HP makes major push in Hybrid cloud services

IT solutions leader Hewlett-Packard has been very deliberate about its belief in Hybrid cloud solutions; that is, solutions that integrate public and private cloud solutions into a single, more controlled package. It was one of the top three company priorities erstwhile CEO Leo Apotheker outlined earlier this year, for which the company has set aside $2 billion in financing.

This week at HP Discover 2011 in Vienna, Austria, HP announced a series of additions to its cloud solutions portfolio many of which utilize this hybrid architecture and integrate solutions from HP's partners, as well as logistical solutions such as consultation, education, management, testing, and training.

This is important to watch because HP is trying to assume a stronger role as an all-in-one cloud services provider, with not just hardware and software solutions at its disposal, but also services brokerage and aggregation.

According to market research firm Gartner, when the delivery model changes from an exclusive on-site implementation to a mixture of private cloud/on-premises and public cloud services, lots of the traditional services associated with installation, integration and infrastructure upgrades disappear.

So one of the major announcements from HP this week was that it had partnered with telecommunications joint venture Alcatel-Lucent to integrate the HP Converged Infrastructure with the telecommunication network assets and cloud management capabilities provided by Alcatel-Lucent. The result is an automated provisioning and management system for both IT and telecommunications network services under HP's CloudSystem.

Next, HP announced CloudSystem Matrix 7.0, an update to the company's infrastructure-as-a-service offering that was known as BladeSystem Matrix until last June. This update to the Matrix Operating Environment certifies HP's CloudSystem for cloud bursting out of the box.

Cloud bursting is a cornerstone of hybrid cloud computing where a private cloud deployment "bursts" out to the public cloud for additional compute resources when demand spikes. The first service provider to partner with HP in this capability is CenturyLink subsidiary Savvis, other partners are expected to follow.

Third, HP announced the CloudAgile Service Provider Program, which adds the important "integration" factor to HP's CloudSystem, has expanded to Europe. HP CloudAgile is a specialized program open to AllianceONE members, and it provides new ways for all types of service providers to "deliver services faster with lower capital investment." HP has expanded the program with its first European partners and with new certified hosting options that enable service providers to deliver reliable, secure private hosted clouds based on HP CloudSystem.

Finally, HP announced the comprehensive HP Cloud Protection Program. This is made up of a consultation program (strategy, roadmap, design and implementation services), reference architectures, and lab testing of proposed solutions for enterprises looking to build a secure hybrid cloud.

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