HP Continues Private Cloud March, Urges Partners To Follow


HP on Tuesday launched its own hosted "private cloud as a service" along with a program that offers incentives to channel partners that build out their own cloud service delivery platforms using HP's Converged Infrastructure portfolio.

The new HP service, dubbed Enterprise Cloud Services-Compute, combines scalable IT capacity delivered from HP's own data centers with security that meets the stringent needs of enterprise customers. The service meets the requirements of PCI, HIPAA and the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) and also lets customers choose the geographical location of the data center where their applications will run.

Patrick Harr, vice president of enterprise cloud solutions at HP, said the new service allows customers to deploy mission critical workloads in the cloud with a minimum of fuss.

"It's a private cloud as a service," Harr said in an interview. "Customers no longer need to build out their infrastructure to meet peak demand, which is much more efficient."

HP previously outsourced this functionality through a utility service offering, but Enterprise Cloud Services-Compute is an upgrade that's built specifically with enterprises in mind, Harr said. It's available now in the U.S. and Europe with worldwide availability slated for summer.

HP sees the private cloud as a major area of opportunity and in recent months has been diligently sculpting its messaging in this area. Last August, HP rolled out CloudStart, a cloud deployment offering that includes the hardware, software and services to build and deploy a private cloud within 30 days.

Private cloud infrastructure effectively handles the security and legacy application compatibility issues that have kept some companies on the cloud computing sidelines, and it's also a potentially lucrative area for channel partners, Harr said. "Private cloud is where partners are going to see the most revenue and action in cloud computing this year," he said.

In addition to being a cloud service provider itself, HP also wants partners to offer their own private cloud services. HP's new Cloud Enablement Program gives partners a financial incentive to build their own cloud service delivery platforms using HP's Converged Infrastructure portfolio, and deliver these services to customers.

How HP Is Equipping Partners For Private Cloud

Mike Galane, senior director of channel marketing and strategy in HP's Enterprise Servers, Storage and Networking group, said the Cloud Enablement Program includes many of the same PartnerOne benefits HP offers to partners that sell HP products to end users, such as market development funds and special leasing programs.

"Our goal is empower partners to become cloud service providers," Galane told CRN.

What benefits does HP reap from such a scenario? For starters, cloud savvy partners become ideal evangelists to show how HP's Converged Infrastructure provides a smooth path to cloud environments.

HP also launched CloudSystem, a set of products that unite the control and delivery of cloud services on-and off-premise, from internal cloud services in the customer’s data center, to HP-hosted clouds or external sources such as Amazon EC2 services. These include HP BladeSystem Matrix, cloud service automation software, and Cloud Maps, pre-configured templates, workflows and deployment scripts that let customers quickly and easily build a catalog of cloud services.

Galane said the Cloud Enablement Program will appeal initially to two distinct classes of HP partner: Managed service providers are logical candidates given their backgrounds, but partners with infrastructure knowledge can also take part by helping their customers build private clouds.

HP is rounding out its private cloud message with a series of one-and two-day Cloud Discovery workshops, in which HP professionals teach partners about cloud business models, security implications and how to identify services that translate well to the cloud. A related initiative, called HP Cloud Centers of Excellence, gives infrastructure savvy partners training and financial support to build their own on-site cloud demonstration centers.