Cloud Compute goes GA

HP plays catch-up with public cloud

Elliot Bentley
HP Discover 2012, FFM

At HP Discover conference in Frankfurt, the company unveiled new block storage and PaaS services – but is it enough to compete?

HP CEO Meg Whitman speaks
onstage during the opening keynote.

Following
AWS’ re: Invent conference last week
, HP has come out swinging
with new cloud announcements, including the general availability of
their flagship Cloud Compute IaaS and public betas of new block
storage and PaaS products.

HP Discover, which is this year based in Frankfurt, is the
company’s showcase for both consumer and enterprise products –
taking place around the world at different times of the year. This
year, among
Windows 8 tablets aimed at business consumers
, the company also
expanded its cloud offerings.

Yesterday, the company announced the general availability of Cloud
Compute with an Amazon-matching 99.95% SLA and competitive pricing
starting at $0.04 per GB per month. Launched back in April, HP
Cloud Compute is a pay-as-you-go IaaS designed to compete with AWS
EC2, Google App Engine and Windows Azure. As in all of their public
cloud products, HP are attempting to differentiate the service from
existing industry titans by adopting open standards and building on
the OpenStack project, which has
gone from strength to strength
.

Meanwhile, the company continued to expand its range of cloud
services with the launch of HP Cloud Block Storage and HP Cloud
Application Platform as a Service, which both basically do what
they say on the tin: the latter using technology from Stackato which is itself
based on VMware’s open source Cloud Foundry. They will be
joining existing CDN and database services, as well as HP Cloud
Compute, in HP’s growing suite of public cloud offerings.

However, while the open source nature of HP’s cloud services might
sway some enterprise customers wary of vendor lock-in (which,
according to an HP-led survey, is around 65% of companies), they’re
rapidly being left behind by Amazon’s expanding portfolio of
innovative services like Glacier, DynamoDB and a new
data warehousing service called Redshift
, announced just last
week.

The news also comes in the shadow of an impending lawsuit against

British software company Autonomy
, who were acquired by HP last
year for $11.1bn. This week, HP claimed that it had discovered
“serious accounting improprieties” within Autonomy, which would see
the British company’s value just half of what HP had paid (founder
Mike Lynch responded that the accusations were “utterly
wrong”).

All of this won’t hopefully detract from the continued development
of HP Cloud, which is building up nicely. Yet the question remains:
is increased openness enough to compete with AWS?

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