HP has launched its cloud service as a private trial as it prepares to compete with Amazon, Google and Microsoft for the public cloud market.
The closed beta for the infrastructure-as-a-service cloud has a limited number of places, HP said on Wednesday, and will give developers access to HP Cloud Compute and HP Cloud Object Storage — services analogous to Amazon Web Services's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Scalable Storage Service (S3).
"Both offerings are based on HP's world class hardware and software with key elements of HP Converged Infrastructure and HP Software," HP's vice president of cloud services, Emil Sayegh, wrote in a blog on Wednesday.
The cloud uses the open-source OpenStack cloud framework to underpin its compute and storage services, via OpenStack's Nova and Swift systems, respectively. Developers will be able to control the service via a web-based user interface along with an open, RESTful — representational state transfer — API. HP joined the OpenStack scheme in late July.
HP's chief executive, Leo Apotheker, believes the cloud is a crucial technology for HP to master. The global technology company is in the midst of shifting from being a hardware vendor to a solution and services specialist, like IBM.
Amazon Web Services appears to be HP's main competitor in infrastructure-as-a-service clouds, though Google, VMware and Microsoft operate platform-as-a-service clouds as well.
Developers can apply to be a part of the trial on the cloud's website.