Review: HP Cloud challenges Amazon and Google

HP's OpenStack-based IaaS cloud blends openness and portability with nice proprietary extras and welcome hand-holding

By Peter Wayner, InfoWorld |  Cloud Computing, Amazon Web Services, HP

HP also included a few tools that make building bigger networks easier. For instance, there's a way to predefine which ports will be open on your new machine, saving you the time of logging into each machine to run a script. HP will load up the right public keys so that you can log in quickly if needed.

The HP Cloud comes with a CDN (content delivery network) built into this object store. If you tap the right button on the Web GUI, the data in a particular container is pushed out into what looks like Akamai's network, at least judging from the URLs. The data is available via an HTTP or HTTPS URL, both nicely added to the Web interface.

The prices begin at 12 cents per gigabyte per month for basic storage and drop as you store more, although the price breaks don't start until you squirrel away at least 10 terabytes. You'll also be billed a penny per gigabyte for every 10,000 requests to store, fetch, or copy your information.

The bandwidth going into the storage cloud is free, but it will cost you to get your data out. After the first (free) gigabyte, it's 12 cents per gigabyte. If you turn on the CDN, the prices jump to 16 cents in North America and more elsewhere.

The object storage is nice, but the most intriguing feature to me is the persistent block storage, a feature that's in a private beta testing phase. The plan is to create virtual persistent disks you can mount on your virtual machines just like a real disk.

With HP Cloud Block Storage, you write to the file system and HP's machines will do the rest. You don't need to write new storage code that only works in the cloud. You just take the code that works with your software and point it toward the block storage partition. HP touts this as a way to easily move information between your instances or keep the data handy when there's no machine using it. You might put your database in the block storage and only connect it to a running instance when you need it.

MySQL as a serviceAlso in private beta is an OpenStack-optimized version of MySQL as a service. HP promises to handle the backups and replication for you. You just pay per "use." I think that offering actual MySQL as the service is better than the generic versions of SQL you get in Amazon and some other clouds. The HP Cloud's MySQL will behave like the MySQL on your test machines. It will also be portable. If you need to move your code somewhere else, it's bound to have MySQL. A proprietary SQL service just locks you in.


Originally published on InfoWorld |  Click here to read the original story.
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