OpenStack-Based HP Cloud Compute Ready For Prime Time As It Advances To GA

This week, HP made a number of significant announcements related to its HP Cloud Services platform. The company revealed an aggressive pricing strategy for its OpenStack-based, Infrastructure as a Service, public cloud platform known as HP Cloud Compute including a 50% promotion that lasts until January 1, 2013. The aggressive positioning of HP Cloud Compute underscores the technological viability of OpenStack as a key player in the commercial, public cloud IaaS space given that, separate from Rackspace and Red Hat, yet another technology giant has elected to build a public cloud infrastructure on the OpenStack platform.

HP Cloud Compute has now transitioned from Beta to general availability. Pricing starts at $0.04 cents/hour for the “extra small” Linux-based HP instance marked by 1 HP Cloud Compute Unit featuring 1 virtual core w/1 HP Cloud Compute Unit, 1 GB RAM and 30 GB disk space. In comparison, the smallest Amazon Web Services Linux instance features a comparable 1.7 GB memory and a significantly larger storage allocation of 160GB at the rate of $.065/hour. HP Cloud Compute’s price of $.04/hour to $.065/hour for Amazon Web Services amounts to a significant cost savings, particularly if instance disk space beyond 30 GB is not required.

When comparing the two medium-sized offerings, however, Amazon Web Services comes out on top not only in price but with respect to specifications as well. The medium HP Cloud Compute instance features 4 HP Cloud Compute Units containing a total of 2 virtual cores with 2 HP Cloud Compute Units each, 4 GB RAM and 120 GB of disk space. The medium-sized Amazon Web Services Linux instance, in comparison, contains an analogous 4 EC2 compute units via 2 virtual cores containing 2 EC2 compute units each, 7.5 GB memory and 850 GB of instance disk space. Pricing compares at $.16/hour for HP Cloud Compute versus $.13/hour for Amazon Web Services, with the AWS medium-sized offering surpassing HP on memory and storage metrics as well.

Separate from HP Cloud Compute, HP announced the Beta launch of HP Cloud Block Storage. In addition, HP revealed details of its HP Cloud Application PaaS, which provides developers with access to pre-configured technology stacks that support Ruby, PHP, Java, Node.js, Python, and other languages. The platform is based on Vancouver-based ActiveState’s Stackato technology that boasts one of the industry’s leading polyglot PaaS platforms. HP Cloud Application PaaS is currently accepting applications from interested organizations as part of a private Beta launch.

These announcements reveal how HP is making an aggressive push into the IaaS space by luring customers into trying their HP Cloud Compute platform with their 50% discount promotion. Regardless of the promotion, pricing remains highly competitive, and is backed by a 99.95% SLA. The SLA is guaranteed monthly, meaning HP is committing to 100% uptime with the exception of a maximum of 22 minutes of per month, as reported in The Register. Customers that are frustrated with Amazon Web Services’s repeated outages and famed lack of customer support may well consider trying HP Cloud Compute as an option, particularly given the added allure of its interoperability in an increasingly rich commercial OpenStack ecosystem.

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