Big Amazon Customer Signs On To HP Public Cloud


Hewlett-Packard COO Bill Veghte Thursday ended the company's Discover conference with a bang, revealing that HP has moved one of Amazon Web Services' biggest customers to the HP enterprise-grade public cloud.

In the final main stage keynote session, Veghte said Workday, a Software-as-a-Service provider that bills itself as the enterprise cloud for human resources and finance, moved over to HP's public cloud this week. The announcement received thunderous applause from conference attendees.

"They are doing that because they want a cloud that they can rely on as an enterprise serving enterprises with some of the most rigorous SLAs in the business," said Veghte.

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The Amazon takeout comes as HP this week unveiled extensive cloud offerings in a drive to dramatically increase its cloud services footprint.

Saar Gillai, senior vice president and general manager of HP's Converged Cloud, said most of Amazon's business comes from startups or large companies that are looking for an alternative.

"Those very large players want choice," he said." They don't like to be dependent on one player. Obviously, they would like to talk to an enterprise company, maybe a Fortune 10 company that provides that kind of choice."

Gillai said he expects Amazon customers concerned about cloud lock-in to embrace HP's public cloud. "I think people will be surprised [by new customers moving from Amazon to the HP public cloud]," he said. "These very large players that have built [services] on Amazon want choice. Like any situation with a large company, nobody wants to have a sole-source vendor. So all those guys you should assume they are looking for a second source."

HP this week launched HP Cloud Operating System, an OpenStack-based offering that is the cornerstone of the computer giant's new converged cloud common architecture.

That could give HP a big advantage as it moves to provide customers workload portability in an open architecture across public, private and hybrid cloud environments.

HP CloudOS strikes at the heart of providing customers an open platform aimed at preventing cloud lock-in. "Choice is a big deal," said Gillai. "We don't lock you into one stack."

CloudOS, he said, provides open APIs for solution providers to build modern applications for hybrid cloud environments, said Gillai. "The Amazon challenge is they only have one model," he said. "You can write in Amazon, but that is public cloud. If I want a private cloud I can't write in Amazon. I don't have choice in model with Amazon. I am stuck. And if I want to move it somewhere else I am stuck; you have to rebuild the app."

In response to a request for more information, an Amazon spokesperson told CRN that it is inaccurate that Workday moved its cloud operations from Amazon to HP. The spokesperson added that Workday remains an Amazon Web Services customer, and that the relationship between Amazon and Workday continues to grow.

Workday has yet to respond to requests for more information.

PUBLISHED JUNE 13, 2013

This story was updated on June 13, 2012, at 3:15 p.m. PST, to include comments made after press time by an Amazon spokesperson.