HP has launched a service that allows firms to try out cloud computing platforms before moving into full deployments.
The company said that its proof-of-concept platform would give companies the ability to test its cloud computing services in a limited and controlled environment.
The platform, which is offered under HP's enterprise services, allows companies to run testing and trial activities on local and hosted cloud systems for a four- to 16-week period, after which firms can decide to graduate to a full cloud deployment or look elsewhere. Firms pay an up-front fee and in some cases weekly charges for expanded services.
HP said that the deployments range from a two-core, 4 GB RAM allocation capable of running six virtual machines, to larger deployments which include options for VPN deployments and other service.
Patricia Wilkey, global director of enterprise cloud services for HP, told V3 that the system was designed to serve as an intermediate step between on-site virtualisation and full-sized cloud computing deployments. The systems are commonly used to test and plan which applications can transition to the cloud.
"It is typically customers that have already looked at virtualisation they might already have virtualised environments today in their own premises," Wilkey said.
"It is those that want to take the next step, it is the baby step to take them forward."
Thus far, the company has found that the service appeals to firms throughout the business, healthcare and enterprise sectors. Wilkey noted that the service was particularly popular as a means of testing cloud deployments for applications which require local data storage per compliance regulations.
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