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HP Takes On Amazon

The thing is called the HP Converged Cloud

Limping from losses, like in its executive suite, HP finally took its shot at Amazon Tuesday though it doesn't like saying that.

It announced an open source public IaaS cloud based on the immature OpenStack platform as it promised to do.

It will offer public on-demand compute instances or virtual machines and scalable online storage with "accelerated delivery of cached content."

And all the while it can't afford to alienate companies that buy hardware for their server farms.

The betas of its Cloud Services should get here on May 10. And since they're just betas, there aren't any prices yet.

HP will also have a relational database service for MySQL and a block storage service that moves data from one compute instance to another in private beta.

The thing is called the HP Converged Cloud. HP says it's for hybrid clouds and that it's for the enterprise. That includes service providers and SMBs.

It's advertised as the industry's "first strategy and portfolio based on a single architecture" for building, managing and securing hybrid environments.

According to ex-Microsoftie turned head of HP software and chief strategy officer Bill Veghte, "There is a gap between what businesses need and what information technology is delivering."

It will let companies choose from public, private and managed cloud services.

Swimming against the powerful Amazon tide, HP wants to entice enterprises away from notions of using Amazon's ever-so-popular public cloud and now - recently - its Eucalyptus-provided hybrid clouds. HP research found that IT doesn't know that jobs are being outsourced to the cloud.

It wants its corporate customers to set up an internal OpenStack-based IaaS cloud that - when the time comes - happens to works well with other OpenStack clouds outside.

OpenStack has accumulated 150 impressive followers but nobody's gone into production yet but HP still wants to infuse corporate confidence in the cloud.

OpenStack deplores the lock-in Amazon standard and its APIs but - despite its own preferred prized APIs - still claims AWS-compatibility - we'll see - that HP could conceivably use to get some private cloud reverse traffic.

HP is trying to strike a "gently, gently" approach to address lingering fears about going cloud.

Customers, in HP's usual "please everybody" way, can use any virtualization they like though OpenStack has a bias toward Red Hat's KVM.

They can also use various operating systems and development environments.

HP has got templates, a k a cloud maps, of preconfigured cloud services.

One can expect HP Service Virtualization 2.0 to test cloud environments, Virtual Application Networks to speed up app deployment, a self-explanatory Virtual Network Protection and Cloud Optimization and outsourced private cloud management called Enterprise Cloud Services.

Forrester Research, which thinks HP's Converged Cloud could attract service providers, figures the market for cloud computing services will reach $61 billion by the end of this year.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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