HP Unwraps Cloud Computing Christmas Presents

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Amid the Christmas markets and festive spirit of Hamburg, HP has taken the wrapping off new software designed to better integrate the management of physical and cloud infrastructure.

IT giant HP has launched new software and services which it claims should make it as easy for companies to manage cloud computing infrastructure as their own internal physical systems.

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Announced at a Christmas-themed European Software Universe event in the German city of Hamburg, the new offerings are designed to help companies take some of the risk and complexity out of trusting core systems to the cloud, HP said.

The announcements include the enhancement of HP’s existing infrastructure management tool-set, HP Operations Orchestration to now integrate with Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) public cloud services.

“What we have done is take all that automation from inside IT so you can extend your capacity and use Amazon EC2,” said Robin Purohit, HP vice president of software products “Companies can get temporary resource from Amazon when they need it and the key thing is they can do it exactly the same way as they would do it internally.”

Commenting on the announcement, analyst group Gartner said that as cloud offerings begin to mature, it is important that vendors make it easier for their customers to manage physical and virtual infrastructure in a seamless way. “Customers need the ability to optimise the provisioning of services whether physical or virtual infrastructure to help them maintain competitive advantage and respond to changing business demands,” said David Williams, Gartner research vice president.

But despite championing the potential of the cloud-based computing power to help companies scale-up their IT infrastructure more easily in response to demand, HP’s Purohit said the company is still wary of over-hyping the technology too much. “There are also risks and serious concerns for mainstream business security, availability and performance. How do you know the data you are putting out there [in the cloud] is secure and won’t be found by a hacker? And how do you know you are doing things the right way and it won’t collapse under the load pressure?”

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HP also announced upgrades to its HP Cloud Assure – a set of offerings to help companies manage the costs associated with cloud computing which covers technologies including tools to measure utilisation rates, application diagnostics and application performance.

HP also announced its Communication as a Service (CaaS) programme which is designed to help service providers and telcos provide cloud-based communication services to small and medium-sized business. The kinds of services that HP expects service providers – including wireless and broadband players – to offer via CaaS include self-service interactive voice response (IVR), video surveillance, unified communications and IP contact centre services.

“Services on demand enable SMBs to lower costs and increase flexibility, while service providers can generate revenue from SMB customers,” said Ottavia Carparelli, director of communications and media solutions at HP.

According to HP, around 3000 customers are attending the Software Universe event in Hamburg – with some getting into the Christmas spirit more than others.

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