as the announcement says. I think this is a step back from Salesforce's pioneering software as a service to more of the managed service model that preceded it. This appears to be hardware and software, owned by the provider, but assigned to one user. Good for compliance, bad for cloud economics.
Rodney Brown
50%
50%
Rodney Brown,
User Rank: Author
11/19/2013 | 12:29:52 PM
Re: Superpod spin
If it is dedicated hardware, it is a hosting solution, not a cloud solution, no matter what Salesforce.com and HP want to label it as. Sure, it may have a web front end, but putting it all into an appliance makes it a remotely hosted server just like any old-school database in a datacenter. And you have an excellent about about flexibility and scalability. Can you add resources on the fly to the Superpod and remove them as easily? If not, again, not a cloud.
D. Henschen
50%
50%
D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
11/20/2013 | 5:34:13 PM
Benioff Sets Superpod Record Straight
Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff finally got into the details on Superpod and ended some of the speculation late Tuesday (well after the publication of this article). Salesforce's current services run on multi-tenant "pods" that run in the company's data centers. These new HP-powered "Superpods" will have the same architecture and design -- including multi-tenancy -- but they will be dedicated to single, large customers. The applications and services will be maintained and updated by Saleslforce the same way it handles all of its other pods.

HP itself is the first Superpod customer, but the U.S. Government already has its own pod. It takes advantage of the multitenancy to run separate instances for each government agency customer. When Salesforce said this is aimed at large customers, it wasn't kidding. The way Benioff described it, it sounds like it will only be a practical option for really, really large customers on the scale of HP, the U.S. Government and so on.
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Among 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest - July 22, 2014
Sophisticated attacks demand real-time risk management and continuous monitoring. Here's how federal agencies are meeting that challenge.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
A UBM Tech Radio episode on the changing economics of Flash storage used in data tiering -- sponsored by Dell.
Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.