HP Launches Application Transformation Tools, Services For Cloud Migrations

Hewlett Packard on Tuesday unveiled new products and services aimed at helping customers deal with the herculean task of whittling down legacy applications and preparing for the IT infrastructure reassessments that come with cloud computing.

HP calls this application transformation, a classification that spans application portfolio management, service automation for private and public clouds, and Web application security. HP says that all address key pain points for CIOs and IT decision makers.

HP's new Application Portfolio Management (APM) software, which is delivered as a service, helps organizations figure out which legacy apps to keep and which to jettison. Paul Evans, worldwide lead for application transformation in HP's Enterprise Business, likens the situations many companies face to the phenomenon of items of dubious usefulness piling up in a home garage over time.

"What happens is that companies develop and acquire new applications but never get rid of the old ones," Evans said in an interview. "CIOs will tell you they have too many apps. Most would agree they have twice the number they need."

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Security is another area that companies need to pay attention to as they move to the cloud. HP's new Application Security Center (ASC) includes a collection of technologies that protect Web applications from security threats using scanning and threat intelligence. ACS includes integration of the Fortify 360 source code analyzer, which HP gained from last September's acquisition of Fortify Software,

"The cloud brings enhanced security requirements, and Fortify's role is ensuring security in the application development and testing phases, as opposed to after," Evans said. "You can't build an application and then make it secure."

Application Security Center tests application code at runtime to provide a more in depth sort of analysis that goes beyond "bolted-on" security technologies, according to Evans.

"Security has to be something that’s inherent to software design. ACS gives us that real time monitoring where can see if someone is trying to break in," he said. "It has a level of intelligence -- it's just going to keep people out , it'll also monitor who's coming through the door."

Next: HP Upgrades Its Cloud Service Automation Tool

HP has also added functionality to its Cloud Service Automation (CSA) offering, which launched in January. CSA is a software layer that sits on top of BladeSystem Matrix, now known as CloudSystem Matrix, and handles server provisioning and cloud services deployment. In this week's update, HP has added over 4,000 pre-defined best practice workloads to CSA, Evans said.

"We know customers want to do their own thing, and we think these best practices are a pretty good start. They allow you to get up and running and include tools for managing design and deployment," he said.

HP has added burst-out capability for private cloud environments, which can allow a company to meet demand during peak traffic periods on an as-needed basis, Evans said, adding that this includes services metering and chargeback features.

To complement the new products, HP is offering a variety of services offerings that it delivers directly to customers. These help companies transform legacy applications into services and include application consulting, development, integration and outsourcing services, Evans said.

One example is HP Applications Rationalization services, which augments APM and gives customers a custom-built roadmap for cutting down their applications to optimal levels. Another offering, HP's Application Transformation Services for Client Computing, prepares client device environments for Windows 7 and includes guidance on mobility and security.

HP works with systems integrators to deliver some of these services, such as business process consulting, where HP handles the technology enablement. But these services are primary delivered via HP's own Services division, Evans said.