HP on Wednesday announced the opening of a new advanced research facility in Singapore, the latest addition to the company's global collaborative research centers. The opening marks HP's third research facility in the Asia Pacific region and its seventh worldwide
According to the press release, HP Labs Singapore will "serve as a hub for open innovation in the Asia Pacific region and represents another investment the company is making to drive its Everything as a Service vision."
HP's "Everything as a Service" (EaaS) is really just marketing spin on the company's cloud initiatives. However misguided it may be for HP to distance itself from "cloud" as a marketing identifier, the overall vision does make sense, incorporating a broad swath of software designed to be delivered over the Internet.
HP's EaaS research labs focus on eight main areas that directly correlate to cloud-based services: Analytics, Digital Commercial Print, Information Management, Cloud, Content Transformation, Intelligent Infrastructure, Immersive Interaction, and Sustainability.
In addition to the opening of the new lab, HP also announced two initiatives to promote cloud computing:
- As part of the Open Cirrus project, HP has partnered with Intel, Yahoo! and the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) of Singapore to create a global, multi-data center, open source test bed for the advancement of cloud computing research and education. IDA houses one of nine test bed locations worldwide.
- HP has partnered with SingTel to form Singapore's largest commercial grid services platform called Alatum, under IDA's Grid Service Provisioning project. Alatum offers a variety of computing power, storage and software applications on a pay-per-use, on-demand and online basis. It currently has 15 independent software vendor partners and more than 70 customers.
To the extent that HP feels like a laggard in cloud (and for that matter, mobile phones) the company has taken a very conservative approach, building on its own technologies and internal research, much of which is still geared toward grid computing rather than compute clouds.
While hardware and even virtualization for cloud services are effectively commodities already, much of the innovation in software for the cloud is taking place in smaller start-ups and hosting companies, not traditional IT giants.
This is certainly not to say that HP can't catch up. But with IBM staking its claim to the enterprise cloud, CA picking up a number of promising cloud start-ups such as 3Tera, Microsoft finally launching Azure, and Amazon dominating the space, HP has its work cut out.