HP Says It Will Win In Cloud Services

Biri Singh, senior vice president and general manager of HP Cloud Services, in a keynote speech at the OpenStack Conference in San Francisco Thursday, said HP will soon become a top dog among the cloud providers now competing in the market.

“HP understands scale, and what it means to have a global footprint,” Singh said. “At the end of the day we think there will be a few [cloud] service providers -- and we intend to be one of them.”

Singh outlined HP’s progress at developing its Converged Cloud Services program at the OpenStack event, which this week brings together businesses offering services in the cloud, based on the OpenStack, open-source standard.

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Singh called this group a “cloud ecosystem," working to build open cloud “stacks” of products and services to create cloud platforms.

“We want to give customers choice, confidence and consistency, with a common architecture,” he said. “OpenStack will be pretty important for all levels of cloud delivery and security. We hope to be able to put HP’s wood behind it.”

Singh said a significant part of the cloud ecosystem will be solution providers adding services to the cloud platform.

“We will work with an ecosystem of partners,” he said. “It’s not just about infrastructure, but delivering tools and capabilities and putting third party services on top of it.”

On April 10, HP announced the private beta of its Converged Cloud Services tying together several cloud programs so that businesses can take advantage of public, private and a hybrid mixture of cloud services. The service will be publicly available May 10.

The OpenStack standard, co-founded by Rackspace and NASA, added key members and became an official foundation in April, when IBM, Dell, Red Hat and others joined the foundation. HP, an active member in the OpenStack community, has applied to join the foundation.

Other major cloud service providers not a part of the OpenStack standard, include Amazon Web Services, generally considered the largest service, and VMware.

Several solution providers at the conference said they endorsed HP’s emergence as a cloud provider.

George Reese, CTO of Enstratus, a Minneapolis, Minn.-based cloud infrastructure management provider, said his company has been working with HP since October.

"It’s obviously very early, but they are taking all the right steps to become a marketplace competitor with Amazon Web Services,” Reese said, adding that his company works with Amazon and other providers as well as HP.

HP, he said, is adding features to differentiate it from Amazon. “They understand that people want buy a varied suite of services that are arrayed in the cloud,” Reese said.

Michael Ficco, vice president of business development with HP partner and cloud application development management startup Standing Cloud, of Boulder, Colo., said HP’s established infrastructure and its affiliation with OpenStack make it attractive as a partner.

“I don’t care about the infrastructure; I care about the things on top of it,” he said. “HP is one of the big OpenStack players now.”