HP Confines the Cloud for Enterprises

Eventually the idea of cloud computing will become an accepted part of the information technology ecosystem — but it will be just one of many tools in the IT arsenal, according to HP. To stake its claim on the idea of pooled commodity computing resources, HP is hosting a series of webinars for its customers that explain how it sees the cloud fitting into the corporate IT mix (see chart).

Aspects of the strategy are really compelling, notably the vision held by Russ Daniels, CTO of HP’s Cloud Service Strategy, of the cloud as a sort of unified, persistent repository for data that applications or people can access. But aside from some vague nods to the benefits of accessing information in the clouds (such as with web-based email) most of HP’s detailed talk of clouds in the first webinar was depressingly similar to the idea of service-oriented architecture. HP offered clouds as merely a means to deliver IT as a service inside the enterprise.

Rather than deliver an application that performs a specific function, and creates a set of data stored on a server, HP’s pushing the idea of using data already in the cloud as a way to offer IT as a service. So instead of getting the IT department to write an application for human resources, the IT department shows someone in HR the types of data he can access and builds a service around that.

This isn’t everyone’s vision of cloud computing, and HP is clearly offering solutions that will fly with its customer base of Fortune 500 companies. But I want to hear more about how HP is helping design software and workloads optimized for the cloud, and how it plans to limit who can access the data that’s stored in the cloud while managing how that data is used. Hopefully, those will be covered in Thursday and Friday’s sessions.

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