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HP attempts to boost cloud cred with Converged Cloud updates

Server giant HP wants potential customers to take its cloud offerings seriously, so it will roll out updates to the Converged Cloud portfolio.

As part of a continued effort to become a major cloud player, HP trotted out several updates to its recently released Converged Cloud portfolio.

While at least one HP cloud user said the improvements are valuable, some potential customers remain unimpressed with the company’s cloud strategy, saying the server maker is not only late to the party, but behind as well.

“There is nothing 'next generation' about HP's announcement," said Shlomo Swidler, CEO of Orchestratus Inc., a cloud computing consultancy in West Hempstead, N.Y. "Like Oracle, HP is playing catch-up with the grassroots phenomenon that has led to cloud.”

There is nothing 'next generation' about HP's announcement.

Shlomo Swidler, CEO of Orchestratus Inc.

In fact, HP just debuted Converged Cloud in April as a superset of its CloudSystem suite, which itself only arrived a year ago.

Despite criticism by some observers that HP's cloud marketing strategy is murky, HP is trying to turn that perception around and claims to already have garnered more than 650 CloudSystem customers.

Among the updated products unveiled this week at the company's Discover 2012 conference in Las Vegas was a standalone version of CloudSystem Matrix, an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platform that the company claims will shorten public or hybrid cloud deployment times from weeks to as little as a day. It can be hosted on Microsoft Hyper-V or VMware software and on either HP or non-HP hardware.

HP’s hardware-agnostic approach is a smart move, as many enterprise customers already have an existing relationship with a preferred vendor for their hypervisor, storage and hardware, said Tony Wilburn, senior architect for ActioNet Inc., a cloud IT solution provider in Vienna, Va.

“Allowing [customers] to keep those relationships and layer [CloudSystem Matrix] on top of it makes it more palatable to executive-level decision makers,” Wilburn said.

Wilburn is in the very early stages of an HP cloud infrastructure project for a federal agency. Though there are some caveats, he said he likes what he has seen of CloudSystem Matrix so far.

“It can be set up in a day, but that is a limited setup," Wilburn said. "You really need Operations Orchestrator and CloudSystem Automation to have a complete offering."

HP is working on an update to its Cloud Services Automation package, available either as standalone or as part of CloudSystem Enterprise. The update, which is slated for availability in July, adds a graphical service designer and a self-service portal for business users.

HP has also enhanced the cloud bursting capabilities in HP Cloud Services and added support for bursting to either Amazon Web Services or Savvis public clouds.

"I don't know if bursting will be something our customer would use [but] it's nice to know that option does exist if we ever need it," Wilburn added.

The new cloud bursting capabilities and HP CloudSystem Matrix software will become available later this month, according to the company.


Stuart J. Johnston is Senior News Writer for Contact him at

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