HP Announces – But Doesn’t Release – New Cloud Services


Select beta testers get to take the new cloud services for a spin, but most details remain under wraps.

In early September, Hewlett-Packard announced its new HP Cloud Services private beta program, which allowed early beta testers to try out the new HP Cloud Compute and HP Cloud Object Storage services. The new HP offerings are based on the company’s hardware and software integrated with the OpenStack cloud-building software.

“The first two offerings in our private beta are compute and storage infrastructure-as-a-service, which, once publicly available, will be offered as pay-as-you-go services that can be up and running within minutes,” says Michael Thacker, Global Media Relations for Hewlett-Packard.

Thacker says that HP Cloud Compute allows users to deploy compute instances on demand, customize instances to handle unique workloads, and add new instances through the user interface or programmatically through the RESTful API for quick scale out. “You can configure instance sizes for a variety of use cases such as test and dev, basic web applications, complex multi-tier deployments, or large-scale data processing with intermittent peak periods,” he explains.

HP Cloud Object Storage, the other new HP cloud service, provides scalable online storage capacity on demand. Thacker says that object storage 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. “At launch, when combined with HP Cloud Compute, more sophisticated solutions will be implemented, including logfile storage and analysis, audio and video transcoding, and map reduce analytics clusters,” Thacker says.

How are HP’s new Cloud Services offerings different from other HP cloud offerings? Initially, HP Cloud Services will provide public compute and object storage cloud services on demand, using a pay-per-use model. Thacker says that the services are targeted at developers and businesses requiring high elasticity. HP Enterprise Cloud Services, which is intended for large enterprises with higher service levels and tighter security and privacy requirements, sells packaged bundles of cloud infrastructure services with longer term contracts. How HP’s new cloud offerings will stack up against Amazon’s cloud services or other vendors’ solutions remains unclear.

Thacker says that HP is now seeking input on features, functionality, and  overall user experience. “We encourage those with a variety of workload requirements to register for the private beta program and try out our initial offerings,” he says. If you’d like to be a beta tester, you can register to participate at www.hpcloud.com, but Thacker says that HP isn’t disclosing how many private beta spots are even available. (I registered almost two weeks ago and still haven’t received any response from HP.) If you are one of the beta testers, Thacker says you can expect unlimited use of compute and storage without any cost. More detailed pricing information won’t be available until HP moves beyond private beta testing.

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