HP Cloud joined the public cloud business much later than AWS, Rackspace and many of the smaller players, with a public beta in 2011. In some respects, the late arrival gave HP some advantage in seeing where competitors were thin. This is probably best evidenced by the robust Cloud Map support that carried over from HP private cloud solutions – the rest of the market relied on companies like Rightscale to provide similar functionality for AWS and Rackspace early on. This doesn’t mean HP was without some gaps.
As a long time AWS user, HP Cloud looked to me like a service that led with ease of use (compared to AWS), with a plan to backfill services in addition to compute and storage resources over time. One glaring omission in the initial public beta was a lack of a dedicated database solution, though HP Cloud Relational Database for MySQL certainly fills that gap now.
In it’s commitment to expanding offerings, HP Cloud continues to narrow the service gap between AWS and Rackspace with three new early access offerings.
HP Cloud Load Balancer adds support for distributing traffic across multiple services, improves scalability and performance, and provides application deployments with improved response times. Load balancing is based on OpenStack Ajax APIs and removes non-functioning servers automatically much like competing offerings from providers like AWS and Rackspace.
HP Cloud Monitoring provides infrastructure metrics, alerts and notification tools. Like other monitoring tools, this service allows users to identify potential issues before they occur and have more confidence in workload performance without needing additional third-party tools.
HP Cloud DNS is the third new offering announced recently. The service provides anycast routing to 75+ POPs worldwide via Akamai. Developers can take advantage of the HP Cloud DNS REST API for versatility in defining how it’s used.
As the market for cloud services continues to mature, it’s great to see a more comprehensive set of features from a company that certainly understands the importance of enterprise performance. While I’m still actively using AWS for my own projects, these additional features make it more likely I would consider HP Cloud in the future. If you already use HP in the data center, HP Cloud may now be a no-brainer in your move to the cloud.