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More details on HP's OpenStack cloud coming

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Hewlett-Packard Co plans to share more details of its OpenStack-based cloud service at the end of September, The Reg understands.

The world's largest PC maker is expected to announce pricing, a roadmap, technology integration, and details of its ecosystem of partners for the cloud, sources in the OpenStack community have told us.

The date being floated is for an announcement sometime between September 20 - 27.

An HP spokesperson contacted by The Reg refused to discuss HP's future plans for the OpenStack cloud or what details are going to be announced, but said it was wrong to expect an announcement between September 20 - 27.

The expected follow-up announcement comes after HP on Wednesday threw open its OpenStack cloud beta for public access, but the service came with more hyperbole than solid details.

HP is believed to have made last week's announcement earlier than intended and it is believed the announcement at the end of this month will be the actual beta.

HP announced compute and object-storage for its cloud Compute and Object Store are two of three three main elements of OpenStack - the third is for discovery and registration of services, called ImageService. There are further 15 projects on top of this for management, identity, clustering and more.

The company's cloud comes wrapped with plenty of promises. "Our goal is to provide the next generation of cloud infrastructure, platform services and cloud solutions for developers, ISVs, and businesses of all sizes," HP said here.

HP will provide a: "Full spectrum of cloud offerings spanning private, hybrid, and public architectures."

Yet HP has very little experiences building and running an elastic, carrier-grade web services for anybody, let alone the finely nuanced and diverse audience it's addressing.

While HP owns EDS, which could conceivably build such a service, one of HP's core competencies lies in building PCs and servers that run closed-source Windows.

Yet HP is setting out to provide its cloud using open-source code built using a community project; HP might like the idea of open source and community and its server business has certainly benefited from Linux, but HP's never really stood out as an innovator or leader in either.

The PC giant is under considerable pressure and the bold cloud statement reflects a stake in the ground rather than an ability to actually deliver such a full-spectrum of services in the near term.

Like many involved in OpenStack, HP appears to have made an announcement to show it's in the game. The challenge is, however, getting the skills in-house it needs to deliver.

HP has been staffing up and re-organizing massively ahead of the push to cloud, but like everybody else it's scrabbling for people who can build OpenStack systems. HP has poached people from IBM and OpenStack partner Rackspace; as such it's understood HP has withheld details on what its plans are for the OpenStack service from Rackspace - one of the project's co-founders and a key major driving force on project leadership and code commits.

Against this backdrop, HP's chief executive has committed HP to reviewing the future of the one things HP does do very well indeed: making PCs.

All eyes will therefore be on HP to see what details the PC maker can deliver that lend its cloudy words some credibility - whether that's end-of-the month or some other date. ®

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