HP launches CloudSystem Partner Program

CloudsLAS VEGAS – HP Tuesday morning introduced a new partner program for its CloudSystem stack of integrated cloud hardware, software and services, moving the product line more firmly into the channel’s domain.

Dave Donatelli, executive vice president of the Enterprise Servers, Storage and Networking (ESSN) group at HP, told partners in attendance here at HP Americas Partner Conference 2011 that CloudSystem is a stack of HP hardware, software from both HP and partners, and services that helps quickly build out private enterprise clouds, service provider public clouds and “independent clouds” like those used by major social media tools.

”To really be successful in the cloud, you need it all — the infrastructure, the software and the services,” Donatelli told partners.

And to encourage partners in the space, Donatelli said the new partner program would provide additional support to solution providers who build their own Cloud Centers of Excellence, essentially HP-approved demonstration facilities for HP’s CloudSystem and Converged Infrastructure gear. Donatelli said that currently, there are 20 HP partners up and running with such systems, with an additional 18 in development. The vendor also expanded the number of HP products that can be included in such centres, adding HP Networking gear, TippingPoint security offerings and 3Par storage management to the equation.

Under the program, CloudSystem partners will have training, cloud enablement tools, access to cloud-centric professional services, and incentive programs under the PartnerOne umbrella.

The CloudSystem Partner Program is U.S.-only at present, but should arrive soon in Canada. Heather Kent, director of partner development and programs at HP Canada, said the company’s Converged Infrastructure Elite partners, initial targets for the program, are almost ready to make the jump to opening Cloud Centers of Excellence, and that a formal Canadian launch of the program would follow those first Canadian Centers of Excellence going live.

CloudSystem is part of a push towards the cloud; a market HP reckons will be worth $143 billion (U.S.) by 2013.

The partner program, and CloudSystem product line, focuses on building out enterprise clouds, a key channel opportunity. But there was no indication how CloudSystem, or its partner program, would be impacted by HP’s own cloud aspirations. HP CEO Léo Apotheker Monday afternoon reiterated here that HP will “build and run an HP cloud” in the near future, detailing the plan to expand the company’s offerings in what Apotheker labeled “platform services,” but may more commonly be known as middleware. The plan will include both consumer- and enterprise-facing application stores or catalogues, as well as developer services.

“This opportunity is open to all of you,” Apotheker told channel partners.