HP have joined the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) market and released their HP Cloud service in public beta. Here’s the announcement press release. The services on offer are:
Available Now as Public Beta
- Compute – on-demand server instances.
- Cloud Object Storage – object-based storage using RESTful APIs.
- Content Delivery Network – local distribution of web content.
Still in Private Beta
- Cloud Block Storage – persistent data for compute images
- Relational Database for MySQL – managed cloud databases
There’s also the HP Identity Service for managing key & token access management to HP Cloud services. If you want to try any of the public beta products out then unfortunately you have to pay (currently with a 50% discount) using a standard usage model. All of the standard features you would expect are available – REST API and CLI access; token-based security access model – multiple availability zones.
However, none of these services are things that couldn’t be found anywhere else and looking at the competition from the likes of AWS (Amazon Web Services), then HP have a long way to go. Here are a couple of initial issues:
- I can’t find any reference to where the regions are located. This doesn’t appear in the documentation in any place I can find and the region names are a little cryptic. It seems pretty reasonable to expect the locations to be documented.
- Available compute instances seem heavily biased towards Ubuntu. There are only a couple of CentOS builds and no Windows builds at this time.
Comparing prices between IaaS services is no mean feat. The available instances from each provider are subtly different. HP’s smallest offering is 1GB of memory, 1 CPU and 30GB of disk space for $0.04 per hour. The nearest Rackspace
offering is priced at $0.06 and from AWS
the lowest priced offering is $0.08, but offers significantly more disk space and memory. At this stage HP appear to be competitive, but more work is needed on pricing to see how things compare across the range of offerings.
The Storage Architect Take
It’s early days for HP Cloud and to be fair the service is still in public beta (which should be free, folks). However the competition is way ahead in the features HP are offering today. Making comparisons to AWS (which is the easy option) is bound to happen and AWS release new features almost weekly.
So how do HP differentiate themselves? So far they’re not doing it on price or features. What else is left? Well, HP did announce partnerships with 40 companies who are supporting HP Cloud from the day of release. Perhaps this is where they are looking to be different, by offering an entire ecosystem, including on-premise and hybrid solutions. It will be worth looking back in 6 months and see how things have evolved.