October 10, 2012, 6:15 AM — Hewlett-Packard may be best known for its ubiquitous printers and laptops, but in the enterprise world, it is just as recognized for its servers. Now that the idea of the cloud is taking over, HP is joining the marketplace and renting some of its servers in the HP Cloud.
The servers are priced by the hour just like everyone else's, but though these machines may be commodities like hamburgers, there are differences, just as there are differences between Burger King and McDonald's.
[ Also on InfoWorld: Which freaking PaaS should I use? | Review: Google Compute Engine rocks the cloud | Move over, Amazon -- IaaS providers are elbowing into the cloud | Stay on top of the current state of the cloud with InfoWorld's special report, "Cloud computing in 2012," and Cloud Computing Report newsletter. ]
For instance, HP offers a longer list of Linux distributions for your new server slice than some of the others. You can get the classics such as Ubuntu, Debian, and CentOS in many of the best-known versions. If you know what you're going to do with the machine, you can start right up with a Bitnami distribution sporting a number of pre-installed applications like Drupal.
Not everything is on the list. Windows Server and Red Hat Enterprise Server, two operating systems offered for a bit more money by Rackspace and other clouds, aren't anywhere to be seen. This promises to be temporary. Marc Padovani, HP Cloud Services director of product management, suggests that Windows will arrive sooner rather than later. And a long list of solution partners shows that HP Cloud is embracing a broad commercial ecosystem along with the open source software.