HP bursts onto cloud scene with unveiling of new solutions, services

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

In accordance with its strategy of focusing on software, services and virtualization, HP (NYSE: HPQ) has launched a new set of cloud solutions and services aimed at both the private and public models.

The new portfolio, called "HP Cloud System," was presented during the HP Discover conference in Vienna and comprises what the company calls "hybrid delivery" of cloud solutions.

"We think the concept 'hybrid cloud' gives a wrong idea of what we are offering, which is a complete set of private, public, enterprise separate cloud approaches, not bundled ones," noted HP's senior cloud services VP, Biri Singh.

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One of the cloud announcements is the Data Center Network Connect (DCNC), a jointly developed solution with French telecom equipments supplier Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), said to help enterprises move, store and access vast amounts of information by integrating data center infrastructure technology and high-performance communications networks.

HP's idea was to use Alcatel-Lucent's optical transport solutions for service providers and its service routing and switching portfolio. According to the company, the difference with DCNC is that it provides a technology that until now has only been available on telecommunication service providers' networks, and at a lower cost.

Also concerning cloud, the HP Enterprise Services unit announced a new version of its Enterprise Cloud Services, aimed at enhancing the performance of mission-critical applications for corporate clients.

The updated version is said to automate server load balancing, distributing workloads across multiple servers to improve application performance; automate provisioning and management of additional virtual local area networks (LANs) within an isolated cloud environment and improve on and offsite encrypted backup; and restore options for servers, virtual machines and databases.

HP Enterprise Services, as part of HP's so-called hybrid delivery package, also launched a new applications service designed to accelerate the building or migration of applications to the Microsoft Windows Azure platform - called HP Cloud Applications Services for Windows Azure.

The company also presented a new set of cloud certifications and training programs for IT professionals - HP ExpertOne, as well as specific training approach for executives and CIOs.

The company said it will expand and enhance its cloud centers of excellence, as well. A total 16 of its channel partners in Europe have opened such centers, intended to offer demonstrations and put clients in closer contact with the company's cloud services.

Of all these announcements, HP said what it seeks most is to address for clients is the security issue.

"Clients want to understand, plan, build and source for cloud computing in a way that allows them to gain agility, reduce risk, maintain control and ensure security," said HP's marketing, cloud solutions and infrastructure VP, Steve Dietch.

HP executives said that they are aware they will face competitors who have operated for a longer time in the cloud segment, and that the company intends to keep investing in the segment and enhancing its platforms, seeking to grab market share.

"Our intention is to be the number one cloud services provider," Dietch said.