HP Targets Cloud Providers With New Certifications, Wares

HP launched a suite of new cloud computing certifications to give partners and customers the stamp of approval that they have the chops to design and deploy a cloud environment.

The new certifications, which HP added to its HP ExpertONE Converged Infrastructure certification portfolio at HP Discovery in Vienna, cover cloud areas like business alignment, infrastructure, software and provisioning, said Rebekah Harvey, director of learning product management, certification and learning at HP. They focus on HP CloudSystem, the tech giant's integrated and open platform for building and managing services across private, public and cloud environments.

First, HP unveiled the HP Accredited Solutions Expert (ASE) Cloud Architect certification, which enables certification holders to architect a spectrum of cloud services, wither public private or hybrid, Harvey said.

The HP ASE Cloud Integrator certification enables professionals to build, install and integrate cloud solutions based on HP Cloud Service Automation for Matrix and provisioning software for the cloud.

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And the HP Master ASE -- Cloud Integrator certification enables holders to build, install and integrate hybrid enterprise and service provider clouds based HP CloudSystem and Converged Infrastructure.

"We're really blending our Converged Infrastructure certifications with our cloud certifications," Harvey said.

HP also extended its learning offerings to a network of partners, dubbed HP ExpertONE Learning Solutions Partners, which includes CompetenC Solutions, Global Knowledge, INDC, Next Step Learning and Training Partners, five independent commercial training organizations.

HP also launched the HP Press program which lets individuals pursue learning on their own to gain knowledge to achieve certifications. The courses will be available through traditional and online bookstores, along with the HP Press Marketplace.

Harvey said the goal is to arm customers and partners with the new skills required in the growing cloud computing-dominated marketplace. She said different customers have different needs when it comes to cloud, and new skill sets are required to tackle those emerging opportunities.

"It's no longer one size fits all," she said. "This is really focused on closing the skills gap … and give people a roadmap to close the competency gap."

Next: HP Beefs Up Cloud Products, Services

Along with the new certifications and learning initiatives, HP Wednesday also unveiled a host of new cloud solutions to target different cloud computing needs, from building differentiated cloud offerings; consuming cloud services from the public domain; and managing, governing and securing a cloud environment.

First, HP has integrated its HP CloudSystem with Alcatel Lucent to enable telecom providers to deliver cloud services. Marrying the IT infrastructure, software and telecom network lets providers automate the provisioning and management of cloud resources through the network, HP said.

Also targeting the service provider, HP launched the CloudAgile Service Provider Program, which broadens provider sales reach with an enhanced service portfolio and accelerated sales cycle by giving access directly to HP's global sales force.

Through the program, HP provides compensation for HP and its partners who direct customers to HP Agile partners, said HP's Manager of Cloud Solutions and Infrastructure, Enterprise Servers, Storage, and Networking Frances Guida. She added that Cloud Agile partners can offer certified hosting options, which enable service providers to offer private hosted clouds based on HP CloudSystem.

Guida said HP also enhanced its HP CloudSystem Matrix with the launch of a new version of the operating system that powers HP CloudSystem. Now in version 7.0, clients can build hybrid clouds with push-button access to externally-sourced cloud-based IT resources with a "bursting capability." CloudSystem Matrix 7.0 also adds automatic, on-demand provisioning of HP 3PAR storage.

HP also unveiled a host of new cloud services.

Those services include the HP Cloud Protection Program, which includes strategy, roadmap, design and implementation services built on a common reference architecture to ensure security in hybrid cloud environments across people, processes, policies and technologies; HP Enterprise Cloud Services – Compute Now, which automates distribution of application workloads across multiple servers; HP Enterprise Cloud Services for SAP Development and Sandbox Solution, which lets clients evaluate and prototype functionality of SAP ERP software via a virtual private cloud via a consumption-based model; HP Storage Consulting Services for Cloud, which helps clients understand storage needs in private cloud environments and develop architecture tailored to those needs; and HP Cloud Applications Services for Microsoft Azure, which accelerates the development and migration of applications to Microsoft's Windows Azure PaaS play.