HP cloud landscape getting clearer

Some of the biggest announcements for Hewlett-Packard Co.’s cloud strategy have already come and gone. When it announced the private beta for a public cloud, that was a pretty big deal. But the fundamental nature of HP’s Converged Cloud, a term they’ve been slowly outlining, became much clearer with the last two substantial announcements.

Adding to the managed cloud services and private cloud, HP has broken up its cloud services into smaller pieces, allowing businesses to pick and choose what they need. The first part of that, says Neal Clapper, senior vice-president and general manager of Americas Technology Services at Palo Alto, Calif.-based Hewlett-Packard, is the new HP Cloud Planning Services. “(It’s) sitting down with the customer and figuring out what they want to get from their information,” she says. “Gathering the data a customer might have and putting it into a form or function that makes sense for (them) and any use they might have and implementing a road map for the customer.”

Clapper explained the move as capitalizing on what HP already offered, but trying to make it more efficient for spend. “This is taking the cloud services that we have today and extending the capabilities into smaller chunks,” she says, “to enable customers to have more of a selection of (the) services they can use to determine how they’ll implement cloud.”

And that partitioning of services is not only to help save on IT spend; it also makes things quicker. “Some of the (original) services have nine-week deliverables,” said Clapper. “That’s too much for some customers to absorb, so we’ve taken and broken down the services into smaller sets.”

That kind of timeliness can be critical if your business is inherently tied to service up-time, like Internet domain registrar giants, Scottsdale, Ariz.-based GoDaddy.com. Its manager of storage, engineering and disaster recovery, Julia Palmer, says there is no room for error in her business. “We needed to pick something that never goes down,” she says. “The Internet never sleeps.”

A large part of this new cloud strategy is also the process of growing the new HP public cloud enough to take it out of beta.

Senior vice-president and general manager of HP Cloud Services at HP, Zorawar “Biri” Singh, said “converged cloud is the umbrella strategy for bringing all these different deployment models together.” Public cloud is the open model. “It’s a true, full-fledged, self-service, automated, multi-tenant, loosely coupled, driven model.”

And the public beta hasn’t just attracted start-ups and hobbyists. “A good chunk of our private beta is actually … real-world HP customers, Fortune 500 customers saying, “I’ve got to move to a world that’s very different from the one I thought (of) five years ago,” he says.

And with a public cloud added to the roster, HP is attempting to fulfill its promise of becoming a one-stop-shop for all cloud services and products. It even added a Hadoop appliance to the roster alongside the service changes. “We released an appliance this week around Hadoop … which customers are using to sort through their big data,” says Clapper.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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