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Building networks for public, private or hybrid clouds

As I was scanning the news surrounding HP's latest foray into the cloud, I noticed this recent announcement  about the solution HP is creating for SHI International - one of the US's largest software resellers with $3Bn in revenue. 


SHI International selects HP Networking for IaaS offering


SHI have seen the need to evolve their business to offer cloud services to their customers, including offering Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) capabilities (which generally means providing virtual machines that their customers can use to build more complex services).


SHI selected network equipment from HP to provide the infrastructure for those cloud services, as a part of a larger HP Converged Infrastructure solution (combining servers, storage and networking). SHI’s Henry Fastert, chief technologist and managing partner said that they selected HP to provide the network thanks to our open standards-based architecture, innovative capabilities, and specifically our Intelligent Resilient Framework (IRF) technology.


In terms of specific products, SHI selected switches from the HP A-Series including the HP A12500 core data center switch, and the HP Intelligent Management Center (IMC), which enables SHI to manage the network from a single platform, easing administration and reducing costs.


The SHI win was also covered on Around the HP Cloud, and Integration developer news


HP drives new era for cloud computing


The cloud announcement today was unusual in that it wasn't dominated by a single business unit within HP - but really is the aggregation of products and services to create a complete cloud solution for enterprise clients covering both public and private cloud offerings.


The role of the IT team is changing from one where everything was built in-house to one where some applications are kept in-house, but others are consumed via the public cloud. We are seeing this change in HP. For instance, we host some services in our own global data-centers, yet utilize other services (such as this blog platform) from 3rd party SaaS vendors. IT needs to be the broker that shepherds the business through the complex question of public/private cloud deployment.


The announcement from HP today offers a third option - through the ability to create a hybrid cloud services - with the ability to support applications across both private (in your own data center) and public cloud infrastructure, managed as one, and with end-to-end security.


In a nutshell, HP has announced the following (links to PDF fact-sheets)


  • HP CloudSystem  - which is an evolution of the HP BladeSystem Matrix product containing HP's servers, storage and networking products, and can be used by enterprise or service providers to create the private cloud. (HP CloudSystem product page on hp.com)
  • HP Cloud Service Automation software - which acts as a core automation engine for building and managing cloud services across both private and public infrastructure
  • HP Enterprise Cloud Services  (ECS Compute) - which provides bundles of server, storage, network and security available to be consumed as a service
  • HP Cloud Discovery Workshops - which provides consulting services to plan, design and implement cloud services. 




A cloudy day today, but a bright outlook ahead


When you combine the SHI story above with the announcement today, I think you'll agree that we aren't just talking about cloud - but are delivering the products today which you can use to host your own private cloud services, utilize public cloud, or create a hybrid solution to help transform your business into an Instant-On Enterprise.


Look out for many more blog posts from across HP as the other groups explain their elements of the cloud via blog posts and on twitter, David de Valk's post on HP Tipping Point's Secure Virtualization Framework, HP Software's blog Grounded in the Cloud, or check the “HP Drives New Era for Cloud Computing” press kit


Updated 27th Jan to add a few more links in the summary above.

Labels: data center
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