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HP makes public cloud service official; bolsters hypervisor support

HP is taking the beta label off its public cloud and making it generally available today, along some other features that are part of its converged cloud strategy.

In addition to bringing its OpenStack-powered public cloud into general availability, HP also announced enhancements to its Cloud Service Automation software, which includes better support for multiple types of hypervisors, including Kernel Virtual Machine (KVM), Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware's ESX. HP has also announced that its cloud strategy now includes a platform as a service (PaaS) based on VMware's Cloud Foundry as well. HP is making the announcement today at the company's Discover event in Frankfurt, Germany, in the latest efforts by the company to shift the public focus of the company from a fiasco relating to its $10 billion acquisition of Autonomy last year.

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HP Cloud Compute is a pay-as-you-go infrastructure as a service that the company first announced earlier this year as a beta program and now is generally available. The company announced a beta version of a block storage service today as well, which it hopes will be generally available in the coming months. HP also added about 50 new applications to its Cloud Maps portfolio of more than 200 apps that are already hosted on HP's cloud ready for "push-button" deployment, the company says. In addition to the announcements, HP also released a cloud platform aimed specifically at communications service providers looking to create cloud offerings for their customers.

HP's announcement of a PaaS product for its cloud puts it in with the company of Microsoft Azure, Google App Engine and a variety of other smaller players. PaaS is an application development platform with cloud features - such as automatic scaling and multi-language support that can be hosted either on an enterprise's premise or by HP. "It has been clear as HP has engaged with enterprise customers that one thing they want is to be able to develop and deploy apps in the cloud," says Dan Baignet, senior director of business development for HP Cloud Services.

HP realizes that customers may have existing relationships with other IT providers, which is why Baignet says the company has focused on enabling support for multiple types of hypervisors and allowing customers to migrate on-premise workloads up into its cloud. Enhanced hypervisor support is part of the Cloud Services Automation (CSA) 3.1 release announced today. "We see our sweet spot as being a trusted adviser of how to continue to support legacy infrastructure while adding cloud capabilities," he says.

HP's converged cloud suite is built on the OpenStack open source cloud platform, which Baignet says allows customers the ability to use an open-source cloud platform. That's key to HP's strategy, he says because it allows customers to have a common architecture between their on-premise and public cloud. "Most enterprise customers are doing a combination of private, managed and public cloud resources," he says. "That's what we see as hybrid cloud computing."

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Baignet says HP has also built up an ecosystem of partners supporting its platform, including PaaS companies like App Fog, CloudBees and CumoLogic, which allow apps developed on those platforms to run in HP's cloud, while storage partners such as Panzure, Riverbed and TwinStrata act as "gateways" to HP's cloud for on-premise applications and can help provide additional services, such as encryption. Orchestration tools from RightScale, enStratus and ScaleXtreme also work on HP's cloud platform, he says.

Network World staff writer Brandon Butler covers cloud computing and social collaboration. He can be reached at BButler@nww.com and found on Twitter at @BButlerNWW.


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