The new data center, integrated hardware and software, really?

I was reading a post about the Microsoft and HP “cloud pact”, integrating Microsoft software and HP hardware (and here as well). Are we really this adverse to setting up our own servers?

The point of the “cloud pact” appears to be that people would rather pay Microsoft and HP for the privilege of being wedged into neat little boxes of preloaded software configurations on someone elses idea of what you need for hardware. Get the box in, throw it in and go or ship it off to your data center co-location, no messing around required.

The article claims that this is a good idea because servers are so difficult to deploy. Really? Maybe it is so for Microsoft stuff. I can go from bare metal to a working Xen Cloud Platform host in 10 minutes or less. I can set up a brand new CentOS virtual with DNS, email, control panel, and LAMP stack in about 45 minutes total with about 5 minutes of my own time required. This is “difficult”?

Now, for the ease of a “one button push server”, you get to be locked into not only a software vendor but the hardware and software combination. Better make sure you love both MS and HP, you’re going to be handcuffed to them for a long time.

I guess I’m a bit old fashioned. I’ve never been so afraid of the “difficulty of deploying servers” that I ever contemplated giving up the flexibility of matching my own choice of hardware, software, and configuration to meet the changing needs of my customers, not to mention staying up on constantly changing technologies.

It would be more difficult to swallow this deal.


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