HP is getting ready to launch a cloud computing service to rival Amazon Web Services in the next two months, according to a report by The New York Times. The move was revealed by Zorawar “Biri” Singh, senior vice president and general manager of HP's cloud services, who discussed the upcoming launch with the paper and said HP's offering will have more business-oriented features than AWS.
HP's cloud computing alternative has been in development for over a year and is said to be the most ambitious project yet under Meg Whitman's leadership. The company's plan is to build a platform layer with a lot of third-party services. Among the first software applications available as part of the HP cloud, Singh said, will be both structured and unstructured databases as well as data analytics as a service.
Going forward it will also offer a number of tools for developers to run popular online software languages, like Ruby, Java, and PHP, as well as ways for customers to provision and manage their workloads remotely. It's unclear how much the computing services would cost, but matching Amazon certainly won't be easy.
Amazon is undoubtedly among the most important technology firms in the world and its AWS platform powers a good chunk of the Internet. They currently charge customers on a pay-as-you-go model from 2 cents per hour of computing, but that price goes up based on several factors including transfer bandwidth and features.
"We won’t pull [Amazon’s] customers out by the horns, but we already have customers in beta who see us as a great alternative," Zorawar Singh said. He added that revenue from its cloud services will have little initial impact on HP's annual revenue, but it nonetheless will help other parts of the business.
Rather than building massive data centers like Amazon and Google, HP plans to install small data centers dispersed across the globe using almost exclusively Hewlett-Packard technology.