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Moving to the Hybrid Cloud

With Cloud OS, HP takes up mantle of ambassador to the future of hybrid cloud models

HP's innovations in its Converged Cloud portfolio, announced at HP Discover 2013 in Las Vegas, are aimed at better ushering large enterprises from legacy to hybrid cloud environments.

Despite the great interest in SaaS and cloud, many large enterprises are still grappling with the right mixture of on-premises, hosted and various cloud deployment models for their applications, infrastructure and data. And the formula for picking which apps and assets should run where will be a changing one, as business goals, economic pressures and technology advances all conspire to make last year's IT model obsolete. Ongoing.

HP officials say the next phase of a common OpenStack-based architecture for HP’s private, managed, and public cloud offerings recognizes this dynamic environment. Not only does one-size cloud not fit all, no company can predict what their risk path is nor how well cloud will work for them in coming years. That's why choice and operating environment standardization -- and not just price -- must be the critical requirements for cloud adoption.

"You should have your choice of operating system, database, and application development environment, whether it's Java or .NET, you shouldn’t have to compromise when you're looking at cloud technology," said Chief Evangelist at HP Software, Paul Muller. "We have focused on ensuring that the cloud infrastructure, the workloads, the automation, the compliance tools, everything around that, are focused on optimizing the application experience."

Cloud makes sense

But HP also acknowledges that where cloud clearly makes sense, a quick path to its benefits must be made. And so HP also announced new software and services to accelerate time to market for private cloud implementations, and unveiled new capabilities in HP’s managed and public cloud solutions under the Converged Cloud banner.

Research commissioned on behalf of HP predicts that by 2016, some 75 percent of enterprise IT will be delivered across private, managed and public clouds. Further, half of the respondents believe that open standards are important in the emergence of cloud computing. This indicates that customers want an open, hybrid cloud solution to generate new opportunities, drive competitive differentiation and lower the cost of operations, said. HP.

HP Cloud Operating System (OS) is therefore an open and extensible cloud technology platform that leverages the community strength of OpenStack technology to enable workload portability, simplified installation and enhanced life cycle management across hybrid clouds, said HP. [Disclosure: HP is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts. My travel to HP Discover 2013 was paid for by HP.]

HP CloudSystem, HP’s private cloud offering, already embeds Cloud OS technology. To help customers get started quickly with an initial private cloud deployment, HP also is offering the HP CloudSystem Enterprise Starter Suite. This solution allows organizations to get started with rich application cloud services, and reduces up-front costs by up to 20 percent with the bundled offering.


Christian Verstraete, Chief Technologist for Cloud Solutions at HP, explained the importance of Cloud OS. "What we want to do across the different clouds that we offer -- private cloud, the managed cloud, and the public cloud -- is a capability to be able to port workloads very quickly to build some consistency around them," he said. "Cloud OS is all about that. It’s about building a consistent infrastructure environment or infrastructure management environment to do that. And that's where we are using OpenStack."

Open Stack distribution

"So what is cloud OS? Cloud OS is nothing more than HP’s internal OpenStack distribution, with a set of additional functionality on top of it, to provide a second-to-none infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) delivery that can then be used for our private cloud, our managed cloud, and is already used for our public cloud," said Verstraeta.

But while HP is making an OpenStack-based cloud platform environment, it is bundling hardware and software-defined infrastructure so that the ease of deployment -- similar to appliance benefits -- makes those seeking openness a value and simplicity offer they can't refuse.

Inexpensive and energy-stingy HP Moonshot servers also will be offered with HP Cloud OS, providing simplified provisioning and management for specific cloud workloads such as dedicated hosting and large-scale websites. HP Cloud Services also leverages HP Cloud OS technology. To encourage customers to evaluate and understand the benefits of an OpenStack-based architecture for their cloud needs, HP is offering HP Cloud OS Sandbox for experimentation at no cost.

Forty-three percent of respondents in the HP-commissioned survey said that finding the right strategic partner to get them started was a barrier to cloud adoption. So to help guide customers, HP introduced the HP Converged Cloud Professional Services Suite.

It’s about building a consistent infrastructure environment or infrastructure management environment to do that.

HP announced such new services designed to help customers take advantage of the cloud. These new offerings include HP Converged Cloud Support, HP Cloud Design Service, HP Cloud-ready Networking Services, HP Proactive Care for CloudSystem, and HP Cloud Security Risk and Controls Advisory Services, as well as enhancements to HP Applications Transformation to Cloud Services.

