HP's announcement of a PaaS product for its cloud puts it in with the company of Microsoft Azure, Google App Engine and a variety of other smaller players. PaaS is an application development platform with cloud features - such as automatic scaling and multi-language support that can be hosted either on an enterprise's premise or by HP. "It has been clear as HP has engaged with enterprise customers that one thing they want is to be able to develop and deploy apps in the cloud," says Dan Baignet, senior director of business development for HP Cloud Services.
HP realizes that customers may have existing relationships with other IT providers, which is why Baignet says the company has focused on enabling support for multiple types of hypervisors and allowing customers to migrate on-premise workloads up into its cloud. Enhanced hypervisor support is part of the Cloud Services Automation (CSA) 3.1 release announced today. "We see our sweet spot as being a trusted adviser of how to continue to support legacy infrastructure while adding cloud capabilities," he says.
HP's converged cloud suite is built on the OpenStack open source cloud platform, which Baignet says allows customers the ability to use an open-source cloud platform. That's key to HP's strategy, he says because it allows customers to have a common architecture between their on-premise and public cloud. "Most enterprise customers are doing a combination of private, managed and public cloud resources," he says. "That's what we see as hybrid cloud computing."
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Baignet says HP has also built up an ecosystem of partners supporting its platform, including PaaS companies like App Fog, CloudBees and CumoLogic, which allow apps developed on those platforms to run in HP's cloud, while storage partners such as Panzure, Riverbed and TwinStrata act as "gateways" to HP's cloud for on-premise applications and can help provide additional services, such as encryption. Orchestration tools from RightScale, enStratus and ScaleXtreme also work on HP's cloud platform, he says.