Hewlett-Packard Co. has launched its assault on the cloud world, overhauling almost every part of its converged cloud portfolio by enhancing its public-facing cloud platform, dubbed HP Cloud Services. The new upgrades include expanded automation capabilities for the HP Cloud Services Automation (CSA) platform and updates to HP’s Continuous Delivery Automation (CDA) solution set.
Agility and flexibility are the buzz word for HP — updates are for private, managed and public cloud environments as Cloud Service Automation 3.1 introduces a new “foundation” for fast-tracking the provisioning of cloud services while Continuous Delivery Automation 1.1 has been redesigned to allow rapid automated application deployment and management.
HP is also rolling out specialized service provider offerings for cloud service providers, a critical component to its cloud strategy (and its ability to differentiate itself for partners) as it seeks to proliferate its HP CloudSystem, built upon HP Converged Infrastructure the CSA software. CSPs will now have access to the following:
- Extensible cloud architecture for kernel-based virtual machines, alongside VM capabilities for Microsoft, VMware and more.
- Physical provisioning capabilities for server blades
- Pay-as-you-go for cloud bursting situations, providing instant-on capacity when needed
- HP Cloud Maps which provides quick guides to service implementation via templates. Solution providers can kick-start an entire solution portfolio by simply deploying these templates.
- Consistent unified management experience across private, hybird and public environments
CSA 3.1 will additionally deliver a complete cloud management platform that can make managing and provisioning enterprise cloud applications and enterprise cloud infrastructure a more simple process. Hooks into cloud infrastructure will allow protection against security issues (via TippingPoint) and redundant architecture to ensure no cloud failure results in cloud downtime. CDA 1.1 also builds upon the need for agility by automating the “manual hand-offs” that occur during application lifecycle processes. This should help fast-track application upgrades as well as the introduction of new cloud applications to a solution portfolio.
Since this technology reaches deep into the managed services space, HP’s Cloud Solutions for CSPs will also allow service providers to leverage all aspects of the cloud portfolio to build a cloud services broker business derived purely on HP’s infrastructure. HP hopes that solution providers targeting the SMB space will find the blend of HP services an ideal on-ramp. To make those steps into a full cloud brokerage business, HP is also providing:
- HP Cloud Compute: A specialized pay as you go provisioning service, complete with HP Cloud Block Storage
- HP Cloud Application Platform as a Service: ISVs, solution providers, enterprises and stand-alone developers can all build projects upon this platform, then deploy “with a single click.” HP’s decision to build this upon Cloud Foundry, may be a smart move, particularly amid the VMWare Pivotal Initiative spin-off.
- HP Cloud Workload Migration Services: Directly leveraging the HP channel partner community, this service moves users to HP’s cloud while limiting issues to the end user experience.
- HP Global Product Authentication Service: Authentication features on HP’s cloud back-end allows advanced business transaction and applications services to be built with security already baked in.
Bottom line: HP’s cloud strategy for 2013 is set — it’s now a matter of competition and adoption, which will be HP’s real struggle over the next few years.
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