"From a consulting perspective, you need to have a strategy and understand the challenges and complexities of that hybrid type of delivery or that hybrid consumption, and establish some type of design for how that's going to be used and presented. So consulting becomes very important the more you start to consume or present cloud-based type services," said Tom Norton, Vice President for Big Data Technology Services at HP.

"This is not just a technology decision that you need guidance on. It's structuring contracts and understanding how to deal with termination of service -- what happens to the intellectual property (IP) you have in the cloud. That's where having advice from seasoned experts can help you avoid some of the pitfalls of cloud adoption," said Muller.

"With our own experience, across the spectrum, building on-premise and private, working in the managed infrastructure places, we have public cloud experience and we also have the experience of the integration across all of those," said Norton.

HP Enterprise Services has enhanced its portfolio of cloud service offerings to address increased customer needs for mobile and enterprise applications. These include:

  • HP Enterprise Cloud Services for Enterprise Applications that give clients choice and flexibility when integrating and deploying applications in the cloud while maintaining business continuity and ensuring data security.
  • HP Mobile Enterprise Cloud Solution that provides a fully managed and integrated set of mobile consulting and management services to securely enable applications and data sharing from many device types.
  • HP Enterprise Cloud Services - Private Cloud that enables clients to quickly adopt cloud services by designing, building and managing a complete Infrastructure as a Service that creates the foundation for an enterprise-wide shared IT services model.
  • HP Cloud Security Risk and Control AdvisoryServices, a new offering in the HP professional services portfolio that helps clients safeguard their information, manage potential for data breaches and remain compliant while transitioning applications to public, private and hybrid clouds.

Engaging customers

In addition, HP Autonomy introduced the Autonomy Marketing Cloud, a cloud-based version of the Autonomy Marketing Performance Suite, enabling organizations to understand, attract, engage and convert customers in real time.

New HP Cloud Services capabilities make it easier and faster for enterprises to simplify the development and deployment of applications in the public cloud. Enhancements include:

  • Access to new, larger instance types that enable users to run big data analytics and high-performance computing workloads in the public cloud.
  • New virtual private cloud network functionality, powered by software-defined networking that provides advanced security when connecting their public cloud to on- site networks.
  • New custom image uploading that increases customer productivity by simplifying the set up and deployment of instances with images unique to their business requirements.
  • A new Bulk Import Service that speeds application delivery by allowing users to provide hard drives for direct data upload into HP Cloud Block Storage and HP Cloud Object Storage.

In other infrastructure news at Discover, HP yesterday unveiled Project HAVEn, which leverages HP’s analytics software, hardware, and services to create big-data ready analytics applications and solutions. HAVEn pulls together the growing army of HP analytics technologies and capabilities -- from Autonomy to Vertica to ArcSight and more -- allowing all kinds of data and information to be exploited in unison, with the dependencies and relationships mappable and hidden insights attainable across sources.

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More Stories By Dana Gardner

At Interarbor Solutions, we create the analysis and in-depth podcasts on enterprise software and cloud trends that help fuel the social media revolution. As a veteran IT analyst, Dana Gardner moderates discussions and interviews get to the meat of the hottest technology topics. We define and forecast the business productivity effects of enterprise infrastructure, SOA and cloud advances. Our social media vehicles become conversational platforms, powerfully distributed via the BriefingsDirect Network of online media partners like ZDNet and IT-Director.com. As founder and principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions, Dana Gardner created BriefingsDirect to give online readers and listeners in-depth and direct access to the brightest thought leaders on IT. Our twice-monthly BriefingsDirect Analyst Insights Edition podcasts examine the latest IT news with a panel of analysts and guests. Our sponsored discussions provide a unique, deep-dive focus on specific industry problems and the latest solutions. This podcast equivalent of an analyst briefing session -- made available as a podcast/transcript/blog to any interested viewer and search engine seeker -- breaks the mold on closed knowledge. These informational podcasts jump-start conversational evangelism, drive traffic to lead generation campaigns, and produce strong SEO returns. Interarbor Solutions provides fresh and creative thinking on IT, SOA, cloud and social media strategies based on the power of thoughtful content, made freely and easily available to proactive seekers of insights and information. As a result, marketers and branding professionals can communicate inexpensively with self-qualifiying readers/listeners in discreet market segments. BriefingsDirect podcasts hosted by Dana Gardner: Full turnkey planning, moderatiing, producing, hosting, and distribution via blogs and IT media partners of essential IT knowledge and understanding.

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