HP unwraps Cloud Assure

Hewlett-Packard unveils new products and services to help customers with the availability, performance, and security of cloud-based resources

Hewlett-Packard on Tuesday detailed new services and software that it claims can help businesses turn to the cloud, namely by boosting security, performance, and availability.

HP put the new offerings under the umbrella of Cloud Assure. They include HP Application Security Center, HP Performance Center, and HP Business Availability Center. All three are delivered SaaS-style and customers also get a team of engineers to perform security scans, test performance, and monitor availability, HP said.

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IDC identified those three areas -- security, performance, and availability -- as key concerns that IT shops have with hosted applications. To that end, HP Application Security scans networks, middleware, Web applications, and operating systems and conducts penetration testing to give customers a snapshot of security risks. The Center gauges cloud services to make sure they meet service-level agreement requirements. And the availability service monitors cloud-based applications for service uptime and performance.

HP said it is targeting three types of cloud service environments with the new offerings: Infrastructure-as-a-service, Platform-as-a-service, and of course Software-as-a-service.

Naturally, it remains to be seen whether HP's new wares will drive enterprises to adopt cloud services, as the company claims, but analyst firm Gartner predicts that cloud spending will skyrocket in 2009.

Hewlett-Packard said that these new products and services are part of its initiative to build out a broader set of cloud-based offerings.

"Over time, we'll add [to Cloud Assure] a number of other products that are already available today," explained Robin Purohit, vice president and general manager of software products at HP, in a Webcast Tuesday morning. Purhoit added that technologies such as disaster recovery, and the ability to run customers' IT processes, are candidates.

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