HP appoints networking expert to lead cloud unit in exec shakeup

HP is betting big on cloud to help turn the company around, and now it has a new networking executive to lead the effort

Attempting to solidify its cloud computing strategy, and perhaps offering a preview of the future development efforts, Hewlett-Packard has appointed its former cloud networking CTO to lead the company's Converged Cloud business unit.

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Saar Gillai, former VP and GM of HP cloud networking and former CTO of HP Networking, has a new title of SVP and GM of Converged Cloud, a pan-HP business unit. HP launched the Converged Cloud initiative in April, and made its public cloud services generally available in December. HP officials have spoken about the advantages of customers using HP hardware for their on-premise workloads, allowing those to work fluidly with public cloud resources the company makes available.

Networking has been another focus of HP in recent months, with the launch of a networking as a service tool, allowing Gillai's background in networking could signal additional investments by HP in the area.

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HP is a member of the OpenStack community and its public cloud products use the open source code as a base, with HP IP baked in. The company is in a similar, but slightly more advanced place with its OpenStack-powered public cloud compared to Dell, another OpenStack company. Dell executives have said recently though that its OpenStack-powered public cloud may not be available until the end of this year. The company does have a VMware-powered public cloud offering now.

Gillai will work with Zorawar Biri Singh, senior vice president and GM of HP Cloud Services, who has been somewhat of a public face for HP's cloud efforts, including keynoting a speech at the most recent OpenStack summit. Singh heads up the cloud services division, which is part of the overall Converged Cloud organization that Gillai manages. Gillai reports directly to former Microsoft Windows executive Bill Veghte, who's now HP's COO.

Network World staff writer Brandon Butler covers cloud computing and social collaboration. He can be reached at BButler@nww.com and found on Twitter at @BButlerNWW.

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