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HP's Turn-Key Private Cloud

Hewlett Packard is making an aggressive move into the cloud this week with a new all-in-one, turn-key solution for deploying private clouds. Unveiled today at the annual VMworld user conference in San Francisco, HP's CloudStart is designed to get your behind-the-firewall cloud up and running in 30 day.

That's a bold claim, but it works, Paul Muller, VP of HP's Software and Solutions organization, told me last week, because it's built on HP's Converged Infrastructure, a combination of hardware, software and services joined under a common management platform. HP unveiled this set of associated services last year to address what it called "IT sprawl."

Also, CloudStart is delivered via HP's Cloud Consulting Services and combines HP's BladeSystem Matrix with the Cloud Services Automation stack and StorageWorks for data services.

Why the big push into private clouds?

"We hear a lot about the momentum of the off-premises cloud, but there's also an equally aggressive trend toward leveling the playing field in the private cloud," Muller said. "Private clouds give companies a chance to experiment with cloud computing and get used to the idea without having to trust third-party providers. The bottom line is they get greater control when the rollout is within the confines of their firewall."

Underpinning this turn-key, private-cloud infrastructure, Muller said, is something HP calls Cloud Maps, which he described as "engineered, tested and proven" application configurations.

"Infrastructure without an application is just a very expensive way to heat your data center," he said. "Our customers want more than just a raw infrastructure capability, more than just virtual servers being served up on demand. They need those infrastructure services to be tuned for best practices associated with a handful of common, off-the-shelf applications that they want to deploy onto them. We built the Cloud Maps to help ensure that you are deploying and automating the management of applications at a best-practices level."

Cloud Maps are imported directly into client cloud environments, where they build a catalog of cloud services for the business, the company says. HP is offering Cloud Maps for VMware, SAP, Oracle and Microsoft.

HP has partnered with VMware and Carnegie Melon University in Pittsburgh on a project that employed the CloudStart package to create a private cloud, which the school plans to use as a test bed for its ongoing cloud research. According to the press release, the university is replacing multiple dedicated clusters with a single cloud environment, which it will use to perform simulations, data analyses and for data storage and data-intensive applications.

If you're at VMworld, and you're interested in HP's cloud strategy, check out its Private Cloud Readiness Bootcamp event, which the company calls "a crash course in all phases of deploying, managing and governing a cloud environment. It's scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 2, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Westin Hotel.

Posted by John K. Waters on August 30, 2010