HP Offers Cloud Computing 101


Hewlett-Packard on Tuesday unveiled consulting services for customers looking into cloud computing.

The focus of those services is less about long-term adoption of cloud computing and more about the initial steps HP and its partners can do to start to take advantage of the new technology, said Jamie Erbes, vice president and CTO for HP Software and Solutions.

Cloud computing is a way to dynamically combine and scale server, storage, networking and other resources outside a company's own traditional data center for remote data storage or running Software-as-a-Service, for example. A company can build an internal cloud, which allows those resources to be available for its own purposes, or can use external clouds, which are available over the Internet.

Anand Eswaran, vice president of Software and Solutions, Professional Services at HP, on Tuesday introduced two cloud services.

The first is the Cloud Discovery Workshop, which helps customers understand cloud computing and what it will take to leverage the technology, Eswaran said

The service educates customers about cloud computing, looks at how it fits in their IT service provider strategy, examines best practices, details the opportunities and risks, and shows the results that can be expected, he said. It is slated to be available on July 1.

The second, Cloud Road Map Service, is aimed at helping customers plan for and adopt cloud computing as part of their IT and business strategy, Eswaran said.

This includes helping customers assess their requirements, understand how the adoption of cloud computing might impact their corporate culture and create a specific road map, including what can be expected and what the timing is, he said. It is expected to be available to customers in late July.

HP's cloud strategy has three main goals, Erbes said.

The first is to enable cloud providers with the necessary technology to provide scalable computing infrastructures, such as HP's Performance-Optimized Data Center, a complete built-to-order data center in a shipping container.

The second is helping customers understand what cloud services are, source the right type of service, secure the services they require, and govern those services according to the customer's own requirements.

The third, Erbes said, is to deliver services, something HP already does with its SnapFish photo sharing service for consumers. HP will do more in services delivery for enterprise customers in the future, she said.

HP is already providing some cloud consulting services to customers via its services organization, including EDS, as well as through some of its channel partners.

The first of these is cloud delivery services, which Erbes said includes the design, integration, and implementation of the right architecture and infrastructure for customers.

The second is cloud enablement services, which are aimed at helping IT organizations offer internal private clouds. This is often the first step toward adopting cloud computing, Erbes said.

The third is cloud sourcing service, where HP is helping enterprises look at how they can put together a cloud infrastructure utilizing multiple external cloud providers, she said.

HP is already working with a number of its channel partners to plan on how to scale cloud computing on a global basis.

For instance, Eswaran cited the introduction earlier this month of Verizon's Computing-as-a-Service, or CaaS solution, which provides government and enterprise customers with dynamic provisioning of server, storage, network and firewall resources that can be turned on or off as needed through a portal. HP provided much of the technology related to those services.

As HP expands its services offerings, it will work with channel partners to expand their own cloud-related services as well, he said.