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Hewlett-Packard Launches Hybrid Enterprise Cloud

Peter Judge has been involved with tech B2B publishing in the UK for many years, working at Ziff-Davis, ZDNet, IDG and Reed. His main interests are networking security, mobility and cloud

Cloud computing needs government-level compliance and security, says HP

Hewlett-Packard has launched a hybrid cloud offering for large organisations, which combines users’ internal cloud resources with a new shared enterprise cloud service provided by HP.

HP’s hybrid model will make cloud computing meet enterprise and government-level demands for the cloud by combining a new enterprise cloud service running on shared resources at HP’s data centres, with CloudSystem, an upgrade to the private cloud systems based on HP’s BladeSystem Matrix converged data centre products – and includes bursting between the two when additional capacity is required.

‘The big difference is governance’

Some cloud services have been oversold, said Ian Brooks, HP’s marketing head for cloud in EMEA, because there is no change management and they cannot meet requirements for governance and compliance.

In the UK, the government has promised to use the cloud to cut costs, but European security body ENISA has recommended that the public sector should not use shared clouds, and eWEEK readers doubt the wisdom of putting public sector IT on the cloud at all. Surveys have suggested that even public sector CIOs going to the cloud accept that they will compromise on security.

“Governance is the big difference,” with HP Enterprise Cloud Services Compute, the new enterprise cloud service that HP is offering on its own in-house data centres.

Seventy percent of CIOs are worried about cloud security, and 79 percent are worried about being locked into one provider’s solution,” said Brooks. The new Compute service meets those demands, he said, and will be followed by other specialised cloud services for tasks such as database, ERP and CRM.

Upgrades to existing tools

Meanwhile, on customers’ internal hardware, HP has upgraded existing tools for building internal clouds, creating what it now calls CloudSystem, to build clouds on HP’s converged Bladesystem Matrix architecture, launched in 2009, which can work as a hybrid with HP’s new in-house cloud, as well as clouds from other providers such as Amazon.

HP has introduced Cloud Maps, a preconfigured catalogue of objects to ease automated provisioning and lifecycle support for applications put on the cloud, and HP’s Cloud Services Automation uses other HP tools such as TippingPoint security and 3Par storage to create enterprise-grade cloud services automatically.

At the technology level, the cloud services announced will work with all major hypervisors – VMware, Hyper-V and Xen – and are certified for use with applications like SAP, but are limited to operating only on x86 hardware.

HP also offers workshops and consulting to help users plan a move to the cloud. Although HP is a cloud provider and will put together a proposal based on its own offerings at the end of the Cloud Discovery Workshop, the advice given is generic and not specific to HP products, said the company. The workshop and other consultancy offerings are paid for by users.