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HP speeds, simplifies cloud deployments[5/21/2010]
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HP recently unveiled a product set designed to make it faster and simpler for IT managers to provision applications to either private or public cloud environments. HP Cloud Service Automation (CSA) can not only automate the deployment of applications to the cloud, but it can also optimize the applications for peak performance, the company says.

"By adopting strategic initiatives such as cloud, organizations hope to be able to quickly and easily add new functionality as required for greater innovation and competitive advantage," said Cameron Haight, research vice president at Gartner, in an HP press release. "However, prospective users of cloud-based computing need to manage these resources from a lifecycle perspective to ensure that related costs and resource utilization do not negatively impact the ROI of the decision."

HP suggests that CSA offers customers a faster time to value by speeding the delivery of business services and enabling the organization to more quickly react to changes in business demands. The solution set, which features software, services and third-party integrations, could also contribute to reduced costs, HP says, by reducing the time and effort associated with deploying and managing cloud resources. And lower risks are listed another benefit of adopting the CSA solution.

"Minimize risks associated with cloud initiatives by utilizing a proven set of best practices and planning services," an HP press release reads. According to HP, IT managers using an automated approach to provisioning cloud applications and resources will benefit from consistent IT management processes, regardless of the environment.

HP CSA is part of a large portfolio of cloud-focused products from HP and also draws upon the vendor's IT management software portfolio. According to HP's strategy, customers should first plan and design their cloud efforts, then move into the 'automate and manage' phase of deployment (the stage in which CSA fits) and then assure that the cloud options chosen are appropriate for the business' needs.

Industry watchers have determined that for cloud deployments to be cost-effective, they must take advantage of automation technologies, therefore freeing up IT operations managers from forever tweaking the resources and applications in the cloud.

"To realize the value of an internal cloud, not only do developers need autonomy, but your system administrators need to be free of extra work, such as determining the best placement of new workloads and optimizing the virtual pool to make room for more applications," reads a Forrester Research report entitled "Deliver Cloud Benefits Inside Your Walls." "These tools manage the pool of resources dedicated to the cloud by following high-level policies or guidelines set by IT ops. The less IT ops has to be involved in managing the cloud, the more cost effective it becomes."