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HP betting big on cloud to help company turn around

HP GM says cloud is a 'big deal' for turning around the struggling tech giant

By , Network World
October 22, 2012 11:02 AM ET
Zorawar Biri Singh

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MORE OPENSTACK: OpenStack: We can tell Amazon what to do instead of the other way around

That end goal is HP's Converged Cloud. Billed as the company's answer to market-leading Amazon Web Services cloud, Singh says HP Converged Cloud is not a single product; it's a technology framework that incorporates public and private clouds, along with managed hosting for customers. It's an "umbrella strategy," Singh says.

It's analogous to converged infrastructure in which compute, storage and networking are packaged in an integrated design, but this time with cloud components. "Converged cloud, beyond the marketing buzzword, is similar," he says. "We think there is a set of key enabling forces that will bring together how cloud is delivered. You have to deal with solutions for private, public cloud and managed hosting."

Singh says there's a market demand for such a broad, all-encompassing style. Enterprises want to move workloads across similar environments spanning these three areas (public and private cloud, and managed hosting). "What they get in their public cloud, they want in their private cloud, and vice versa," he says. "They want that interoperability ... and they want to build services and consume services based on what they've [already] got."

Enterprises will have heterogeneous environments, which is why he says HP has used the OpenStack ecosystem to work with partners like VMware, Microsoft and Red Hat, by support hypervisors from those companies. And while HP is packaging these OpenStack solutions -- including the latest virtual networking components -- they're also leveraging the open source code themselves as a basis to run the company's own cloud services. Singh calls the company's public cloud a "petri dish" of experiments running enterprise-grade public cloud workloads.

What enterprises care about is not vendor strategy and whether it's a single stack or a multi-stack approach, though, Singh says -- they care about the SLAs and the cloud just working. "The technology stack matters less and less and core characteristics like SLA, automation, orchestration, deployment and enabling those things are what's important," Singh says. "And that's the flag HP carries."

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.

Read more about cloud computing in Network World's Cloud Computing section.

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