HP launched its "Converged Cloud" strategy, which aims for hybrid enterprise deployments and pushes for a common architecture across private and public clouds as well as traditional data centers.
With the move, HP tries to have its cloud cake while supporting its existing business. There's HP Public Cloud, an effort that will provide compute instances and virtual machines. There are two infrastructure-as-a-service offerings that will rhyme with Amazon Web Services: A database service for MySQL and a storage service.
HP's Public Cloud services will launch in private beta on May 10.
And then there's the existing HP business, which revolves around selling servers, storage and data center gear. HP launched Cloud Maps, software to manage private and public clouds. Cloud Maps will be coupled with HP's CloudSystem. HP also launched software dubbed Service Virtualization 2.0, to test cloud environments, and Virtual Application Networks, to deploy networks across the company's networking stack.
Meanwhile, HP outlined services to set up these converged cloud pieces as well as security and optimization offerings. HP is also injecting cloud throughout everything it does whether its Autonomy, services or data center architecture.
It's time that HP starts its big cloud push. After all, HP would face a huge risk if it didn't launch its public cloud efforts. But there are wild cards. Here's a look at a few:
- HP could be construed as late. HP has been talking converged infrastructure and provides gear to cloud providers. However, hardware vendors are also going to be service providers. HP's public cloud comes as Amazon Web Services has been in the market for years. IBM has also leveraged its hosting business into the cloud. Ditto for Rackspace and a bevy of others. HP has the installed base to play catch-up, but you wonder why this wasn't done earlier.
- The stack game. Everything at HP is converged---cloud, architecture and data center. The mental hurdle here is that all these HP efforts begin to sound like a stack of stuff. IT buyers are used to the stack game, but HP may have to deliver its cloud message a little more efficiency. At some point, the hybrid cloud chatter may become a handicap.
- A common architecture that may not appeal to all. HP is converging its architecture around OpenStack and KVM. As Dana Gardner noted, HP is in the mix of the open source cloud ecosystem. That ecosystem includes RackSpace, Red Hat, Cisco and IBM. HP is also betting on KVM for its virtualization layer. The problem? A lot of enterprises are on VMware or Microsoft. Citrix is touting CloudStack. The risk for HP is that it may freeze out customers that have bet on other technologies.
Of those three wild-cards, that final point may be the most tricky. HP's architecture is fine, but it may be limiting to some infrastructure buyers.