HP Goes After Amazon With New Cloud Services

Hewlett-Packard launched a new portfolio of cloud services on Tuesday, dubbed HP Converged Cloud, which could boost sales of its servers and software to large corporate customers.

Cloud computing offers a more efficient use of information technology resources by allowing businesses to access large amounts of stored data and computational power via the Internet.

“There is a new wave of cloud and mobile computing, and big data, and there is a gap between what businesses need and what information technology is delivering,” Bill Veghte, chief strategy officer and executive vice president, Software, HP, told Quentin Hardy of the New York Times.

“HP Converged Cloud enables enterprises to incorporate a blend of public, private and managed cloud services with their existing IT to create a seamless hybrid environment that rapidly adapts to their changing requirements.”

HP, which has had four chief executives over the past seven years, has been steadily losing market share to rivals like Amazon, which is thought have one of the largest corporate cloud businesses, and IBM.

However, Amazon only sells access to computing and data storage, not hardware.  And while IBM is a major player in computers, HP´s data storage systems are regarded as particularly strong.  The company´s large-scale automation software is also seen as an underutilized strength.

With Converged Cloud, HP will offer businesses the ability to build their own clouds, or to access public clouds, including a system HP is expected to bring online in a few weeks.

“The offering provides on-demand compute instances or virtual machines, scalable online storage capacity and accelerated delivery of cached content to end users,” HP said.

“As a result, developers are able to deploy services within minutes and pay only for the resources they use.”

“Also on May 10, HP Cloud Services will introduce, as a private beta, two additional Infrastructure-as-a-Service offerings: a relational database service for MySQL, and a block storage service that supports movement of data from one compute instance to another.”

Other services in the new portfolio include:

– Cloud Maps, which provides prepackaged application templates that create a customized catalog of application services.

– HP Service Virtualization 2.0, which allows clients to test the quality and performance of cloud or mobile applications without disrupting production systems.

– HP Virtual Application Networks, which speeds application deployment, automates management and ensures network service levels.

The company also launched two new networking services — HP Virtual Network Protection Service and HP Network Cloud Optimization Service — that will improve network security and cloud-based service delivery.

Roughly half of HP´s $130 billion in annual revenue comes from large companies, which tend to wade slowly into new technology.   The company will likely leverage its relationships with large enterprise customers to sell its Converged Cloud services, which emphasize operational flexibility, management control and security rather than cutting-edge technology.

Additional information about HP´s cloud services can be viewed at www.hp.com/go/convergedcloud2012.