I found these announcements a clearer indicator of HP's latest cloud strategy, with an emphasis on enabling a global, verticalized and marketplace-driven tier of cloud providers. I've been asked plenty about HP's public cloud roadmap, which has been murky. This now tells me that HP is going first to its key service provider customers for data center and infrastructure enablement for their clouds.
This makes a lot of sense. The next generation of clouds -- and I'd venture the larger opportunity once the market settles -- will be specialized clouds. Not that Amazon Web Services, Google, and Rackspace are going away. But one-size fits all approaches will inevitably give way to specialization and localization. Telecos are in a great position to step up and offer these value-add clouds and services to their business customers. [Disclosure: HP is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]
And HP is better off providing the picks and shovels to them in spades, than to come to market in catch-up mode with plain vanilla public cloud services under its own brand. It the classic clone strategy that worked for PCs, right? Partnerships and ecosystem alliances are the better way. A good example is the partnership announced last week with Savvis.
HP’s new offerings address the key areas of client needs – building differentiated cloud offerings, consuming cloud services from the public domain, and managing, governing and securing the entire environment. This again makes sense. No need for channel conflict on cloud services between this class of nascent cloud providers and the infrastructure providers themselves.
Expanding the ecosystem
Among the announcements was an expansion of the cloud ecosystem with new partners, offerings and programs:
- New HP CloudSystem integrations with Alcatel-Lucent will enable communications services providers to deliver high-value cloud services using carrier-class network and IT by automating the provisioning and management of cloud resources.
- HP CloudAgile Service Provider Program offers service providers expanded sales reach, an enhanced services portfolio and an accelerated sales cycle through direct access to HP’s global sales force. HP has expanded the program with its first European partners and with new certified hosting options that enable service providers to deliver reliable, secure private hosted clouds based on HP CloudSystem.
- HP CloudSystem Matrix 7.0, the core operating environment that powers HP CloudSystem, enables clients to build hybrid clouds with push-button access to externally sourced cloud-based IT resources with out-of-the-box “bursting capability.” This solution also includes automatic, on-demand provisioning of HP 3PAR storage to reduce errors and speed deployment of new services to just minutes.
- The HP Cloud Protection Program spans people, process, policies and technologies to deliver a comparable level of security for a hybrid cloud as a private internet-enabled IT environment would receive. The program is supported by a Cloud Protection Center of Excellence that enables clients to test HP solutions as well as partner and third-party products that support cloud and virtualization protection.
New and enhanced HP services that provide a cloud infrastructure as a service to address rapid and secure sourcing of compute services include:
- HP Enterprise Cloud Services – Compute which automates distribution of application workloads across multiple servers to improve application performance. Clients also can improve data protection through new backup and restore options while also provisioning and managing additional virtual local area networks within their cloud environment. A new HP proof-of-concept program allows clients to evaluate the service for existing workloads prior to purchase.
- HP Enterprise Cloud Services for SAP Development and Sandbox Solution enable clients to evaluate and prototype functionality of SAP enterprise resource planning software via a virtual private cloud, using a flexible, consumption-based model.
HP has also announced guidance and training to transform legacy data centers for cloud computing:
- Three HP ExpertONE certifications – HP ASE Cloud Architect, HP ASE Cloud Integrator and HP ASE Master Cloud Integrator, which encompass business and technical content.
- Expanded HP ExpertONE program that includes five of the industry’s largest independent commercial training organizations that deliver HP learning solutions anywhere in the world. The HP Institute delivers an academic program for developing HP certified experts through traditional two- and four-year institutions, while HP Press has expanded self-directed learning options for clients.
- HP Cloud Curriculum from HP Education Services offers course materials in multiple languages covering cloud strategies. Learning is flexible, with online virtual labs, self study, classroom, virtual classroom and onsite training options offered through more than 90 HP education centers worldwide.
- Driven by HP Financial Services, HP Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Cloud Roundtables help CFOs understand the benefits and risks associated with the cloud, while aligning their organizations’ technology and financial roadmaps.
- HP Storage Consulting Services for Cloud, encompassing modernization and design, enable clients to understand their storage requirements for private cloud computing as well as develop an architecture that meets their needs.
- HP Cloud Applications Services for Windows Azure accelerate the development or migration of applications to the Microsoft Windows Azure platform-as-a-service offering.
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