HP's Converged Cloud Provides Architected Path

Hewlett-Packard recently announced its Converged Cloud strategy that the company said aims to combines private, managed and public clouds with traditional IT to deliver "unconstrained access to infrastructure, applications, and information anywhere, anytime."

"The whole idea is to give IT a way to embrace these new technologies," said Matt Morgan, senior director of product and solution marketing for HP's Apps Business group. "Now, it's all about the Converged Cloud."

HP's Converged Cloud is based on a single architecture designed to make it possible for organizations to build and manage hybrid cloud environments. The idea is to help enterprises incorporate a blend of public, private, and managed cloud services with their existing IT "to create a seamless hybrid environment that rapidly adapts to their changing requirements," the company said. According to HP, the new offering provides a framework that includes HP's Public Cloud Services and new systems designed to support a converged infrastructure with a "developer friendly" integration with OpenStack.

OpenStack is an open source project made up of several interrelated projects focused on delivering various components for a cloud infrastructure solution. As the community Web site describes it, the project "aims to deliver solutions for all types of clouds by being simple to implement, massively scalable, and feature rich." More than 145 companies participate in the OpenStack project, including AMD, Cisco, Citrix, Dell, HP, Intel and Microsoft.

A big part of this announcement is the release of the second generation of HP's Service Virtualization, which allows developers to create a virtual instance of a service for testing purposes. The new version expands the number of supported protocols "by an order of magnitude," Morgan said. It now supports the complete REST stack, the CRUD stack, JASON, AJAX, SOAP, JMS, and adds the ability to use generic XML.

"Basically, cloud applications are a composite of services," Morgan said. "These services can be custom-built by individuals, shared services built by organizations, or public services shared across different companies. Whichever way you go, they change the game for application development. The need to be able to build and test end-to-end business processes that make calls to all these services becomes a foundation for every phase of software development."

According to HP, Service Virtualization 2.0 allows developers to create their own dev/test cloud, from which they can virtualize services that can function as they would in reality, but which are immune from downstream activities. Using a simulated environment allows organizations to enhance performance testing of composite applications, Morgan said, and eliminates the need to build a redundant test environment, access production systems or recreate a proxy to mimic service behaviors.

The company unveiled version 1.0 last summer as part of its Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) suite. "For people testing services, this is massive," said Dave West, senior analyst at Forrester Research. "The amount of time spent building false interfaces and creating environments is a big overhead for most developers. This [component] removes that step, replacing it with an automated solution. A huge help. And because software is increasingly going to be composite in nature, being able to virtualize those tests really helps."


About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].