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HP puts LoadRunner in the cloud

The performance-testing product is being offered as an on-demand product in a push by HP to attract medium-sized businesses as customers

HP is putting its LoadRunner performance-testing software in the cloud, as part of a push to sell software and services tailored for medium-sized businesses.

The Ten to One initiative, announced on Wednesday, is aimed at companies with between 1,000 and 10,000 employees. The effort will see HP launch software for deploying cloud applications, for data protection on virtualised infrastructure and for infrastructure monitoring.

Two of the new software products are aimed specifically at virtualised infrastructure. One is a new performance-testing product for cloud-based applications, called LoadRunner in the Cloud. The other is an update to HP's Data Protector for security when running systems powered by Microsoft's Hyper-V Server 2008 R2.

LoadRunner in the Cloud is the first time HP has offered an on-demand version of the performance-testing software, which the company picked up when it bought Mercury Interactive in 2006. The software, intended to help improve the performance of applications and websites, will be available via the Amazon Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) with pay-as-you-go pricing, HP said.

LoadRunner in the Cloud is based on LoadRunner 9.5 and is immediately available as a beta-test free of charge for US customers. Users will still need to pay for Amazon cloud infrastructure and bandwidth usage. HP did not say when it will begin charging for LoadRunner in the Cloud or give any pricing details.

In addition, HP has updated its Data Protector software to offer protection for Hyper-V Server 2008 R2-based infrastructure. Data Protector automates high-performance backup and recovery from disk or tape.

Finally, HP introduced another new product, called SiteScope Operations Manager, which monitors IT infrastructure and applications. The technology uses agentless monitoring technology from SiteScope for better performance, HP said. SiteScope is another application acquired in the Mercury Interactive purchase.

The Ten to One initiative will include programmes for improving channel partners' ability to meet the needs of medium-sized businesses, including training and partner certifications. HP estimates that medium-sized businesses make up a $7.5bn (£5.2bn) market. The Ten to One push will be overseen by HP Commercial Solutions, a new division within the company's Software and Solutions business unit.

Earlier this week, HP slightly beat expectations with another positive quarter, as revenue climbed 13 percent from a year ago to $30.8bn. The tech company was upbeat about technology spending by its customers, and noted that its server segment had grown by 51 percent, indicating renewed spending by large companies.

"After many customers deferred purchases last year, we are seeing strong growth in a number of businesses," said chief executive Mark Hurd in a statement accompanying the earnings release.