Hewlett-Packard on May 10 took the next step in its quest to become a public cloud services platform provider by moving to beta with its first group of services.
HP's first publicly available beta services--HP Cloud Compute, HP Cloud Object Storage and HP Cloud Content Delivery Network--are now being offered through a standard pay-by-the-drink model. The company is even having an introductory "sale" on those services: 50 percent off for a limited time.
Is there a clearer indication than a "sale" that cloud and utility computing is becoming more and more mainstream?
Build Your Own HP-Supported Private Cloud
The idea behind this is that using this software platform, enterprises now will be able to construct an open-standards cloud architecture inside their own firewalls--with or without HP server, storage and networking hardware, by the way--that will adjust more efficiently to that of external cloud service providers, no matter who that service provider may be or how many are needed.
It will also be easier and more efficient to enable and secure access to the cloud system, whether it be for internal employees, contract partners or customers. Channeling those various interactions is difficult to do well in any IT system.
"Whether you are an independent developer, ISV or the CIO of a major organization, the priority is to design your applications for the cloud economy," said HP Zorawar "Biri" Singh, senior vice president and general manager of HP Cloud Services.
About 40 companies have announced their support for HP Cloud Services, from platform as a service (PaaS) partners to storage, management and database providers, Singh said. The partner ecosystem provides users with a set of tools, best practices and support to help maximize productivity on the cloud, Singh said.
Cloud Needs Not Being Met
"HP Converged Cloud is the answer to needs we're seeing in the industry that are really not being met today," Shane Pearson, vice president of product marketing at HP Software, told eWEEK.
"This is the industry's first solution that combines a single capability to manage traditional IT, along with public, managed and private cloud capabilities, to provide access to infrastructure applications and information services from any source."
With Converged Cloud, HP is subscribing to Easy Does It, because this is what users want. Along with its basic open-source infrastructure, the new platform features prepackaged, preconfigured elements that can be dragged and dropped into a development environment, then deployed in the same way.
For example, prepackaged cloud service design templates are included to speed up application and infrastructure deployment. Code and script writing are basically a thing of the past in this scenario.
Converged Cloud is agnostic with respect to hypervisors, hardware, operating systems and development environments, Pearson said.
"Converged Cloud pulls everything together into business-critical applications that can be used at any time, from any device," Pearson said.
Chris Preimesberger is eWEEK's Editor for Features and Analysis. Twitter: @editingwhiz