HP Cloud Services beta leaves key questions unanswered

Prospective users need to know more about pricing, enterprise focus, and differentiation compared to Amazon's public cloud

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Why didn't HP make more reference to its monitoring and management capabilities, areas where it could clearly differentiate itself with AWS? It could be that HP is targeting the broad market and is less interested in enterprises at this time. The fact that HP is requiring a credit card for billing suggests that could be the case. When I ask clients interested in public clouds why they're not using AWS today, I often hear responses to the effect of, "because my IT department doesn't run on a credit card."

Billing through a credit card absolutely lowers the bar to entry to HP Cloud Services. But it also turns off enterprise IT departments.

HP's silence on pricing poses a barrier to entry

Staying on the pricing theme, HP states the following on its website: "Stay tuned for information on pricing. We'll communicate more before we begin charging for services." Developers and enterprise IT should be concerned about devoting time to HP Cloud Services before its pricing is known. It's quite curious that HP decided to launch the beta without any pricing details just weeks after Google faced developer backlash for substantially raising prices once its App Engine left preview (beta) mode.

Considering HP's enterprise software and hardware heritage, you could argue that HP will charge more than AWS but offer higher value to enterprises. However, the focus on broad-based developers and the requirement of a credit card to access the beta suggest aggressive pricing versus AWS. We'll have to wait until HP provides the actual fees to know for sure. If that makes you uncomfortable about approving proof-of-concept usage of HP Cloud Services, it should.

Taking my (IBM) vendor hat off for a minute, it's absolutely within your rights as buyers and users to ask vendors -- HP in this case -- for clarity before making investment decisions. You and your teams have too much on your plates to work on proofs of concept without understanding how your business will benefit and what it'll cost you.

I should state: "The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies, or opinions.

This article, "HP Cloud Services beta leaves key questions unanswered," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Savio Rodrigues's Open Sources blog and follow the latest developments in open source at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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