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Cloud computing must be getting competitive: Even the big companies are getting price-sensitive.

For example, Hewlett-Packard Co. this week announced its Helion Managed Virtual Private Cloud Lean, a managed infrastructure-as-a-service solution what is says is “a significantly lower cost.”

Pricing starting as low as US$168 per month for a small virtual server configuration. A pilot trial service also is available for customers who want to certify an application to run in the cloud with the full HP support.

It’s another way HP want to muscle in on the cloud IaaS and PaaS market that includes IBM, Amazon, Microsoft, Oracle and others.

The new VPC Lean service is aimed at enterprises with lighter than normal workloads such as application development and test environments and workplace collaboration solutions.

VPC Lean also allows organizations to reap the benefits of a managed VPC, HP says, such as a regionalized cloud for data sovereignty. However, the release didn’t detail if that means data can be stored by HP in Canada. Other advantages are said to be low latency, compliance, high availability, security and a variety of continuity options, for a lower upfront investment.

“HP already offers a feature-rich industry-leading managed virtual private cloud offering for enterprise customers,” Jim Fanella, vice president of workload and cloud at HP Enterprise Services, said in the release. “The new HP Helion Managed VPC Lean now delivers a lower-priced alternative designed to enable clients to further optimize cloud workloads in the enterprise —while still providing superior, enterprise-class service and performance.”

Helion is HP’s umbrella brand for all its public, private and hybrid cloud offerings, which include the Helion OpenStack cloud development platform.