HP: 'We're Completely Committed To OpenStack'

its participation in OpenStack open source cloud community OpenStack Conference in Boston

"We are completely committed and on-board with OpenStack," said John Purrier, HP's vice president of cloud infrastructure, at the event.

Purrier said he wanted to dispel speculation that HP pledged its allegiance to OpenStack, the 15-month-old open-source cloud imitative, simply to take from the code base, create a closed service and not contribute back. He said HP has a track record with open-source projects, with more than 200 projects on SourceForge, more than 2,000 open-source drivers for various products and sponsorships of the Apache and Linux Foundations. Purrier said OpenStack will play an integral role as HP builds out its public cloud offerings.

"Our intention with OpenStack is really going to be transformative," Purrier said. He said HP is embracing OpenStack via open architectures and open APIs and open-source initiatives are changing the way that software is built.

"It's the new new in terms of software development," he said, adding that HP plans to focus heavily on what it calls "the four opens:" Open source, open design, open development and open community.

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HP joins roughly 120 other companies, including major players like Cisco, Citrix and Dell, that participate in the OpenStack community. Purrier said HP has put major effort into making OpenStack ready and suitable for enterprise-class workloads and it will share that effort back with the community.

"We are standing up a global, OpenStack-based public cloud," Purrier said, noting that last month HP unveiled the private beta that gives developers early access to HP's cloud compute, HP's pay-as-you-go cloud infrastructure; and cloud object storage, HP's cloud-based archiving, backup and storage, the first two HP Cloud Services offerings. The two cloud offerings were built on HP Converged Infrastructure and software and leverage the OpenStack cloud.

Purrier said HP is building on OpenStack as a core technology and, since unveiling the private beta on Sept. 7, the HP OpenStack cloud is running 24x7 and customers are being on-boarded. So far, the public cloud is running a more than 1,000-node Nova (compute) cluster and several petabytes of Swift (object storage). And HP continues to add capacity and locations. HP expects to double its Nova capacity in coming months.

And while HP caught some criticism for the slow response time to users signing up for the private beta, Purrier said "hold your horses."

"We are on-boarding people in a very thoughtful way and a very controlled way," he said, noting that the public beta will launch in 2012. Currently, HP's cloud services are in one data center on the West Coast and an East Coast data center is coming soon.

Meanwhile, HP is active in the OpenStack community, offering numerous blueprints for future code releases, becoming involved in OpenStack legal and governance conversations.

Moving forward, HP plans to add strong SLAs, tightened security and more support around its OpenStack-based cloud offerings. HP also plans to donate data center space, power and cooling, cloud capacity and cloud storage to the OpenStack FreeCloud project, a free testing and development sandbox for OpenStack users.

"Our goal is truly to create a business-class cloud that is able to run enterprise workloads securely," Purrier said.