HP Opens Private Beta Test Bed For Cloud Services

HP is capitalising on its membership of the OpenStack community to compete with Amazon Web Services

Hewlett-Packard has launched a private beta of Cloud Compute and Cloud Object Storage, based on the OpenStack framework.

When the services emerge from beta, they will be in direct competition with Amazon Web Services (AWS). HP Cloud Compute is equivalent to Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2), and offers the ability for customers to deploy or scale compute infrastructure instances on demand.

HP Cloud Object Storage will compete with AWS Scalable Storage Service (S3). It provides scalable online storage capacity on demand. HP said that the object storage system is ideal for archiving and backing up data, serving static content for Web applications, and storing large public or private data sets, such as online files and media.

OpenStack Community Base

HP joined the OpenStack open source project at the end of July, a day after Dell, and has applied the community’s Nova infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and Swift blob (Binary Large OBjects) store into its products. Dell announced its own IaaS offering based on OpenStack last week.

Emil Sayegh, HP’s vice president of cloud services, wrote in his blog, “We believe that by working closely with the developer community and combining the best open source technologies with HP’s hardware and software portfolio, we can create the right mix of capabilities that deliver best customer experience.”

Open source will be a mainstay of HP’s cloud services and customers will be able to manage the services through a browser interface. For developers there is access to a RESTful application programming interface (API) using representational state transfer (REST) principles.

HP seems to be shifting in several areas. It has announced plans to spin-off its PC division and has spent some time building up its services and moving into cloud provision. HP intends to extend its full spectrum of cloud services across private, hybrid, and public architectures.

Now it is mixing in community-based development processes.

“We already collected some great feedback during our first development stage, which strongly influenced our private beta offerings,” continued Sayegh. “Now we would like to hear from more of you and get your input on features, functionality and the overall experience, in order to ensure that we continue to create an offering that matches your needs.”