Page 3 of 3
IBM, however, disputed HP's claims, calling itself open and saying that it is HP, not IBM, that was late getting to the cloud computing table, as this year is the first time HP has spoken out about its cloud plans.
"No vendor has more of a commitment and involvement in driving open standards and interoperability than IBM," an IBM spokesperson said. "We build our cloud technology on open architectures so we can connect between various systems as we always have. We also just announced the cloud council to help drive open cloud further yet."
IBM said cloud computing is a key growth initiative for the company, and said it has been deep in the cloud long before HP.
"While HP is getting its feet wet, IBM began its cloud initiative nearly five years ago, establishing Blue Cloud labs around the world to seek out first-of-a-kind projects and accelerate proof of concepts with enterprise clients, governments and universities," the spokesperson said.
Dell, too, said it has been forging a path in the cloud since last year and is focusing on an open ecosystem.
"Dell's philosophy of open is designing our enterprise solutions so they can work with any other product from another vendor," tell told CRN in an e-mailed statement. Later, Dell added, "In terms of our 'move' into the cloud, Dell has been active in the cloud market for quite some time, offering open, capable and affordable solutions across hardware and services… In addition, Dell Services already deploys cloud capabilities for customers."
Harr added that HP is taking a different approach to the cloud by fostering an environment that cuts down on competition with partners. Other cloud providers, he said, are selling to service providers, which can create competition with solution providers. That causes partners to question the competitive landscape.
"Are you going to compete with me or try while trying to sell me stuff?" Harr said is a major question on partner minds.
So far, Cloud VARs have praised HP's leap into the cloud, but said the company faces a host of hurdles and is risking cannibalizing its hardware and software bread and butter in favor of a robust cloud strategy that doesn't rely on big iron or licensing.
And HP, Dell and IBM aren't the only big boys fighting for pole position on the cloud track. Cisco has recently outlined its full-on cloud strategy, as others like Oracle, SAP and more seek to flex their cloud muscles.
"Clearly, this is a very large market it's not going to be dominated by one vendor," Harr said. "The cloud game is like a nine-inning baseball game and we're in the first inning and there are two outs."