HP Cloud plans focus on open source, management

The basis of HP's strategy revolves around tools to manage a hybrid cloud

HP reiterated its commitment to open cloud computing standards this week at the Red Hat Summit, as the company's enterprise cloud vice president, Steve Dietch, said the differentiating feature of and compatibility with other cloud resources.

The basis of HP's strategy revolves around tools to manage a hybrid cloud, which combines on-premise IT infrastructure with public cloud resources. "Every enterprise, if they have a sound, pragmatic strategy, will move to hybrid cloud delivery," Dietch told attendees of the opening keynote on the second day of the Red Hat Summit conference in Boston on Thursday.

Traditional IT, he says, is homogenous, hardwired and siloed. "It wasn't built to be flexible and agile," he says. Enterprises aren't yet willing though, nor may they ever be, to put all of their applications up in a public cloud. That's why he says, hybrid clouds are the cloud of the future.

BACKGROUND: HP takes aim at Amazon with public cloud, virtual network components

MORE FROM RED HAT SUMMIT: Red Hat unveils hybrid cloud, PaaS plans

As enterprises move to the cloud, legacy IT infrastructure will not go away. An estimated $1.7 trillion will be spent on IT annually in the coming years, but only about 15% of that will be on cloud, he says. "As long as all of us are on this planet," he told the crowd, "traditional IT is still going to be important." Dietch says the difference with HP's Converged Cloud and most other offerings on the market is the interoperability with existing infrastructure HP's system supports.

The Converged Cloud model, he says, manages four layers: public, private and hybrid clouds, along with traditional IT. It supports multiple hypervisors, multiple operating systems and hardware from leading networking, storage and server vendors. He specifically named Cisco, EMC and Dell. "We understand customers have existing investments," he says.

Since announcing the Converged Cloud in April, Dietch says it is supporting today more than 180 managed clouds, it has "thousands" of public cloud customers and more than 675 customers are operational utilizing the hybrid technology.

The interoperability, he says, is powered by HP's leveraging of OpenStack, which he says is a "key foundational element" of the Converged Cloud infrastructure. Using the open source cloud deployment model as the building block of the offering, he says, allows the support across multiple hypervisors and operating systems. Converged Cloud customers will also be able to interact more easily with other OpenStack-powered clouds because of the common and open application program interface (API) framework that OpenStack clouds will have. "It's an ecosystem," he says.

HP is competing in a crowded infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) market though. Amazon Web Service is the dominant IaaS provider, while a host of providers are attempting to grab AWS market share or target niche offerings. Meanwhile, two of the major platform-as-a-service (PaaS) vendors have made recent moves into the IaaS market. Microsoft recently announced an extension of its Azure PaaS to include an IaaS offering, which includes both Windows and Linux operating systems. Google, which has had its AppEngine offering, just this week at its I/O conference announced an IaaS offering to complement its AppEngine PaaS.

For HP to compete moving forward, Dietch says he wants HP to be where the customers are: utilizing their existing infrastructure while curiously investigating the cloud for additional functionality, to host new applications or provide a faster, more agile compute platform to serve the business better.

Network World staff writer Brandon Butler covers cloud computing and social collaboration. He can be reached at BButler@nww.com and found on Twitter at @BButlerNWW.

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