HP this week announced the launch of a private beta for its OpenStack based cloud services. HP first revealed that it was working on an OpenStack implementation in July.
"Our two initial offerings are based on HP's world-class hardware and software, with key elements of HP Converged Infrastructure and HP Software combined with a developer-friendly integration of OpenStack technology through our easy-to-use, web-based User Interface along with open, RESTful APIs," an HP spokesperson told InternetNews.com.
OpenStack is an open source cloud technology that got started just over a year ago. NASA and Rackspace the effort was launched initially, and it has since grown to more than 90 participating organizations including Dell, Citrix and Cisco.
"We are a member of OpenStack and are closely involved in the governance for OpenStack, particularly with John Purrier of HP on the board," HP's spokesperson said. "We remain in ongoing discussions with OpenStack regarding the specific role of HP in the project."
The spokesperson added that HP (NYSE: HPQ) is sponsoring the upcoming OpenStack Design Summit and OpenStack Conference from October 3 to 7, and HP plans on sharing updates with the community then.
As to why HP chose OpenStack, the spokesperson noted that both HP and OpenStack are committed to open source, open development and a shared vision for a collaborative cloud computing future.
"In conjunction with this vision, the OpenStack community has accomplished a great deal in a short time, and HP is excited to be a partner in this community," the spokesperson said. "We believe strongly in the value of open source, open development technology, particularly how it relates to cloud."
OpenStack itself still faces some challenges, including cloud portability issues. While there are multiple vendors that provide OpenStack based cloud services, moving data across those clouds isn't quite as easy as it should be.
"OpenStack, as a community, is working on a solution to portability, starting with the image layer, through a project called OpenStack Image Service (code named Glance)," Mark Collier, VP of marketing and business development at Rackspace, told InternetNews.com. Collier added that one of the key features on the roadmap is an image translation service to convert between formats that will be a key enabler for inter-OpenStack cloud portability.
Overall, the growth of multiple commercial implementations of OpenStack is a good thing according to Collier.
"We were very deliberate in the choice of Apache as the open source license for OpenStack, to encourage commercial efforts around it," Collier said.