By Jennifer LeClaire / CIO Today. Updated April 11, 2012.
Amazon may not have seen this one coming. With Google getting so much attention for cloud services, Hewlett-Packard's new cloud play seemingly came out of proverbial left field.
HP announced its Converged Cloud on Tuesday, taking a hybrid delivery approach with a portfolio based on a common architecture spanning traditional IT, private, managed and public clouds. The company is targeting the enterprise in its move to extend the power of the cloud.
HP focused on three pillars with its Converged Cloud: choice, confidence and consistency. Choice comes through an open, standards-based approach supporting multiple hypervisors, operating systems and development environments. HP is offering its management and security offering to drive confidence, and consistency comes through a single, common architecture.
Running Unapproved Cloud Solutions
HP commissioned research that reveals organizations are undergoing major shifts in how services are delivered. HP's studies also highlight how cloud offerings are increasingly being sourced without IT department approvals.
Specifically, the survey indicated that nearly half of enterprises had departments running non-IT-sanctioned cloud solutions. A full 18 percent indicated they were unsure. With the projected use of private and public cloud models doubling by 2020, HP said successful organizations will need to find a way to embrace these solutions without adding more complexity and risk to their environments.
With all this in mind, HP is rolling out new Converged Cloud offerings. The first in the portfolio is HP Public Infrastructure as a Service. This will debut as a public beta on May 10. The solution offers on-demand compute instances or virtual machines, scalable online storage capacity and accelerated delivery of cached content to end users. HP will also roll out a relational database for MySQL and a block storage service that supports movement of data from one compute instance to another on May 10.
A Crucial Segment for HP
We caught up with Laura DiDio, principal analyst at Information Technology Intelligence Consulting, to get her take on HP entering a market that Amazon has pushed so hard to dominate. As she sees it, HP's decision to launch the new HP Converged Cloud service comes as no surprise and makes perfect sense.
"For the past two years, HP along with many major vendors like Amazon, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle et al, have been extremely vocal and active in showcasing and marketing their cloud service products, services and strategies," DiDio said. "None of the large vendors can afford to ignore the burgeoning cloud computing market segment."
DiDio said the cloud segment is especially crucial for HP, which has been hurt from the declines in the overall PC and printing arenas -- two of HP's core competency segments. Her advice to HP: Aggressively pursue new market segments to offset the contraction in commodity hardware, and cloud computing is a natural progression for HP.
"HP's existing services organization is well developed and well respected worldwide. Based on HP's history of success in the services segment, it should be able to effectively challenge entrenched cloud services providers like Amazon and Google by upselling within its existing customer base and using its respected brand to pursue greenfield opportunities," DiDio said. "Large hosted public clouds are a fast-growing market. There's plenty of room for HP, but it must be able to challenge Amazon on price as well as performance to win new business."