How HP supports cloud IT management

Many firms have been sluggish on the governance of their cloud computing policies, being too reactive and un-coordinated within their IT departments. A new approach is needed to manage policies and procedures around cloud computing, as it cannot thrive without an effective governance framework that supports coordination between a IT and business teams.

Read more: How the cloud has transformed IT management

This HP whitepaper explains how companies can benefit from improved cloud IT management to enable them to thrive from the business benefits the cloud offers. Businesses in the post-recession economy know they will have to react more quickly to change than ever before, and efficiently managed cloud services will enable them to be better prepared to do it.

An alternative to high capital expenditure

Cloud computing represents a shift in IT thinking, similar to the just-in-time philosophy in manufacturing. It allows you to stop tying up capital expenses in IT systems that are under-used most of the time. You can get the IT service you need, when you need it, and only for as long as you need it.

You can pay for cloud computing services out of operational expenses, and pay for what you use when you use it. This is pretty flexible from a technology investment angle. The promise of cloud computing is to deliver on-demand computing capacity reliably. Services delivered from the cloud can be accessed from remote offices, from the road using mobile devices, or just about anywhere with a good Internet connection.

Addressing scalability needs

The scalability of cloud infrastructure translates into the ability for service providers to shift resources and route around problems easily. Put this accessibility and flexibility of cloud-based services together, and you've got a highly resilient model for business continuity planning and disaster recovery.

Organisations are also discovering that the scalability and accessibility of cloud-based services creates new opportunities for collaboration, not just between colleagues but by making it easier to open up applications, information and processes to partners, suppliers, and customers.

Because it's fast, easy and cost-effective to provide, with cloud computing resources you can also explore new ideas more readily. Cloud computing is ideal for test-and-development needs, as you can call on as much capacity as you need while in development. Then, when the project ends, you can release its resources or migrate to a production environment and easily scale it.

Read more: Public, private or hybrid: Which cloud is best for your business?

The major benefit that is typically associated with cloud computing is cost. Studies show that cloud computing can offer massive cost benefits when compared to on-premise alternatives. But, as mentioned above, companies need the right cloud management system to fully benefit.

To get the benefits, you need the tools

In a cloud computing environment, organisations can increase and decrease the number of users of computing resources instantly. They can provision new resources and stop using them when required. With the right tools this provisioning can be automated and efficiently managed, further increasing business agility. Companies have to make the right choices when it come to their cloud IT management, and this is where HP comes in.

HP cloud IT management

HP Cloud Service Automation (HP CSA) is cloud management software from HP that is used by companies and government agencies to automate the management of cloud-based IT-as-a-service environments.

HP Cloud Service Automation orchestrates the provisioning and deployment of complex IT services, such as of databases, middleware and applications like ERP, CRM and messaging systems. The HP software speeds deployment of application-based services across cloud delivery platforms and traditional IT environments.

Part of a broad portfolio

The software is part of a broad portfolio of HP enterprise management products aimed at helping companies manage the lifecycle of deployment and usage of cloud computing, whether through public, private or hybrid clouds, to enable the business agility companies seek to benefit from.

Traditionally, IT staff were required to patch and update physical servers manually. Using HP Cloud Service Automation, IT organisations can update thousands of servers automatically. It allows IT departments to move and manage applications among in-house (private) cloud systems, external (public) clouds and traditional IT systems.

Unifying security, governance and compliance

The software is also designed to deliver unified security, governance and compliance across applications, as well as physical and virtual infrastructures. The software automates key IT processes so that there is one consistent approach to IT resource management.

In addition, HP Cloud Service Automation allows IT departments to dynamically monitor and provision server, storage and network elements, as well as applications, to meet the needs of current and upcoming workloads. Also, the solution allows IT to automatically grow and shrink allocated resources in order to meet quality of service targets.

The software is a component of HP VirtualSystem, a series of integrated server, storage and networking infrastructures from HP designed for Citrix, HP-UX, Microsoft and VMware virtual environments.

Read more: 10 reasons to migrate your business operations to the cloud

HP VirtualSystem is part of the HP Converged Systems portfolio of system-based products that use converged infrastructure for specific workloads. HP Cloud Service Automation software is also included in HP CloudSystem, a cloud infrastructure from HP that combines storage, servers, networking and software for organisations to build complete private, public and hybrid cloud computing environments.

With companies increasingly taking up the opportunity to benefit from the business benefits offered by the cloud, they now have a cloud IT management system to secure and protect those benefits.