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HP Welcomes Amazon into Hybrid Cloud Offerings

Hewlett-Packard this week said it is extending links to Amazon Web Services EC2 as well as its own forthcoming HP Cloud service in an effort to broaden connectivity from its private cloud portfolio of hardware and software.

HP made several noteworthy announcements at its Discover 2012 conference taking place in Las Vegas this week. The company also announced its first vertical market cloud service with solutions aimed at the commercial airline industry, a new version of its CloudSystem Matrix templates, Cloud Service Automation software and a cloud-based service that allows users to print from any mobile device without requiring print drivers. HP is also rolling out new cloud consulting services for enterprises seeking to build hybrid deployments.

Company officials emphasized its blend of public and private cloud offerings and focus on providing a hybrid delivery model. "You should be able to move that service or workload transparently and easily and support that with the converged cloud across all deployments across one simple consumption experience, a simple portal," said Steve Dietch, VP of Worldwide Cloud in HP Enterprise Group, speaking at a press conference Tuesday.

HP already offered connectivity from its CloudSystem to the public cloud service from Savvis, but adding Amazon Web Services to the mix was a tacit acknowledgement that its customers may prefer to use that company's services over HP's own forthcoming public cloud offering, said Forrester Research analyst James Staten. "That's an acknowledgement by HP of the power of Amazon," he said.

Despite the bevy of incremental announcements, Staten said the vertical solutions for the airline industry were most noteworthy. Struggling airlines are aggressively moving to build new apps that support mobile users for offerings such as loyalty programs and other amenities. Thanks to its acquisition of EDS and its own services business, HP has strong outsourcing relationships with the major airlines. "They've taken some of these things that were in traditional outsourcing modes and moved them to the cloud," Staten said.

The airline industry offerings consist of the HP Passenger Service Solution, which provides various passenger services and ties into reservations and travel management systems; the HP Airline Service Oriented Architecture Platform, a suite of industry-specific Web services designed to build apps that can help airlines generate added revenues; and HP Enterprise Cloud Services, a private cloud that ties server, storage and network functions that provides capacity on demand, allowing airlines to scale up and down as business needs dictate.

The new cloud-based printing service, called HP ePrint Enterprise 2.0, is a suite of downloadable apps for Android devices, iPhones, iPads and BlackBerrys that allow users to print on any HP network printer without requiring drivers. Users can also securely print files from their devices by requiring the use of a password to actually retrieve the document from a printer.

Upgrades to CloudSystem Matrix, the company's software for building and provisioning IaaS private and hybrid clouds, includes an improved graphical user interface and tooling that enables IT administrators to build out virtualized environments in days, said Terence Ngai, HP's worldwide director for enterprise cloud solutions.

Similarly, the revised Cloud Service Automation software was upgraded to speed up the development of Software as a Service (SaaS) cloud apps, Ngai said. "The benefit is quicker time to market," he said.

The company also launched HP Application Performance Management 9.2 for Converged Cloud and updated versions of the HP Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) and HP Performance Center suites. And HP is building on its cloud consulting offerings with new HP Cloud Planning Services, targeted at enterprises looking for needs-analysis assessments.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on June 07, 2012