HP officially launches Cloud Services key to its vision of hybrid IT service delivery

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1 HP officially launches Cloud Services key to its vision of hybrid IT service delivery Analyst: Carl Brooks William Fellows 13 Jun, 2012 Hewlett-Packard has taken the wraps off Cloud Services its portfolio of infrastructure services that is supposed to be a part of a seamless, automated and integrated IT organization now in public beta. It's also the keystone of the company's vision of hybrid IT service delivery. The cloud has become a proxy for IT transformation, which is where the big firms have an opportunity that's more expansive than just the cloud. The 451 Take After some false starts, HP now has a portfolio of cloud offerings that range from consulting and outreach to building and hosting services and infrastructure. What this has amounted to so far is a continuation of enterprise IT in a slightly new direction albeit one with continually improving technology around cloud-style IT. Now HP has a single vision of where and how it approaches the cloud as a hybrid of hands-on cloud-style infrastructure and external services, managed and secured through a central layer (of HP products, of course). It has the public face of that vision as an operating service, underpinned by OpenStack and utility infrastructure. HP Cloud Services Right now, HP's Cloud Services consist of HP Cloud Compute, HP Cloud Object Storage, HP Cloud Identity Service and HP Cloud CDN, all in public beta. Compute and Object Storage are just what Copyright The 451 Group 1

2 they sound like HP Cloud Identity Service is a single point of entry for managing users and accounts and accessing HP services. It is based on OpenStack Keystone; the others are built on OpenStack Compute (Nova) and OpenStack Storage (Swift). HP Cloud CDN is powered by Akamai, and is available globally. HP is also piloting HP Cloud Block Storage, which are attachable storage volumes (like Amazon Web Services' Elastic Block Storage) and a MySQL-based relational database service. HP has indicated it will be expanding these core offerings over time to include PaaS options as well. HP's IaaS platform is a unique venture for the company. Thanks to the EDS acquisition, the company has a robust IT services arm and a significant footprint in hosting IT infrastructure in a variety of capacities, including comprehensive outsourcing and datacenter management, all the way to Web hosting. Since 2010, it has offered HP Enterprise Cloud Services and virtual private datacenters as an option for HP Enterprise Services customers, as well as hosted application services for traditional enterprise software like SAP and Oracle and now SaaS options for Microsoft communication and collaboration software. It has also a range of private cloud products, starting with HP CloudSystem. All of this was built out of existing HP assets, acquisition and integration, and major technical partnerships. HP Cloud Services was not. New infrastructure HP's IaaS is an almost completely greenfield venture, built from the ground up as a (not very secretive) skunk works project beginning in OpenStack provides the automation core for provisioning and managing virtual machines and storage. It is built on HP hardware, of course. HP has layered some other parts of its infrastructure toolkit into OpenStack to round out what OpenStack does. The premise is that HP Cloud Services, unlike HP Enterprise Cloud Services, is designed to be a truly multi-tenant infrastructure services platform on a large scale. HP reportedly began with about 1,000 nodes (a node is two-socket, 12-core server) of compute power, and now has about 1,500 online now. Enterprise Cloud Services and virtual private datacenters are built and operated on an individual customer basis, but HP Cloud Services is a true utility-style service. HP is an active contributor and a major sponsor to the OpenStack project, now in its fifth milestone release, Essex. Despite this, the HP Cloud Services codebase for OpenStack has not been fully updated to Essex, although the company says it is nearly there. That speaks more to the overall complexity of building and operating a real cloud than anything negative about HP's operations: the automation and provisioning engine at the base of the stack isn't the most important part. The company says it makes an effort to stay aligned with OpenStack code, but the focus is on improving the customer experience and overall operations. HP Cloud Services shares all the basic Copyright The 451 Group 2

