HP has expanded the range of clouds its on-premise CloudSystem appliance can connect to, including the likes of Amazon Web Services's EC2.
Previously, CloudSystem only connected to Savvis's public cloud. Now, with the expanded support, it can "burst" data or compute services to public clouds from HP and Amazon too, Steve Dietch, vice president of HP cloud, said on Tuesday at HP Discover in Las Vegas.
The move will let enterprise developers extend to the mature, industry-standard EC2 compute cloud, rather than the immature OpenStack code on which HP's own public cloud's compute resources are based, for the first time.
Though HP competes directly with Amazon via its own public cloud, Dietch acknowledged that many developers would like an Amazon option due to its "maturity" and software ecosystem.
"Our clients are looking for a choice of service providers," Frances Guida, manager of HP's cloud solutions and infrastructure, added. "They don't want to go to a world where they only have one way of doing things that doesn't allow them to take advantage of the cloud."
Currently, the CloudSystem can only extend compute out to Amazon Web Services, but there are plans to implement storage compatibility via Amazon S3 as well, Dietch told ZDNet UK.
HP launched CloudSystem at last year's HP Discover. Since then, according to Dietch, the company has sold around 650 of the appliances.
The appliances come in three variants: HP CloudSystem Matrix is an entry-level configuration for managing infrastructure-as-a-service clouds; HP CloudSystem Enterprise helps companies build IaaS, platform-as-a-service and software-as-a-service applications; and CloudSystem Service Provider, which is designed for major datacentre operators — such as telecommunication companies — that wish to stand up public clouds of their own.
CloudSystem is important for HP, allowing it to seed its software and hardware into datacentres operated by other providers. Such seeding is becoming popular: OnApp has adopted the same approach via its service provider-targeted OnApp Storage software, while Parallels is also making inroads in this area through its Parallels Automation for Cloud Infrastructure software.
HP's own cloud is based on the open-source OpenStack platform. OpenStack has seen many would-be Amazon competitors, including HP, Citrix, Rackspace and Dell, band together to develop a 'cloud operating system' that can be used by multiple service providers to run their own clouds. With its aim of creating a standardised cloud, it hopes to compete with Amazon by driving broad industry adoption.
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