When it comes to cloud deployments, many enterprises are electing to take a hybrid approach that leverages on-site server infrastructure. It's an approach that HP is further enabling with the announcement at this week's HP Discover 2012 conference of an update for its converged cloud services portfolio.
HP's own Cloud is based on the open source OpenStack project, although that is only one component of the company's converged cloud strategy.
HP's CloudSystem is now being expanded such that burstable cloud demand can be delivered via Amazon, Saavis or HP's own cloud services infrastructure. With CloudSystem, enterprises can manage demand for their workloads and move them to a public or private cloud infrastructure as needed.
The new HP CloudSystem Matrix software is the orchestration layer, providing a graphical user interface for server admins to set up, deploy and manage cloud workloads.
"The HP Converged Cloud is all about making available a set of choices for our customers," Magdy Assem, Vice President Horizontal Solutions at HP, told InternetNews.com . "I have yet to find a customer that is going all private or all public in the cloud."
While HP's CloudSystem is about developing a hybrid cloud approach, it is however somewhat limited from a virtualization approach. Currently HP is only supporting a pair of virtualization technologies.
"If the server within your own cloud has VMware or Microsoft Hyper-V, you are supported as part of our Cloud System Matrix software," Assem said.
Neither the open source Xen nor KVM virtualization technologies — both of which are technically supported by OpenStack — are part of HP's converged cloud offering with CloudSystem. Assem noted, though, that additional support is possible in the future as the CloudSystem evolves.
HP first began to offer the initial version of its Converged Cloud platform publicly in April, and to date Assem said that they have had around 650 converged cloud deployments. In most of those deployments the cloud deployment is supplemented by traditional IT server infrastructure.
There is still a skills and understanding gap when it comes to deploying cloud technologies. In an effort to narrow that gap, HP is now rolling out a pair of new cloud certifications for IT professionals: the HP Accredited Technical Professional for the cloud administrator and the HP Accredited Solution Expert for the cloud integrator.
"The biggest challenge is where and how to start," Assem said. "There is a lack of confidence when it comes to understanding an overall cloud roadmap and which applications should be public or private cloud versus traditional IT."