3 characteristics of cloud-computing infrastructure at this point; it is completely automated, and self-service via an API or Web portal, available on-demand and doubtless functions at an economy of scale HP doesn't get from its more hands-on hosting services, although it is not big enough to be more than a proof of the principle yet, of course. Ecosystem already in place One of the more interesting aspects of HP's cloud launch is that unlike other providers, HP's has a fully formed ecosystem of technology partners and vendors with applications approved for use and sold through the HP cloud portal. More than 60 vendors are in place at the HP Cloud Marketplace in the now familiar 'app store' model, where users can select and operate various software applications and virtual appliances for a premium paid to the vendor. The reason this is interesting is because HP's app store is relatively mature right out of the gate. All the other major cloud platforms that offer syndication and facilitation for partners developed in fits and starts over time. This includes AWS, which recently buffed its partner program up to a full app store experience. For years, it was simply a list of compatible and approved vendors on a Web page, and Google Apps Marketplace (for Gmail/Google Apps users) and VMware's Virtual Appliance Marketplace. All of these started incrementally, and weren't a primary focus of providing cloud computing from the beginning. HP has clearly decided that the ecosystem is a big deal. Vendors appear to be selected for cloud-centric, complementary applications, like RightScale, enstratus, PaaS platforms CloudBees and Zend, storage and data services like StorSimple and Basho and monitoring and security services like AppDynamics and Dome9. Hybrid IT and the cloud HP says it has built its cloud products to enable functional synergy across its IT infrastructure portfolio, and that it expects enterprises to gradually transition to using systems and procedures to manage a wide array of heterogeneous technologies from a single plane of control. This means using HP software to manage on-premises infrastructure as well as external resources, and move workloads between the two (if that's what's called for). HP says the end goal of hybrid IT is going to be the dominant path forward for enterprise IT, and it has built its public IaaS offering with that in mind. HP says that cloud-computing techniques and technologies, including external multi-tenant IaaS, have very different entry points across the enterprise, and its strategy is to navigate those divides and build bridges between the various camps that make up enterprise IT. Developers, for instance, Copyright The 451 Group 3

4 are eager for cheap, fungible, quick self-service for servers and storage. They are the most familiar with cloud computing, and the most open to it. IT administrators have a variety of responsibilities that extend well past turning equipment on and off, but also include sizeable legacy environments and ongoing IT projects, and while they are aware of utility-style external cloud, they are more interested in consolidation and tweaking systems and operations to make their lives easier. Managers and CIOs have responsibilities around compliance, security and delivering goals, and so on. All of these groups drive HP's long-term strategy to have coverage for every part of the IT organization. Competition We've noted elsewhere how cloud ecosystems are in conflict which is without question. Who will be the key players going forwards? As of now, VMware and Amazon are the chief protagonists with to borrow a useful concept 'cloud out' and 'cloud in' orientations, respectively. Where they square up, crumbs fall and the rest of the market is picking pieces of business essentially where these two don't play, whether it's Microsoft, Rackspace, OpenStack, Google, Citrix, Red Hat or anyone else. In the cloud-provider space the OpenStack contingent (HP, Dell, Rackspace, etc.) are taking on Amazon. In the broad cloud marketplace private, hybrid, public, enablement HP has to wade uphill against competitors like IBM, arguably as well positioned for the age of service delivery. Other vendors include Oracle, Fujitsu and Dell, as well as integrators such a CSC, Accenture, Atos, Lockheed Martin and T-Systems. Service providers such as Savvis are both partners and competitors. Verizon is making a bold play to win here by taking on Amazon. SWOT Analysis Strengths Weaknesses There's a method to the madness. HP's cloud plan is a seamless, automated, transparent integration via Web-based management services of covering pretty much every aspect of IT. The OpenStack crowd is going up against Amazon. Has HP made the right bet, and chosen the right game to play in? Opportunities Threats The cloud has become a proxy for IT transformation, which is where the big firms have an opportunity that's bigger than the cloud. It must fight enterprise inertia on the cloud, as well as the reality that the cloud is going to be a small part of the IT market for years to come. Copyright The 451 Group 4

5 Reproduced by permission of The 451 Group; This report was originally published within 451 Research s Market Insight Service. For additional information on 451 Research or to apply for trial access, go to: Copyright The 451 Group 5

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