HP is launching a hosted cloud platform as part of a broader initiative targeting enterprise users that plan to adopt cloud computing in a "hybrid" approach to work in tandem with traditional IT systems in their own data centers. The new suite of HP cloud offerings announced today also includes CloudSystem, an integrated bundle of hardware and software designed to make it simpler to build and manage private clouds - and eventually add "cloud bursting" capabilities for extra capacity.
The new HP Hybrid Delivery solutions provides HP an entry into the cloud hosting arena even as it beefs up its offerings for enterprises planning to construct clouds in their own data centers.
The new HP Enterprise Cloud Services-Compute delivers a "private cloud as a service" offering hosted in HP's data centers. It features virtual server packages for Windows, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux that are available in small, medium, and large sizes (much like Amazon's EC2 cloud compute service). Customers can manage their own operating system or have HP manage it for them.
Addressing Enteprise Cloud Anxiety
HP says its new cloud platform is targeted to enterprises struggling to gain a comfort level with current cloud platforms. "A lot of the larger enterprises will have a lot of anxiety about moving persistent applications to this environments," said Matt Zanner, the Director of Cloud Infrastructure Solutions at HP.
The new HP CloudSystem targets customers who want to build private clouds in their company data center. It includes HP BladeSystem Matrix servers and HP Cloud Service Automation, a software package that automates the provisioning of operating systems, hypervisors, middleware and applications. CloudSystem also integrates the newly-acquired 3PAR Utility Storage and HP networking technologies.
Zanner says CloudSystem is optimized for customers with existing HP infrastructure, but can also be integrated with other vendors' networking and storage gear.
"Every customer has a different starting point," said Zanner. "We need to leverage legacy IT, and we know customers have mixed environments. We have a lot of great assets for helping customers deal with heterogenous environments and transform those environments."
While touting Cloud System as an end-to-end system that can manage hybrid environments that include public and private clouds, Zanner said the initial product doesn't yet support any public clouds. Features to provide "cloud-bursting " capacity by accessing HP Enterprise Cloud Services-Compute and EC2 will be added to CloudSystem "in coming months," Zanner said.