HP's cloud hardware, software and services packaging via CloudStart exploits HP's product strengths while setting the stage for enterprise application stores, service catalogs of metered apps as services, more choices of moving to hybrid clouds, and easy segues to multiple sourcing and hosting options, all of which play into HP's Enterprise Services (nee EDS) on the hosting side.
CloudStart is also what I believe is only the opening salvo in a comprehensive private cloud initiative and strategy drive that HP aims to win. Expect more developments through the fall on HP Cloud Service Automation (CSA) and applications lifecycle management products, services and professional services support offerings.
HP's VMworld news today also comes on the heels of a slew of private cloud product and services offerings last week.
Partners form ecosystem approach
The HP CloudStart package -- with third-party partner ecosystem players like Intel, Samsung, VMware and Carnegie Mellon -- combines the features of HP BladeSystem Matrix, Converged Infrastructure, Cloud Service Automation stack, StorageWorks, and other governance and management offerings. That on top of the globally available HP server hardware and networking hardware portfolios. HP says, however, that CloudStart is designed to integrate well with an enterprises's existing heterogeneous platforms, any hypervisor, and third-party and open source middleware.
Such mission-critical aspects as disaster recovery, security, storage efficiency, governance, patches support, compliance and audits support, and use metering and charge-backs billing are also included in the CloudStart offerings and road map, HP said.
HP also announced Cloud Maps for use with apps and solutions from VMware, SAP, Oracle and Microsoft to significantly speed application deployment via tested, cloud-ready app configurations. Cloud Maps are imported directly into private cloud environments, enabling them to develop a catalog of cloud services.
The combination of the cloud elements could lead to a "standardized" approach for creating and expanding private clouds throughout an enterprise, said Paul Miller, vice president, Solutions and Strategic Alliances, Enterprise Servers, Storage and Networking at HP. The solution is designed to be deployed on-premises but uses an HP-operated, off-premises and SaaS setup and operations portal.
And that SaaS, self-service aspect could be a key to the practical deployment of enterprise clouds, which HP sees as rapidly growing in interest in a "multi-source IT world," even if enterprises are not quite sure how to begin. HP recognizes that moving from a non-cloud problem set of complexity and sprawl to a cloud-based world of complexity and sprawl sort of defeats the purpose and economics.
IT leaders need cloud road map
"When CIOs have a simplified way to map their path to the private cloud, including all the necessary components from infrastructure and applications to services, they are more likely to identify a comprehensive and realistic deployment scenario for their organization," said Matt Eastwood, group vice president, Enterprise Platform Group, IDC, in a release. "With the HP CloudStart solution, clients now have a way to accelerate the adoption of service-oriented environments for a private cloud that matches the speed, flexibility and economies of public cloud without the risk or loss of control."
So CloudStart works to consolidate, integrate, and converge the cloud support elements -- and in doing so creates a compelling alternative to IT infrastructure as usual. And maybe a standard on-ramp to the use of heterogeneous private clouds?
The HP CloudStart solution is offered now in Asia-Pacific and Japan and expected to be available globally in December.
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