HP's private Cloud moves local

'Utility Services' to host local version of Microsoft's Windows Azure Platform Appliance

Technology giant HP will begin pushing its 'Utility Services' private Cloud model in the Australian market from early next year, with plans to provide virtualisation business applications from the likes of Microsoft, Oracle and SAP.

As with other private cloud models already being advanced locally by rivals such as Telstra, Optus, Fujitsu and CSC, HP's offering will offer customers the ability to dynamically provision underlying infrastructure (infrastructure as a service) through a self-service portal.

Speaking to journalists in Sydney, the local head of the company's Enterprise Services division (formerly EDS), David Caspari, was quick to talk up the advantages of the platform, the Australian version of which has been six months in the making.

Caspari said the local private Cloud would benefit from HP's massive scale - with approximately 300,000 staff globally - and inherent development capabilities.

"It's something that should not be underestimated," he said.

The executive said the ability to evolve and develop the company's cloud platform with "hundreds, maybe thousands" of clients in multiple geographies gave HP "an incredible advantage" compared with those which were only innovating in "the relatively small marketplace in Australia".

Until recently, HP was hesitant to acknowledge whether its Utility Services model would be made available in Australia.

The company's local head of Utility Services, David Fox, claimed HP's model was "more comprehensive" than its rivals, offering infrastructure, platform and software as a service.

Contracts under the Utility Services model will likely range from one to five years but can be broken up into three month cycles. Different tiers of service would also be provided to match each customer's differing needs.

All customer data will remain within Australia to avoid regulatory headaches.

The localisation of the private Cloud will likely provide a boost to financial services, governments and other regulated industries who have previously been unable to utilise services like Microsoft's Windows Azure. Microsoft platform evangelism director, Gianpaolo Carraro, recently confirmed to Computerworld Australia that HP, along with Fujitsu, will provide the local version of the service, dubbed Windows Azure Platform Appliance or WAPA.

Globally, HP already has about 300 customers using the Utility Services platform, with German agribusiness Syngenta mentioned as one particular example.

Despite the ongoing shift to private and public cloud services in Australia, the pair noted there would always be a place locally for the more traditional outsourcing services that HP - and before it, EDS - have offered for some time.

But Fox maintained Australian organisations would continue to adopt cloud computing.

"There's undoubtedly a significant shift in the marketplace," he said.

Additional reporting by James Hutchinson

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Tags HPprivate cloudMicrosoft Windows AzureUtility ServicesMicrosoft Windows Azure Platform Appliance

More about CSC AustraliaEDS AustraliaFujitsuHewlett-Packard AustraliaHPMicrosoftOptusOracleSAP AustraliaSyngentaTelstra Corporation

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