Feeds

Look out, Amazon Cloud! HP's on the warpath

HP tech bigwig on the zen of Windows open source

Top three mobile application threats

Beating the beasts

"Hewlett-Packard is committed to being a top service provider running a global cloud. We have partnered around world with existing service provides – telcos and others – and will leverage the local presence of service providers. The whole idea is think global but act local."

Coding for HP's cloud was a challenge, but the company has taken short-cuts on expansion by not rolling out its own, new data centres. Selling this thing against Amazon promises to be a tougher challenge. Amazon has proved especially good at competing on the fourth element mentioned in the tweet from last month: price.

The company provides compute using Windows and Linux. The latter has allowed Amazon to provide compute cycles at points of a penny less than using Windows, a fact that has dragged Microsoft into a price war.

Since launching Windows Azure, Microsoft has had to undercut its initially smallest compute offering of 1.75GB at $0.12 per hour and dive down to 768MB at $0.02 per hour. HP is starting out at $0.04 for 1GB of RAM and 30GB local storage.

Despite undercutting Amazon, Microsoft's cloud has failed to float and while it has named some flagship customers and made some vague claims of "high tens of thousands" of customers", we've been reliably told that some already very low revenue targets will be missed for this year. We can bet too, that at $0.02 Microsoft is heavily subsidising the price of Windows Azure.

Google is also adding pressure. The same day HP's cloud went live, Google Cloud SQL database service, unveiled in October, also went live and added a new twist to the pricing matrix: charging not per hour but by the day.

How does HP stand up to Amazon and apart from other cloud providers? Everybody is targeting the devs, be they at the enterprise or start up; these are the people who've helped establish Amazon – by floating early apps using its convenience and low barrier to entry – and who have since stayed with the bookseller. Throwing price against the leading commodity player won't help.

Instead, HP is gambling on services as value-adds that make devs' lives easier – something Amazon hasn't really excelled at. Beyond the obvious multi-language and framework support – PHP, Java and Node.JS – and database-as-a-service, we're promised analytics as a service, service level agreements, command-line programming, a "good" UI experience and management console, billing and customer support.

Not out!

"We want to reach developers and IT operations folks with a set of services and options to build workloads on clouds and manage and deploy and be secure," Singh said. "We will leverage a marketplace - an application catalogue for the marketplace – to monetise these services and offer partners a way to monetise their service."

Working out the kinds of services that add value, which people want and are willing to pay for on top of compute and storage, is the hard part and this will take time.

It's "early innings" for the boxmaker-vs-cloud-services competition but Singh believes HP has learned fast during his brief time there.

"The big focus is how to translate from building and shipping hardware to shipping services at a global scale," Singh said. "The maturity level has gone on an exponential scale – I'm confident it will continue on that path."

The PC maker of Palo Alto might be evolving its technical understanding of services and open source down a zen-like path, but it will be how HP responds to the brutal realities of doing business in a commoditised space, driven by market-leader Amazon, that will ultimately decide whether HP's journey is a success. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Kingston DataTraveler MicroDuo: Turn your phone into a 72GB beast
USB-usiness in the front, micro-USB party in the back
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Inside the Hekaton: SQL Server 2014's database engine deconstructed
Nadella's database sqares the circle of cheap memory vs speed
BOFH: Oh DO tell us what you think. *CLICK*
$%%&amp Oh dear, we've been cut *CLICK* Well hello *CLICK* You're breaking up...
Just what could be inside Dropbox's new 'Home For Life'?
Biz apps, messaging, photos, email, more storage – sorry, did you think there would be cake?
Amazon reveals its Google-killing 'R3' server instances
A mega-memory instance that never forgets
Cisco reps flog Whiptail's Invicta arrays against EMC and Pure
Storage reseller report reveals who's selling what
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.