HP takes on Amazon with public cloud offering

Hewlett-Packard (HP) is aiming to challenge Amazon's dominance in the cloud service sector, as it launched Tuesday its own cloud service that can take advantage of its data centers.

Tech site BetaNews.com said the service, dubbed Converged Cloud, is similar to Amazon's Web Services, which it said is so far the largest provider of public cloud access.

"HP will offer on-demand instances and virtual machines, and users will pay for the resources they use starting May 10," it said.

But it said whether this public cloud computing push will change the game remains to be seen.

Amazon is considered to hold a commanding lead in the space, and other Silicon Valley companies are making plays for what's left, BetaNews.com said.

Presently, HP already provides private cloud services as well as running data centers for select partners, BetaNews.com said.

But until it started its public cloud effort last September, HP did not make a big play for public cloud services.

Also, it said two Infrastructure-as-a-Service offerings will launch, one of them a storage service that assists in moving data from one instance to another.

The second offering is a relational database tool for MySQL.

BetaNews.com quoted new HP CEO Meg Whitman as saying cloud computing may be one of the sectors that will return HP to a position of strength.

HP hopes cloud computing revenues will lessen the financial pain of falling PC and printing revenues, it added.

On the other hand, BetaNews.com said HP is not abandoning the private cloud, citing internal research showing there is a demand in IT for a mix of public and private deployments.

It added the new features launching in May can help manage hybrid cloud deployments.

Also, HP is offering to manage private cloud deployments for those wishing to outsource.

"HP Converged Cloud enables enterprises to 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," said software chief Bill Veghte.

New competitors

With cloud computing growing by leaps and bounds as of late there is space for new competitors, BetaNews.com said.

It cited a 2011 survey by Morgan Stanley showing 28 percent of those surveyed were using the public cloud in their deployments.

It expects that number to increase to half of all businesses by 2015.

"Those entering the market better be prepared to tackle Amazon head on, both in price and in service offerings, however. AWS was responsible for about $1.1 billion of Amazon's total $48 billion revenue for 2011, of which about $100 million was profit," BetaNews.com said. — TJD, GMA News

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