HP has introduced a new technical feature for its build-your-own cloud appliance to help businesses scale their IT services inside the company's own datacentre or out onto a public cloud.
The update to HP's CloudSystem appliance, announced at HP Discover in Las Vegas on Tuesday, gives the product a 'dual burst' capability. This allows policies to be set that allow applications to scale up into public clouds if they require more compute and storage resources or, if an organisation's policies forbid the public cloud, allows them to provision from a further layer of resources inside the CloudSystem hardware on a pay-as-you-go basis.
"We're going to allow customers to dynamically provision and harness IT resources, bursting and grabbing them from an external services provider," Steve Dietch, vice president of HP's cloud solutions and infrastructure division said. Additionally, if "there are security or compliance concerns they'll be able to burst internally as well."
Administrators can choose the types of clouds they want their applications to deal with through a simple drag-and-drop interface that allows them to visually lay out the structure of their cloud. They can then set policies for how applications scale and where they scale to, whether an external public cloud such as one run by Savvis or to a further storage and compute pool within the CloudSystem hardware.
CloudSystems can be used to manage non-HP servers as well, Dietch said, as long as they are based on the established Intel Xeon and AMD Opteron ranges of processors.
The CloudSystems were launched in January and are based on hardware from HP's pre-existing BladeSystem Matrix family. BladeSystems can be upgraded into a CloudSystem via new software, HP said.
"You can install virtualisation software on top, orchestration software on top of that and cloud service orchestration systems and then you can move into the private cloud," Dietch said. "[Then] you can start moving your applications throughout cloud services as you want."
The technology is in preview form at the moment and should be generally available by the end of the year, HP said.
Throwing money at the cloud
In a bid to spur the uptake of the cloud-friendly hardware, HP also announced the launch of a $2bn (£1.21bn) cloud fund via its financing arm, HP Financial Services.
The fund will be made available to HP customers and will take the form of leases, deferred payment plans for new products, preferentially low interest rates and the leasing-back of existing hardware. HP hopes the fund will allow companies to allocate more money to refreshing their IT hardware.
"In this hugely competitive global economy, having the financial flexibility to drive new projects is critical," Irv Rothman, chief executive of HP Financial Services said. "We are committed to helping our clients drive innovation and agility by transforming their legacy systems to advanced cloud solutions."