HP (quietly) snubs Amazon’s cloud in latest release

HP drops support for AWS EC2 APIs and appears to be going all in with OpenStack

HP this week released the 13.5 version of its cloud platform, which is the software that serves as the basis for the company's public cloud offering.

Toward the bottom of a note about new features, HP mentions something quite interesting: HP's cloud no longer inherently supports Amazon Web Service's cloud Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).

It may not sound like a big deal, but it marks a strategic shift for the company and the fluid market dynamics in the IaaS industry.

[MORE CLOUD: Google Compute Engine takes on AWS, a head-to-head look at each cloud]

Here's the exactly what HP said in the release notes: "The ec2 API and euca-tools are not supported in this release." Euca means tools from private cloud platform Eucalyptus, which is tied closely to AWS APIs. This raised some questions on Twitter, specifically where a number of cloud watchers pointed out the change.

Cloud Chronicles reached out to HP for an explanation and here's what we got back:

"We made this decision informed by developer input, low use of the AWS EC2 API in the open HP Cloud environment, and what was best for the rapidly growing open source developer community.  In talking directly with our developer customers, HP Cloud found that a significant majority are less interested in the API when coding, and more interested in assuring that the tools they prefer to use are supported by the cloud they want to use. In fact, most don't write directly to the API, but instead use a language specific API binding, a CLI, or a cloud/API agnostic library like Java jclouds or Ruby fog."

Basically, HP is saying that developers don't need support for AWS APIs in its public cloud, and instead can use open source library tools to provide connections to AWS, if needed. HP is basically saying that its customers are using HP's public cloud, not AWS. The move could reflect HP's ongoing commitment to OpenStack too; it's sort of vogue in some parts of the OpenStack community to snub AWS.

Besides dropping AWS support though, there are a variety of other new and interesting features in the platform too (click here to watch a video of HP marketing folks talk aboutt he new features). The 13.5 version reflects the latest release of OpenStack code, so through that there are more granular networking features including a virtual private cloud option for customers. These allow users to control the networking policies of various applications running in HP's cloud. So, for example a test and dev environment with low security policies cannot interact with a highly-secure production environment. HP also rolled out a new suite of higher-grade instance sizes to support databases running in its cloud.

HP Discover is coming up next week and there will likely be more news from the company at that point about its private cloud platform.  So, stay tuned for more HP news in the coming weeks. 

Senior Writer Brandon Butler covers cloud computing for Network World and NetworkWorld.com. He can be reached at BButler@nww.com and found on Twitter at @BButlerNWW.

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