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HP CloudStart Accelerates Private Cloud Startup

Package of blade hardware, storage management software, and consulting will launch a private cloud in 20% of the time it typically takes.

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Hewlett-Packard is offering a combination of blade hardware and HP data center management software in a package that it calls CloudStart, an offering that includes consulting services that will enable a customer to generate a private cloud within 30 days.

HP made the announcement Monday on the opening day of VMworld, VMware's annual user group meeting going on this week in San Francisco. "CloudStart is a high availability, turn-key solution at a fixed price, pre-integrated with a one-touch portal deployment," claimed Alan Wilson, VP of infrastructure consulting, technology services. CloudStart will be delivered by a new unit, HP cloud consulting services.

CloudStart enables delivery of IT services on a pay-per-use basis, with users given resources on a real-time access basis, with chargeback reporting supplied automatically, Wilson said in an interview.

HP's approach to private enterprise clouds will start from a hardware foundation of HP BladeSystem Matrix, a blade chassis with built-in Virtual Connect switching that moves converged I/O off the blade server and into the network fabric. It includes HP Cloud Service Automation software to manage the Matrix and HP StorageWorks storage management system. By starting with these pre-integrated pieces, an enterprise private cloud can be launched in 20% of the time it might normally take through the IT staff assembling the parts, he said.

CloudStart at this stage builds an internal cloud infrastructure based on use of the VMware ESX Server hypervisor.

Wilson said HP will demonstrate CloudStart during VMworld through an appearance by professor Greg Ganger of Carnegie Mellon University, whose private cloud installation will serve as a test bed for research on cloud computing. The university will replace multiple clusters with an internal cloud infrastructure for performing research simulations and data analysis.

In an interview, Nick van der Zweep, director of business strategy for industry-standard servers and software at HP, cited additional benefits of implementing an internal cloud configuration based on the HP approach.

The automated procedures for managing the BladeSystem and ability to set policies governing its use results in a 75% reduction in time spent on compliance management, he said.

CloudStart provides for simplified expansion of resources by adding devices, whether network, storage, or servers, including disaster recovery on HP storage. And, HP professional services provides expertise on best practices for implementing and customizing a private cloud, he said.

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