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4/10/2012
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HP Converged Cloud Plan Uses Hardened OpenStack

HP's new cloud services help enterprises implement an architecture internally now that will match up with an external cloud service provider later, paving a smoother road to future hybrid cloud operations.

10 Important Cloud Apps For SMBs
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HP on Tuesday announced its HP Converged Cloud with a "hardened" version of open source OpenStack software. With the HP approach to cloud computing, enterprises will be able to implement an architecture internally that will potentially match up with an external cloud service provider, offering a smoother path to future hybrid cloud operations.

"This is a journey for customers. Not everyone will run out and adopt hybrid cloud computing immediately," Steve Dietch, VP for HP worldwide cloud, enterprise servers, networking, storage, and technology services, said in an interview.

In typical HP fashion, it's maintaining neutrality on virtual machine hypervisors, operating systems, and development environments, while marshaling the elements needed to establish on-premise infrastructure as a service. Such private IaaS is likely to prove compatible, or most compatible, with the service providers that have committed to using OpenStack, such as RackSpace and Nebula. The HP Converged Cloud will be able to host VMware ESX Server virtual machines, Microsoft Hyper-V VMs, Red Hat KVM, and "other hypervisors as the market dictates," he said.

[ Many vendors are moving to grab a piece of the cloud. Read HP, Dell Create Clouds For The Rest Of Us. ]

HP wants to give customers a chance to decouple their key business applications from the need to run them on a particular hardware infrastructure and let them decide in the future where the most efficient infrastructure is to be found. "We see that as very different from what's going on in the field right now. In many cases, the service model is still tightly fused to the infrastructure," he said, when the customer should be able to pick up key workloads and move them to another supplier of infrastructure as a service.

The set of services becomes available May 10 in public beta form. It will include the current private beta services HP Cloud Compute and Cloud Object Storage. In addition to being able to commission virtual machines and long-term storage, HP Cloud Service will include a content delivery network service for speedy responses to end users, Dietch said. The company also said it will provide a 50% discount for all services "for a limited time."

HP says it will supplement these services with a private beta offering of a MySQL relational database service and a block storage service supporting movement of data from one virtual machine to another.

HP will also make available an enhancement to its existing cloud building software, CloudSystem. It will add Cloud Maps, which will provide templates of pre-configured cloud services that save first-time implementers design time. It also includes sizing guides to help with capacity planning, and workflows and scripts to automate service installation.

Another new offering, Service Virtualization, will give enterprise cloud developers a way to test a new cloud service or mobile application without endangering production systems. In effect, developers get a sandbox or isolated implementation of the cloud environment with new service added to test both operation and performance.

HP's new Virtual Application Network will give cloud builders a more flexible way to guarantee network services when building cloud services on legacy networks, according to the HP announcement.

Dietch said HP was implementing the hardened version of OpenStack in its own data center and would make its features available to the OpenStack.org community for possible inclusion in the source code and wider vendor use.

HP will offer to manage a customer's private cloud as a service, including security and performance management.

Enterprises adopting Converged Cloud will be able to "burst to Amazon Web Services," or shift excess traffic for a particular application outside the private cloud and into a public infrastructure as a service. The HP components are currently designed to work with AWS but additional services will be added as cloud implementers start to find a need for them, Dietch said.

As companies increase their use of cloud-based applications, IT and security professionals must make some tough and far-reaching decisions about how to provision, deprovision, and otherwise manage user access. This Dark Reading report, How To Manage Identity In The Public Cloud, examines the options and provides recommendations for determining which one is right for your organization. (Free registration required.)

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