HP launches Converged Cloud for 'standards-based' approach

HP has launched what it calls the Converged Cloud, spanning on-premise IT, private and public clouds.

The company said the new delivery method enabled companies to have a full vendor choice, through an "open, standards-based approach". The technology will support multiple hypervisors and development environments, as well as different operating systems.

The security and management tools would also cover information, applications and infrastructure, it said, and the related software applications run on a single common architecture.

David Chalmers, chief technology officer for enterprise storage and servers at HP EMEA, told Computerworld UK: "We don't want to be tying people into using one vendor stack. That's a key way this is different from what else is out there – many vendors are going the proprietary route."

HP said its own research – showing how cloud systems were increasingly deployed in companies without the involvement of their IT departments – had also prompted some of the changes. Almost one in two enterprises had departments running non-IT-sanctioned cloud solutions, it said, and an 18 percent were unsure. HP said that with projections that cloud use would double by 2020, organisations needed to find a way to use the solutions without adding complexity and risk.

"We want to allow IT departments to provide their own 'value add' around the cloud," said Chalmers. "Now they have more room for innovation at the design level, rather than only at the delivery level."

HP said the system was the industry's "first hybrid delivery approach and portfolio based on a common architecture spanning traditional IT, private, managed and public clouds". It encompasses HP software and infrastructure and the OpenStack technology.

Bill Veghte, chief strategy officer at HP, added that the "convergence of cloud computing and mobile connectivity" was "changing the way infrastructures are built, applications are developed and information is delivered".

"HP Converged Cloud enables enterprises to incorporate a blend of public, private and managed cloud services with their existing IT to create a seamless hybrid environment that rapidly adapts to their changing requirements."

The initial Converged Cloud offering will be HP Public Infrastructure as a Service, available as a public beta from 10 May. This system will provide on-demand compute instances or virtual machines, scalable online storage and accelerated delivery of cached content to end users, HP said.

The vendor said the system will allow developers to deploy services "within minutes", with companies paying according to resources used.

HP will also introduce as a private beta, on the same day, two additional Infrastructure-as-a-Service offerings: a relational database service for MySQL, and a block storage service that supports movement of data from one compute instance to another.

Other systems forming the Converged Cloud include HP's new Cloud Maps, providing pre-packaged application templates, as well as HP Service Virtualisation 2.0, aimed at enabling businesses to test the quality and performance of cloud or mobile applications without disrupting production systems.

Additionally, HP's new Virtual Application Networks will be aimed at speeding application deployment, automating management and raising network service levels across the HP FlexNetwork architecture.

Two new services are also being launched. HP Virtual Network Protection Service aims to use best practices to set the baseline for security at the network virtualisation management layer, and its Network Cloud Optimisation Service aims to help clients enhance their network to improve cloud-based service delivery.

For businesses that do not want to manage their own clouds, HP has announced Enterprise Cloud Services, an outsourced offering.

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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