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New HP cloud platforms come with training wheels

New HP cloud products include an OpenStack-based Cloud OS and a number of platforms designed for rookie cloud users.

LAS VEGAS -- Betting on its belief that the future of cloud computing is both hybrid and open, Hewlett Packard debuted a collection of software and services it hopes will both encourage IT to implement their first private clouds and bolster its public cloud.

The company rolled out software and a number of  services under the OpenStack-based Cloud OS umbrella at its annual HP Discover conference here this week, which it believes better enables workload portability across hybrid clouds.

With the new Cloud OS, users can create compositional definitions for service provisioning, "sort of like a template where they can declare what they want in an infrastructure once and then provision it multiple times," according to Wendy Cartee, vice president of Converged Cloud with HP.

It sounds like HP is giving its cloud strategy a B-12 shot, which wouldn't be a bad idea at this point.
Jeff Beelersystems architect

Cloud OS can be used across HP's CloudSystem on-premises hardware as well as HP's public cloud and managed cloud, Cartee said. It will also be offered on the company's Moonshot servers later this year, she added.

HP is bundling Cloud OS with Moonshot -- a new line of servers intended to run Internet-scale applications -- because the combination will make it easier to provision and manage targeted workloads, most notably dedicated Web hosting, company officials said.

To get corporate users out of the starting blocks faster with their first private cloud implementations, HP rolled out its CloudSystem Enterprise Starter Suite. The suite melds cloud automation and orchestration capabilities into a single offering, which HP officials said should cut down significantly on upfront costs.

"It sounds like HP is giving its cloud strategy a B-12 shot, which wouldn't be a bad idea at this point," said Jeff Beeler, a systems architect. "They have some ground to make up against some of their public cloud competitors in particular."

To that end, some of the new HP Cloud Services should make it easier for enterprises to simplify the development and deployment of applications in the public cloud.

Also, users will have access to larger instance types, which better enables them to run big data analytics and high-performance workloads in the public cloud.

The company also unveiled new virtual private cloud network functions that are fueled by software-defined networking. This will add security when IT shops connect their public clouds to onsite networks.

With the new offerings, users can create a virtual private network (VPN) spanning clouds, thanks to an OpenStack Quantum-based network virtualization layer.

HP also rolled out the Cloud OS Sandbox free of charge to allow users to experiment and evaluate the technology for their particular business needs.

To raise the comfort level of inexperienced users, HP also released a Converged Cloud Professional Services Suite, which guides IT through the various stages of implementation, including finding strategic partners.

One Las Vegas-based systems administrator thinks some of the new cloud support systems will encourage users to move ahead with cloud projects.

"It feels like they are adding training wheels to some of their cloud products, but I think this is what a lot of people out there need to get going," he said.

HP Financial Services also did its share to encourage users to migrate to the cloud with investment options designed to free up more capital. These include Capacity On Demand for the HP CloudSystem, which allows customer to gain access to a 30% technology buffer while managing upfront operational costs.

Ed Scannell is senior executive editor for and He can be contacted at

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