As it promised, HP is taking on Amazon’s cloud-computing service—with an open-source approach that allies it with Rackspace.It officially opened a cloud-storage service today that goes head to head with Amazon Web Service’s S3. HP’s Object Storage lets companies store data in the cloud for apps, websites, backup services, and other offerings.
HP also launched its Cloud Content Delivery Network, which helps websites load faster. (UPDATED: HP partnered with Akamai.)
A couple of months ago, HP took the wraps off its Amazon EC2 competitor, too. This lets you rent servers and run apps.
As with IBM, HP is aiming its cloud service at the enterprise. It wants Web startups as customers, too, but that’s not its initial target, Biri Singh, SVP and GM for HP Cloud Services, recently told BI.
HP is also different from Amazon in that it’s using an open-source cloud operating system called OpenStack. That means it will be contributing the code it used to build its content-delivery service back to the OpenStack project. Other Openstack cloud providers can use it, too.
The leader of the OpenStack project is Rackspace, which has also today launched a few new OpenStack cloud services including a database cloud built on MySQL and another compute service that runs wholly on OpenStack. Users can host Windows or Linux software on top of the OpenStack servers.
While HP and Rackspace are in some sense competing for customers’ business, by using OpenStack, they’re pursuing a unite-and-conquer strategy. The idea is that enterprises can hire any of these companies and easily move their apps and data between them if they want more than one cloud provider. It’s not unlike the Windows and Linux ecosystems, where companies can easily choose between multiple hardware providers.
Amazon, which has been taking heat for outages, can’t make the same claim. Its cloud runs the same homegrown software used for its own website—so it’s proven, but proprietary to Amazon.