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HP Kills Public Cloud, Cedes To AWS, Google, Microsoft

HP is abandoning its public cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) efforts, a market dominated by AWS, Google, and Microsoft. Here are the details.
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Days ahead of its formal split into two companies, HP announced plans to officially close down its public cloud effort and give up on competing with Amazon Web Services, Google, and Microsoft Azure in that market. The news came via a blog post written by Bill Hilf, senior VP and GM of HP Cloud.

Hilf said HP will sunset its HP Helion Public Cloud offering on Jan. 31, 2016, and instead shift to a partner-led model for serving customers who need public cloud services.

Over the course of 2015, HP has publicly gone back and forth on its commitment to public cloud.

The New York Times quoted Hilf back in April as saying: "We thought people would rent or buy computing from us. It turns out that it makes no sense for us to go head-to-head" with other major players in this space.

A week later, HP's Hilf backed away from that statement in a blog post: "In the past week, a quote of mine in the media was interpreted as HP is exiting the public cloud, which is not the case. Our portfolio strategy to deliver on the vision of Hybrid IT continues strong."

It's not a big surprise that HP would abandon the public cloud market, which is dominated by a handful of giants. In May, Gartner dropped HP from its Cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (Iaas) Magic Quadrant report.

"While HP continues to operate its cloud IaaS offering (HP Public Cloud), it now only actively seeks to market and sell this offering as part of a hybrid solution," Gartner said. "It no longer has sufficient market share to qualify for inclusion in this Magic Quadrant."

Gartner vice president and distinguished analyst Lydia Leong in a statement in April characterized the cloud IaaS market this way: "The sky is not falling -- customers are getting great value out of cloud IaaS -- but the competitive landscape is shifting. Few providers have the financial resources to invest in being broadly competitive in the cloud IaaS market."

That's the landscape that has bumped HP out of serious contention in the public cloud market.

In Hilf's blog post this week he said HP plans to focus its investments in its private and managed cloud offerings, including Helion OpenStack, Helion CloudSystem, and HP's Managed and Virtual Private Cloud.

[Looking for more on HP's off-again, on-again relationship with public cloud? Read HP Retreats from Public Cloud.]

"These offerings will continue to expand and we will have some very exciting announcements on these fronts in the coming weeks," he wrote. He noted that HP Helion CloudSystem "continues to deliver strong double-digit revenue growth and win enterprise customers."

HP will formally split into two companies on Nov. 1. HP Enterprise (HPE) will focus on enterprise customers and infrastructure offerings, including cloud. HP Inc. (HPI) will offer PCs and printer products.

In the weeks and months ahead of the split, HP has been shifting and reorganizing its operations. Last month, the company said it would cut up to 30,000 jobs as part of the changes. Yesterday, Trend Micro (TYO) announced that it would acquire HP's TippingPoint, provider of intrusion prevention systems and related network security solutions in a deal worth $300 million.