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ebizQ's Business Agility Watch

Jack Vaughan

Reporter's Notebook, HP Universe 2010: Can HP say 'cloud'?

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By Jack Vaughan

Quite some time ago HP's software business took a unique tack. It decided to forgo the developer-oriented application server middleware business that became so prominent at IBM. Instead HP has focused on QA software and operations-driven performance management software featured in data centers.

Getting out of the middleware business might have gone against the conventional wisdom, but it gave HP a chance to focus on software's sweet spot. That spot is the management of software that has jumped the hurdle from the development group and now daily runs organizations. The need for management does not go away as platforms, languages and stacks shift, and to date it has been somewhat impervious to both commoditization and incursions of open-source software.

At HP Universe 2010 earlier this week in Washington D.C., we saw HP disclose a new version of its HP Business Service (BSM) software suite. A single mash-up UI is said to integrate views on tools that came to HP through the acquisition of Mercury Interactive (and, by extension, the software of SOA Governance pioneer Systinet which Mercury had purchased shortly before HP's takeover. With this rev, dubbed V9, comes increased automation for problem resolution in operations, a highly automated run-time service model for configuration management and a single console to view both on premise and off-premise environments.

''On-premise'' and ''off-premise'' can be taken to mean ''Private Cloud'' and ''Public Cloud'' - HP uses the term 'cloud' in places but has not embraced the term completely as of this writing. The bet here is that HP will find 'cloud computing' to be an offer it can't refuse.

Very much about the cloud has to do with provisioning and operations. This is what much of the company's software is about. Recall too that it purchased Opsware not long ago to improve its automatic provisioning capabilities Moreover, HP's 2008 purchase of
EDS will be an important factor for a would be cloud provider.

In some ways, HP is bit late to the cloud, but it seems prepared to make up ground. The debut last month of an HP Mercury LoadRunner Cloud test offering on Amazon's E3 suggests that HP will say 'cloud' when it has to, partner when it has to, and will generally try to make sure it can exploit any disruption in software delivery methods to its and its customers' benefit.

ebizQ’s expert blog team covers a broad range of BPM, business integration, business analytics/monitoring, collaboration, content and related issues.

Peter Schooff

Peter Schooff is Contributing Editor at ebizQ, and manager of the ebizQ Forum. Contact him at pschooff@techtarget.com

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