HP launches Cloud Assure Service


Hewlett-Packard announces a software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering for the business community that integrates security, performance and availability applications and analytics into a complete package

Hewlett-Packard has further increased its presence in the cloud-computing space with HP Cloud Assure, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering that incorporates a variety of security, performance and availability applications and analytics.

The HP solution is available from this week. The company declined to mention a specific price-point, except to say the solution would be available for one price on a ratable basis.

HP Cloud Assure integrates HP Application Security Center, HP Performance Center and HP Business Availability Center as SaaS. The solution scans networks, applications, middleware layers and Web applications for security threats; it also boosts performance by ensuring that cloud services meet end-user bandwidth and connectivity requirements.

Through the monitoring of cloud-based applications and analysis of performance issues, HP also hopes the solution will provide an increased amount of service uptime.

HP envisions early adopters of the product as falling into three categories: startups, mid-market, and lines of business within companies. “Startups, all their IT is running on a series of SaaS providers, and their actual business is run on cloud services hosted by a third party,” Robin Purohit, vice president and general manager of Software Products, HP Software & Solutions, said in a March 31 presentation. “Mid-market is driven for efficiencies, and look to the cloud as a way to simplify their IT environment.”

The third category, lines of business within companies, can utilise cloud solutions as a way to work both with and around their central IT.

HP has been taking cautious steps into the cloud.

On 10 Feb, the day after IBM announced its cloud computing development and marketing strategy, HP noted that there was still much work to do in order to make the cloud dependable and secure.

Nonetheless, HP has been developing technology for the cloud even before today’s announcement, including the development of open-source cloud computing test beds along with Intel and Yahoo.

“I don’t think from HP we’re going to see a delivery system like Microsoft’s Azure,” Robert Mahowald, an analyst with IDC, said in an interview, referring to Microsoft’s own cloud-computing platform and SaaS provider currently in testing. “But among the customers they had in trial [for Cloud Assure], getting more and more people to use the SaaS applications within the organizations… it’s assurance that HP is bringing to those organisations.”

“I think HP’s primary message is that their company’s challenge is the broad adoption of SaaS services within businesses,” Mahowald added.