Recognizing that businesses are looking for help in migrating their IT resources to the cloud, Herndon, Va.-based solution provider ePlus has established an HP Cloud Center of Excellence.
The center, in Raleigh, N.C., will show clients how to use Hewlett-Packard’s wide range of products and services, along with ePlus’ eCloud service, to develop a cloud strategy.
The center will draw on HP’s CloudSystem platform, which develops and manages services across private, public and hybrid clouds and can provide demonstrations of HP cloud services. The center will also tap into Palo Alto, Calif.-based HP’s CloudSystem Matrix, which offers HP ProLiant blades, storage, networking switches, service automation and converged infrastructure services.
The center is a natural outgrowth of the growing interest in the solution provider’s business clients to move to the cloud, said ePlus CTO Mark Melvin.
"We have a number of customers who are looking in the direction of the cloud," Melvin said. "Some are trying to understand what it means for them and are wondering how they can get into a cloud environment, with an on-demand, billable service."
At the center, ePlus business clients can learn about the cloud and work with the solution providers’ technicians to fashion an HP-enabled cloud service.
"The center offers best-of-breed HP products for cloud services," he said. "The service is predefined by HP and optimized by us for our customers. It’s a basically a cloud-in-box."
Melvin said ePlus, which reported $863 million in revenue for fiscal 2011, is not solely committed to HP.
The company also offers FlexPod infrastructure, which includes NetApp FAS storage, Cisco's Unified Computing System and either VMware or Microsoft hypervisor technology.
Also offered by ePlus is Vblocks, a technology platform consisting of EMC storage, Cisco server and networking technology, and virtualization technology from VMware.
"The data center is one of our cornerstone businesses, and giving customers option in the cloud is our job," Melvin said. "We feel that giving choice to our customers is one of the most important things we can do. We’re here to provide them with the capabilities to understand the different environments for public, private and hybrid clouds."
There are many variations of cloud services, but Melvin said ePlus can work with businesses to customize the right one.
ePlus resells Amazon Web Services, but Amazon -- noted for its automated, low-cost service -- may not work for many companies with complex workloads.
"Price depends on what you are looking to do," Melvin said. "We do work with Amazon, but we also work with our customers to determine what is appropriate, based on workload and long-term requirements."