HP has clearly exploited the opportunity to step back and examine how the cloud market has actually evolved, and taken pains to provide those who themselves provide cloud-enabled services with an architected path to business-ready cloud services. From its new Cloud Maps to HP Service Virtualization 2.0, HP is seeking to hasten and automate how other people's cloud services come to market.
And finally, HP has put a hard date on its own public cloud offering, called HP Cloud Services, which enters public beta on May 10. See my separate analysis blog on the news. [Disclosure: HP is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]
HP's public cloud is geared more as a cloud provider support service set, rather than a componentized infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) depot for end-user engineers, start-ups and shadow IT groups. HP Cloud Services seems designed more to appeal to mainstream IT and developers in ISVs, service providers and enterprises, a different group than early public cloud entrant and leader Amazon Web Services has attracted.
There's also an urgency in HP's arrangement of products and services enabling a hastened path to hybrid computing values, built on standards and resisting lock-in, with an apparent recognition that very little in cloud's future will be either fully public or private. HP's has built a lot of its cloud architecture around "hardened open source technology from OpenStack," and chose the GNU-licensed KVM hypervisor for its implementation.
The OpenStack allegiance puts HP front and square in an open source ecosystem of cloud providers, including Rackspace, Red Hat and Cisco. IBM is said to be on board too with OpenStack. And former CloudStack charter contributor Citrix recently threw its efforts behind CloudStack under the Apache Foundation.
HP's OpenStack and KVM choices also keeps it at odds with otherwise partners Microsoft and VMware.
There were more details too today on HP's data services in the cloud strategy, apparently built on MySQL. We should expect more data services from HP, including information services from its recent Autonomy acquisition. The data and "information-as-a-service" support trend could be big wind in HP's cloud sails, and undercut its competitors on premises cash flow.
Data drives on-premises infrastructure spend now, but increased cloud spend in the future. As for the latter, what the data engine/platform is under the cloud hood is not as important as whether the skills in the market -- like SQL -- can use it readily, as is the case the the xSQL crowd.
Furthermore, the economics of data services hosting may favor HP. If HP can help cloud providers to store, manage and analyze MySQL and related databases and information as a service with the most efficiency, then those providers using HP cloud support not only beat out on-premises data services on cost, they beat out other non-HP cloud providers, too. Could data analytics services then become a commodity? Yes, and HP could make it happen, while making good revenue on the infrastructure and security beneath the data services.
But back to today's news:
- Beginning May 10, HP Cloud Services will deliver its initial offering, HP public IaaS offerings, as pubic beta. These include elastic compute instances or virtual machines, online storage capacity, and accelerated delivery of cached content. Still in private beta will be a relational database service for MySQL and a block storage service which supports movement of data from one compute instance to another.
- HP’s new Cloud Maps extends HP CloudSystem by adding prepackaged templates that create a catalogue of application services, cutting the time to create new cloud services for enterprise applications from months to minutes, says HP.
- HP Service Virtualization 2.0, which tests the quality and performance of cloud or mobile applications without disrupting production systems and includes access to restricted services in a simulated, virtualized environment.
- HP Virtual Application Networks to help speeds application deployment, automate management and ensures network service levels (SLAs) in delivering cloud and virtualized applications across the HP FlexNetwork architecture.
- HP Virtual Network Protection Service adds security at the network virtualization management layer to help mitigate common threats.
- HP Network Cloud Optimization Service helps clients enhance their network to improve cloud-based service delivery up to 93 percent compared to traditional download techniques, says HP.
- HP Enterprise Cloud Services, outsourcing cloud management for private clouds, business continuity and disaster recovery services and unified communications.
- In targeting a vertical industry capability, Engineering Cloud Transformation Services are designed to help product development and engineering design teams move to cloud.
More information about HP’s new cloud solutions and services is available at http://www.hp.com/go/convergedcloud2012.
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