HP Seeks To Give Amazon Competition with a New Public Cloud Service

HP Seeks To Give Amazon Competition with a New Public Cloud Service

For several years now, Amazon has held sway over the cloud computing heap, especially in IaaS. HP, in contrast, though being one of the largest traditional IT infrastructure players, had been slow to jump onto the cloud computing bandwagon. However, over the last year, it had tried to overcome its late start with furious action.

From expensive acquisitions (See: HP’s Revised Proposal of $33 per Share Values 3PAR at $2.4 billion and HP acquires data software firm Stratavia) to partnerships (See: SAP Certifies HP as its Cloud Services Provider and Microsoft and HP Join Hands on the Cloud) to industry events (See: Cloud Computing Canada: HP ‘Master The Cloud’ Event (Toronto) – Part 3  and HP ‘Master The Cloud’ Event (Montreal) – Part 3 , HP has made its stance clear regarding cloud computing (See: HP Declares Ambitious Plans in Cloud Computing Space . Now, it is preparing to take on Big Daddy Amazon with its own public cloud offering.

According to a report in The New York Times, HP will be launching a service similar to Amazon Web Services (AWS) within two months, but with a specific focus on businesses and “not just…a cloud for infrastructure,” according to Zorawar ‘Biri’ Singh, senior vice president & general manager at HP Cloud Services. Acknowledging Amazon’s dominance in the general cloud infrastructure field, he added, “Amazon has the lead there. We have to build a platform layer, with a lot of third-party services.”

We won’t pull (Amazon’s) customers out by the horns,” he said, “but we already have customers in beta who see us as a great alternative.” He also mentioned that HP’s offering would offer more personalized sales and service. There is another way that HP seeks to distinguish itself from Amazon: by offering a more distributed infrastructure with smaller data centers spread across the globe, in contrast to Amazon’s giant data centers in fewer locations. Whether this will lead to better load balancing and lesser chance of failures as plagued Amazon last year (See: Did Human Error Cause The Amazon Cloud Computing Outage?) is something we will have to wait to see.

This move is not dedicated to attack Amazon on its own turf but also to counter possible moves by traditional HP rivals in the future. As Singh said, “We want to make it hard for an I.B.M. or an Oracle or anyone to come in.” Interestingly, according to Singh’s LinkedIn profile , prior to joining HP, he “was vice president of Cloud Computing at IBM, where he helped lead corporate-wide strategy and solutions for cloud computing.

Singh made it clear that this is a strategic move for HP rather than one looking for short-term gains. He said that the project’s success will be evaluated in terms of its ability to help HP as a whole, and not only by its own revenue-generating capabilities. As he explained, “We do everything from laptops to cloud computing. This will leverage our whole sales channel.”

By Sourya Biswas

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