HP Launches Beta of Public Cloud Services

Hewlett-Packard Co. is taking a step closer toward its promise of offering a public cloud service by providing early access to select testers.

The company on Wednesday announced it is opening a private beta test program for its forthcoming Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) portfolio, which is poised to compete with IaaS offerings from Amazon Web Services and Rackspace, among others. CEO Leo Apotheker announced HP's plans to jump into the public cloud services business back in March at a strategy briefing for analysts.

HP's beta launch comes just one week after Dell kicked off the beta for its first private cloud service, dubbed Dell Cloud, which is built on VMware's vCloud Datacenter Services.

Emil Sayegh, vice president of cloud services at HP, extended an invitation to the private beta program in a blog post, where he revealed the first two services the company will offer.

The first is HP Cloud Compute, which allows customers to deploy compute instances on-demand much like Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). The second offering, HP Cloud Object Storage, provides scalable online storage on-demand, targeted at archiving, data backup, serving static content for Web apps, and storing large data sets including online files and media, Sayegh said. HP Cloud Object Storage is poised to compete with Amazon's Simple Storage Service (S3).

"At HP Cloud Services, our goal is to provide the next generation of cloud infrastructure, platform services and cloud solutions for developers, ISVs, and businesses of all sizes," Sayegh said. "We recognize that public cloud services should be open and transparent from end-to-end across APIs, infrastructure and software stack."

The infrastructure supports integration with the open source OpenStack platform through a Web-based graphical user interface and RESTful application programming interfaces, he said. HP joined the OpenStack project in late July.

"We believe that by working closely with the developer community and combining the best open source technologies with HP's hardware and software portfolio, we can create the right mix of capabilities that deliver best customer experience," Sayegh added.

Prospective beta testers can register here.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.