HP's Converged Cloud Covers Public, Private, Hybrid Services

Hewlett-Packard Tuesday unveiled its Converged Cloud Services program, tying together several cloud programs so that businesses can take advantage of public, private and a hybrid mixture of cloud services.

The most recent part of the program is HP Cloud Services, the company’s public cloud, designed to compete with major public cloud players such as Amazon and Google, and allow businesses to utilize HP’s infrastructure, computing, and storage products. HP Cloud Services has been in private beta for eight months and will be publicly available May 10.

Businesses seeking to use HP Converged Cloud can move between private, public and hybrid clouds using common architecture and HP’s OpenStack, open-source platform to use different vendor’s products, HP said.

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The aim of extending HP Converged Cloud Services across all types of cloud services makes it a significant alternative to cloud rivals, said Biri Singh, senior vice president and general manager of HP Cloud Services. ’This is not for onesey or twosey private cloud offerings, but an overarching strategy,’ Singh said.

To tie together different cloud platforms, HP has enabled developers to use a variety of Cloud Services management tools and programming languages, such as Ruby, Java, PHP and Python.

Last year, HP introduced Enterprise Cloud Services – Compute, which provides server, storage, network and security for use as a service. Included in this grouping is HP Cloud Compute, which offers virtual servers on demand, and HP Cloud Object Storage, providing online storage capacity on-demand. HP Cloud Compute and HP Cloud Object Storage offer open APIs, and both have a Web-based portal which can be accessed by mobile devices.

Other features include HP Cloud Service Automation, which allows IT departments to move and manage apps across cloud platforms and traditional IT systems; and HP Cloud Maps, which makes it easier to automate business apps for deployment.

With this variety of features, HP Converged Cloud Services allows businesses to select cloud services to select according to their needs, said Steve Dietch, HP's vice president of Worldwide Cloud, Enterprise Servers, Storage, Networking, and Technology Services.

’We are the industry’s first hybrid approach based on common architecture, spanning traditional IT, public and private clouds, using HP intellectual property, information management, open standards, and we support non-HP technology, whether its multiple hypervisors or multiple types of hardware,’ Dietch said.

NEXT: Partner Pricing Questions

One analyst said HP’s converged approach will offer an attractive package for businesses with varying needs.

’HP is in a great position to be a player in cloud services. HP supports private clouds of its clients and can host their systems on an out-sourcing basis,’ said Al Hilwa, Program Director Applications Development Software for IDC. ’Providing a public cloud service complements these competencies and has the potential to make them a one-stop-shop for enterprises.’

For partners, HP Cloud Services allows them to build private, public or hybrid systems for their clients, Singh said. ’Our goal is to enable them to easily go to market with this,’ he said. ’We want to allow them to leverage our OpenStack, HP services and HP software, and all the other pieces. We’re giving our partners a lot of choices.

However, as the cloud services model promises to alter the nature of technology services, one partner says the revenue model also remains unclear.

Bob Venero, founder and CEO of VAR 500 solution provider Future Tech of Holbrook, N.Y., said specific rules for apportioning revenue and profit through cloud arrangements with HP, particularly for large firms like his, need to be better defined.

’HP Converged Cloud is going to give us more options to established players like Amazon and Google,’ Venero said. ’But for companies like Future Tech, which serve the large market, what is the competitive landscape when we sometimes compete with HP in larger accounts?’

Venero said he is reserving judgment while he is studies guidelines set out by HP. ’We have to see what the engagement process looks like. There needs to be definitions around the program,’ he said. ’Will there be a negotiation process that helps partners wanting to bring opportunities to HP?’

Hilwa agreed that pricing will be key for partners. "This is good for partners as they will now have more options, though much depends on the pricing of the services,’ he said.