HP unveils unified cloud services

Hewlett-Packard kicks off its HP Discover user conference with a bevy of new cloud software packages and services

Hewlett-Packard kicked off its annual HP Discover user conference, being held in Las Vegas this week, with a number of new cloud computing offerings, emphasizing a single architecture that can be used across both in-house and public clouds.

"Regardless of whether we're helping people build a cloud, or if a customer consumes cloud services from us, [what HP offers] is built on one architecture," said Steve Dietch, HP enterprise vice president for worldwide cloud operations.

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The company has updated software for managing cloud deployments and introduced a new set of certificates as well as a cloud-based service tailored for the airline industry.

HP has applied many of the upgrades to its flagship CloudSystem, a collection of technologies and services for running IaaS (infrastructure-as-a-service) deployments in-house or through a managed service. Previously, CloudSystem provided users with the ability to move their workloads from internal HP CloudSystem deployments to a hosted environment run by Savvis, which uses VMware's vCloud cloud management software.

CloudSystem will now offer customers the ability to move workloads to other providers as well, through Amazon's EC2 (Elastic Cloud Compute) or HP's own hosted pay-as-you-go services, which rely on OpenStack.

The company has also carved out individual components of its CloudSystem package for stand-alone use.

The CloudSystem management software, called CloudSystem Matrix, can now be purchased as stand-alone software. Previously it was only available as part of a package that combined HP hardware and software. "We're providing the software for those customers who choose to go to virtual environments first, who don't need physical management capabilities," Dietch said.

The CloudSystem Matrix includes a service designer and a self-service portal as well as automatic provisioning and capacity-planning capabilities. It can run on any x86-based server (not only on HP's) that supports Microsoft Hyper-V or VMware's hypervisor.

The company's Cloud Service Automation software has been carved from the CloudSystem package as a product on its own as well, allowing organizations to manage, at a high level, applications across both public and their own private cloud deployments. This software includes a self-service portal and graphical designer for packaging new cloud services.

"I can use this software to manage their entire lifecycle of an application in a cloud environment," Dietch said.

In addition to the CloudSystem releases, HP has also upgraded operations management software called HP Application Performance Management to handle cloud duties. The company has also upgraded its HP Diagnostics, HP Real User Monitor, HP Application Lifecycle Management, HP Performance Center and HP SiteScope products.

Through its enterprise services arm, HP has also introduced a SaaS (software-as-a-service) package targeted at the airline industry. Through existing service contracts with airlines, HP systems already handle 500 million passenger transactions per year, Dietch said. Now, HP wants to move its airline clients to its own SaaS services. The offering will initially handle duties such as data management, social media and analysis.

On the training front, HP now offers two certificates in building and managing cloud deployments. HP designed the Accredited Technical Professional to certify competence in cloud administration and the Accredited Solution Expert to certify skills in cloud integration.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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