HP claims it has made its biggest cloud announcement to date, adding new capabilities to current services and technologies covering OpenStack, cloud bursting and new flexible customer arrangements which puts pay as you go into the private cloud.
Speaking at HP Discover in Barcelona today, Saar Gillai, HP’s SVP and general manager for the Converged Cloud, said the new additions to HP’s next-generation CloudSystem – HP’s flagship architecture for building private and public clouds – have been designed to increase the ease of provisioning and managing cloud environments.
“It is nice to have a private cloud but if it takes six months to deploy, it means you don’t have the agility the Cloud promises,” Gillai said.
“We want to take deployment time down from weeks to hours, by redesigning the user experience, building simplified management tools, to help customers get private clouds running literally in hours.”
Part of this capability rests on HP’s relationship and contributions to OpenStack, the open source cloud platform designed for hybrid cloud.
HP has launched a hardened version of its Cloud OS platform based on OpenStack which it will provide turnkey solutions around.
“We are betting heavily on open stack,” Gillai said.
Cloud OS can still be used with other vendor’s hardware but HP is offering a full end-to-end solution as part of its “hardened” version to make the shift to hybrid cloud and its management easier for customers, which Gillai admits will all have differing needs when it comes to Cloud.
This environment will be managed by HP’s Hybrid Cloud Management Platform, which provides native support for CloudOS with OpenStack and its open-source standard TOSCA (Topology and Orchestration Specification for Cloud Applications).
Cloud OS, Gillai said, allows users in a hybrid environment to burst to other providers so they can take advantage of utility-based pricing models and gain additional capacity at peak periods.
But HP is now also offering customers the opportunity to set up cloud bursting capabilities inside their own data centers, providing infrastructure that will be charged on a pay-per-use basis for private cloud use.
“HP Flexible Capacity allows you to take your traditional IT and use it as pay-as-you-go to leverage the Cloud economics, “Gillai said, adding that the offering will be handled by HP's Technology Services business.
“We have been providing this to customers for a while but had requests to support existing third party solutions as customers are migrating to HP and phasing our legacy equipment.”
There is no particular service catalogue drawn up for Flexible Capacity, instead Gillai said it will be offered on a much more customized basis, with charges covering scalability for server, storage, networking and software capacity.
Flexible Capacity can also be used by HP’s CloudSystem and HP has come up with a new professional services capability to help design these hybrid cloud environments.
To help make managing these environments easier HP has done some work to its Cloud service Automation (CSA) tools, giving them a more customer centric makeover for simplicity as well as adding native support for OpenStack and TOSCA.
“This is not an ITIL kind of experience. You can order services, define services, manage whole lifecycles,” Gillai said. “This portal brings a whole new level of simplicity to cloud management across the entire spectrum.”
“We are also adding a bunch of new features to customized Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), increasing support and adding support for the SAP HANA appliance for big data.”
A new light weight version of VPC is also now being offered by HP, for customers wanting to develop basic new applications.