Having just reinvented servers with Project Moonshot, continued its strong showing in Converged Infrastructure, and expanded its extensive SDN portfolio, HP is demonstrating that it can innovate with the best of them, and does matter. While the jury is still out on whether it can recover from an equally impressive set of largely self-inflicted wounds, it’s now upping the ante in the cloud market with several OpenStack-related announcements.
The company is extending its commitment to OpenStack with new and enhanced HP Converged Cloud offerings, including a new release of CloudSystem (7.2), its private cloud solution, and two new Bursting Activation Services. With bursting, customers can tap external resources directly from HP CloudSystem for pay-as-you-go capacity.
On the public cloud side, HP released Cloud Messaging, available as a service to enable developers to build more fault-tolerant applications and reduce application downtime by duplicating messages on multiple servers. The company said that using the emerging OpenStack Marconi API standard, the new offering serves as an intermediary for trading information between applications by offering language and framework independence without any system installation or configuration.
HP also addressed storage needs for large organizations and service by submitting a blueprint to the OpenStack Foundation to enable Fibre Channel connectivity with OpenStack. In line with this contribution, the company’s Converged Storage portfolio—including 3PAR StoreServ Storage and StoreVirtual Storage—now supports OpenStack across both iSCSI and Fibre Channel protocols.
The announcements are significant because “HP is the first vendor to offer a hybrid cloud solution based on OpenStack,” said Wendy Cartee, VP of Marketing for Converged Cloud. We’re offering an approach to enterprises to leverage the open source community and avoid vendor lock in, she added.
Back in November 451 Research stated that “HP’s CloudSystem continues to exemplify the ‘best execution venue’ approach”. According to analyst William Fellows, after a year in the market, it enables users to make rational decisions about where they put workloads.
There is a lot at stake for HP and its competitors, with IDC forecasting that worldwide spending on hosted private cloud (HPC) services — an operational model for deploying computing infrastructure services of many types via a cloud model — will be more than $24 billion in 2016. That’s a compound annual growth rate of more than 50% over the 2012-2016 forecast period.
“Not even the largest technology incumbents can sustain IT market leadership without achieving leadership in cloud services,” stated IDC’s Robert Mahowald, Research Vice President, SaaS and Cloud Services. “Quite simply, vendor failure in cloud services will mean stagnation. Vendors need to be doing everything they can — today — to develop a full range of competitive cloud offerings and operating models optimized around those offerings.”
There are two primary approaches to this segment, dedicated and virtual, said IDC. Dedicated private cloud offerings include Amazon EC2 Dedicated Instances, IBM SmartCloud Enterprise, Savvis Symphony Dedicated, and Rackspace Cloud: Private Edition. Virtual Private Cloud offerings include Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), IBM SmartCloud Enterprise Plus, Savvis Symphony VPDC/Open, and Rackspace RackConnect.
It’s a wide-open market, according to a couple of reports from Forrester Research. While there are no “Leaders” of data center networking and hosted private cloud solutions – there are a number of “Strong Performers” and “Contenders”, wrote Doug Washburn. ‘This means that if you’re thinking of investing in infrastructure that your increasingly digital business will run on, you will have to make tradeoffs.’
Last year saw a 20% increase in cloud spending to $109 billion, according to Gartner. About % of organizations are using the cloud for production computing, while 20% are using public cloud storage services.
HP made Gartner’s list of top 10 cloud storage providers, along with market leader Amazon Web, as well as such other notables as AT&T, Google, Microsoft and IBM. It said among OpenStack-based cloud storage providers, HP is well-positioned to understand enterprise IT storage requirements, due to its extensive hardware, software and service offerings. “However, since HP Cloud Object Storage is new, HP must evolve and refine its architectural, geographical and service offerings.”
Cartee said customers are very interested in an open-based approach to cloud. “There’s a lot of interest in OpenStack, we’ve already engaged with customers… (and) we see growing momentum (from the customer base).”
The devil is in the details:
-HP CloudSystem 7.2 is available;
-HP CloudSystem Bursting Activation Services will be available worldwide this summer;
-HP Cloud messaging is available now in private beta; and,
-the OpenStack drivers for 3PAR StoreServ and StoreVirtual Storage are available in the next version of the OpenStack platform, Grizzly, which was released by the OpenStack community this month.