HP has made its case for keeping a hybrid cloud infrastructure at the Discover 2011 conference in Las Vegas this week.
The company took every opportunity over the course of the show to talk up the virtues of converged infrastructure and the hybrid cloud model.
Both ideas outline a common vision for HP in which customers run HP servers to power HP virtualisation platforms and run HP operating systems along with cloud services powered by, well, HP, of course.
The systems released this year reflect that approach. Storage systems combine HP's hardware with recently acquired management components, while the AppSystems line uses the tie between HP hardware and software as its primary selling point.
But while HP is all about selling customers its own brand of hardware and platform levels, the company is just as adamant about giving customers the choice of applications.
Seemingly every executive who talked up the merits of HP's hardware and management tools also took great pains to highlight the choice to run various applications and platforms.
In fact, when rival vendor Oracle looked to steal HP's thunder with a cloud computing announcement of its own, the company made a point of noting that the Oracle platform looks to be limited to single applications, whereas HP's platforms support multiple versions.
It is no surprise that HP has opted for such an approach given its product line. The company provides everything from printers and PCs to servers and storage, but the software itself has always remained the domain of third-party vendors.
Even in the days before the cloud and virtualisation, HP has provided the hardware and management tools to run applications from third-party vendors such as Microsoft.
Little appears to be changing with the company's new campaign. Those vendors are of course onboard, and software developers were present in droves to speak of the benefits of running their platforms on HP hardware.
HP still wants to allow businesses to run whatever applications and services they want, but everything else from the server hardware to the management tools, will be branded by HP if the company had its way.
The vendor speaks out against lock-in on one level, but is all too happy to lock companies into its own platforms and hardware lines.
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