HP Cloud scores big customer win, a passle of PaaS moves: The week in cloud

HP trumpets big cloud win

HP's Bill Veghte

HP COO Bill Veghte

Hewlett-Packard (s hpq) claimed a big win at its Discover Conference last week. On the final day of the show, COO Bill Veghte told attendees that Workday(s wday), the human resources SaaS firm that’s giving Oracle(s orcl) fits, has moved from Amazon(s amzn) Web Services to HP Cloud, according to CRN.

Update: I pinged Workday for confirmation on this early Sunday, since it’s dicey when a third-party claims a big customer defection from a competitor, but have yet to hear back. AWS, on the other hand, wrote in to say that Workday remains “an active and happy AWS customer and our relationship with them continues to deepen.” Sooooo, we really do not know what’s going on there. Another update:  Workday responded by email to say it remains “a happy AWS customer.”

Let me put it this way: This story just got a lot a ton more interesting. The CRN reporter is a veteran and the chance of his mis-reporting what Veghte said is nil. And since Veghte is also an industry long-timer with years of experience at Microsoft then  HP, it’s hard to believe he mispoke. My guess is that Workday is using both AWS and HP but got a barrage of irate phone calls after the HP Discover press event on Thursday. Interestingly, the video stream of Veghte’s talk is not available although all the other general sessions are. Conspiracy theorists rejoice!

The company also trotted out HP Cloud OS, based on standard OpenStack infrastructure but with some of its own bells and whistles not yet supported in OpenStack itself. But, true to HP’s hardware roots, you can’t get the software without buying some HP boxes– initially it comes with HP CloudSystem and Moonshot servers, according to PC World.

Not to be outdone, Red Hat, which also targets enterprise cloud workloads , officially announced Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure (RHCI) which melds the company’s virtualization, namesake Linux, and Red Hat’s OpenStack implementation and the related but somehow not equal Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform. Frankly, I’m unclear about the difference between the two so will circle back later on that. Update: A Red Hat spokeswoman helped out. She wrote:

Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform is for organizations who are ready for OpenStack today (advanced cloud users, ISPs, telcos, etc.) who also don’t require cloud management add-ons via CloudForms.  Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure is a solution for organizations who still want traditional datacenter virtualization (Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization) with on on-ramp to Red Hat OpenStack and with CloudForms.

In the public cloud arena, Red Hat also started offering a free tier of Red Hat Enterprise Linux instances running on AWS to a select users.

Red Hat, HP, Rackspace(s rax) and the rest of the EBA (Everyone But Amazon) cohort is stressing choice of cloud deployment models — the pitch is that while AWS public cloud is great for many workloads, it’s not optimal for companies that want to split or move workloads between private and public clouds.

And, for those sick of the OpenStack schtick, buck up, CloudStack Collaboration 2013 kicks off in Sunnyvale in two weeks.

Stay tuned for a discussion on the competitive landscape of cloud computing this week at Structure 2013 where luminaries including Amazon CTO Werner Vogels, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger, Rackspace CTO John Engates, Microsoft server and tools president Satya Nadella will all be front and center.

Lots of PaaS action

There was lots of moving and shaking in the Platform-as-a-Service world last week as Pivotal launched  Version 2 of its Cloud Foundry platform as a paid-only service (there used to be a free version.) and CenturyLink(s ctl) /Savvis bought AppFog, a member of the Cloud Foundry ecosystem to make  it part of its Savvis Cloud lineup. Oh, and Red Hat made OpenShift, its corporate-focused PaaS, broadly available. 

cloudfoundrylogoAs James Watters, head of product for Cloud Foundry put it, a soft launch of its hosted service is ongoing, with invitations going out to current 1.0 users daily.

The idea is to have a “publicly available on-prem enterprise edition (software based) in Q4 — that product is in early access mode with select paid customers,” Watters said via email.

Watters also claims that running an app on Cloud Foundry Version 2’s developer tier is actually cheaper than running it on AWS small or medium instances –– the type that Amazon’s Beanstalk PaaS would use.

Cloud Foundry 2.0 does not incorporate the Pivotal HD data fabric. That will come in the fourth quarter aas part of the enterprise edition. And more of those data goodies will be incorporated into the regular Cloud Foundry 2.0 service over time.

PaaS adoption may be high among developers in small shops and startups, but enterprises remain a quandary for PaaS vendors. Among big companies that do look to PaaSes, Microsoft(s msft) Azure is a strong contender which shouldn’t really be surprising given Windows and .NET adoption in large companies.

“Microsoft is the current leader among PaaSes for enterprise users, followed by Salesforce.com(s crm) and Google(s goog) with Cloud Foundry bringing up the rear,” said 451 Group analyst Carl Brooks, citing his company’s research. “There’s still a wide gap between the web kids’ online application playground and the enterprise,” he said.  

CenturyLink’s buyout of AppFog indicates the pressure that telcos and hosting providers are feeling to provide slick cloud-like services for developers as well as CIOs. Several folks on Twitter and other outlets predicted more M&A in this space as those companies seek to compete with Amazon Web Services.

Other news of note from around the interwebs:

From VentureBeat: Tibco acquires Streambase to bring real-time analytics tech to Wall Street

From Infoworld: Software AG buys complex event processing technology from Progress

From FierceTelecom:  Verizon brings private IP service to Equinix data centers

This story was updated at 9:11 a.m. PDT June 16 with Red Hat’s clarification on its two OpenStack-based products and again at 12:39 p.m. PDT with Amazon’s statement about Workday and again at 2:47 p.m. PDT with Workday’s official comment.