HP Flexes Support, Services Muscle In Cloud Expansion

HP is beefing up customer support for CloudSystem, its platform for building and managing cloud services across private, public and hybrid environments. HP's new Support Services for CloudSystem covers all CloudSystem elements -- including hardware, management software, storage, networking and virtualization -- under a single support agreement.

In a Tuesday press conference at HP Discover 2011 in Las Vegas Steve Dietch, vice president of cloud solutions and infrastructure, said HP is using its 35 solutions centers around the world to support CloudSystem customers. These support reps are well-versed in multivendor environments, since they’re the same reps that deliver high end mission critical support services to HP enterprise customers, he added.

CloudSystem now supports dual bursting, which lets customers provision and scale IT resources in reaction to traffic spikes, either from a public cloud service provider or on-premise. HP is working with a "handful" of service providers globally, including Verizon in the U.S., to deliver bursting to CloudSystem customers, Dietch said.

HP is also adding to CloudStart, a deployment offering rolled out last August that includes the hardware, software and services to build and deploy a private cloud within 30 days. New functionality unveiled at Discover 2011 automates deployments of basic applications, compliance monitoring and patch management in a private cloud

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HP is delivering two new security services to customers under the HP Enterprise Cloud Service banner.

The first is called Vulnerability Scanning, and it assesses what's in the environment, ensures that patches have been applied, and verifies that security is meeting customer's pre-defined standards. The second service, Vulnerability Intelligence, identifies new updates and gives a recommend course of action to customers.

HP already offers these services to its large outsourced clients, but now the company is making them able as managed services via the cloud to clients worldwide, Dietch said.

HP is updating its Communications-as-a-Service (CaaS) portfolio with three new service bundles aimed at small and medium business customers. The first is Business Voice Services, which based on HP's network integrated voice response (IVR) software and includes features that enable smaller organizations to appear as larger firms.

HP's second new CaaS bundle, Collaboration Services, is built on Microsoft Sharepoint 2010 and includes HP Virtual Room web conferencing and HP audio conferencing software. The third bundle, Messaging Services, is based on Exchange 2010.

As with the security services, HP is making the three bundles to a portion of the market that it hasn't previously addressed.

"We're bringing these services into the cloud and offering them to SMBs for the first time," said David Sliter, vice president and general manager of HP's Communications and Media Solutions division. "Small businesses can now get these services on demand with very low risk."