Today, HP launched a public beta of its public cloud as part of its HP Converged Cloud solution that features traditional IT, private clouds, managed clouds and public clouds. Designed on the OpenStack open source cloud operating system, HP’s public cloud avoids vendor lock-in by giving customers the option of transferring their deployments to another OpenStack vendor for any reason. The HP public cloud Beta currently features the following components:
Public Beta (pricing is based on a utility model analogous to Amazon Web Services)
• HP Cloud Compute: scalable virtual servers on demand.
• HP Cloud Object Storage: scalable, enterprise-grade storage.
• HP Cloud Content Delivery Network: low latency and optimized content delivery by means of a CDN powered by Akamai.
Private Beta (you must be an existing HP Customer to sample these products)
• HP Cloud Block Storage: high performance, persistent storage
• HP Cloud Relational Database for MySQL: a web-based service that provides access to a MySQL database featuring “automated backups, database snapshots, automatic host replacement, and multiple availability zones.”
Out of the gate, almost 40 companies have already expressed intentions to partner with HP’s Cloud Services including a cluster of PaaS vendors such as ActiveState, CloudBees, Corent Technology, CumuLogic, Engine Yard and Gigaspaces. Bart Copeland, President and CEO of ActiveState, elaborated on ActiveState’s Stackato PaaS support for HP’s cloud services by noting:
Adding support for HP Cloud Services to Stackato reinforces our vision of providing the PaaS layer in the cloud that supports any underlying infrastructure, which will greatly benefit enterprise developers and IT/DevOps by giving them the options and flexibility they want. Those enterprise developers and IT/DevOps need good options for building secure yet flexible cloud infrastructure—HP Cloud Services allow enterprises access to world-class products and services, and is going to be a clear alternative to Amazon Web Services.
Here, Copeland envisions HP Cloud Services as having the potential to parallel Amazon Web Services even as it is built on open source cloud technology in the form of OpenStack. HP’s press release made the comparison between HP Cloud Services and Amazon Web Services stronger by hinting at an HP marketplace that would allow customers to tap into its rich partner ecosystem in order to build additional functionality into their own deployments on the HP Cloud platform. Such a platform would parallel the recently announced Amazon Web Services Marketplace and render the head to head comparison between HP Cloud Services and Amazon Web Services even more compelling.
For now, however, the important thing worth noting about HP’s launch of its Beta public cloud is that OpenStack has secured an important victory as the foundation for what promises to become one of the world’s largest, enterprise-grade public clouds. Moreover, the deep support that HP’s Cloud Services platform has secured at such an early stage underscores the possibility that HP’s Cloud Services may parallel Amazon Web Services not only in its inherent functionality but also in the richness of its partner ecosystem.