HP knocks on G-Cloud's door

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HP knocks on G-Cloud's door

It's like a movie, says HP exec.

Security and white blood cells were centre stage at Hewlett-Packard's (HP) Wednesday launch of its UK G-Cloud demo site.

"The G-Cloud can automatically respond to a threat, making a calculation of its seriousness and producing the equivalent of white blood cells to counteract it," said Martin Sadler, director of the Cloud & Security Lab at HP.

The site's name dovetails with the UK Government's current plans to establish its own private cloud, the G-Cloud, which it hopes will deliver billions in savings.

But the cost-saving potential of cloud computing was swept aside as HP capitalised on a rare selling opportunity amidst the government's current effort to lance its bloated ICT spending.

Spending cuts have taken a heavy toll on HP's IT services staff, with 1,300 culled last month just days prior to it signing an agreement with the Government to cap costs.

Security risks

HP also acknowledged that there were "serious concerns regarding the security of cloud-based infrastructures".

Australia's own finance sector regulator this week issued a sharp warning about the "significance" of offshoring data under cloud arrangements.

HP plans to tackle this by providing systems that visualise what's going on inside the machine, as well as showing off its diagnostics equipment to mitigate cyber attacks on government infrastructure.

According to HP, it deploys additional 'angel' virtual machines to monitor production VM's deployed in the field. If these 'angel VMs' notice odd CPU behaviour, they are designed to automatically respond by taking services down, restarting, cloning or restricting the production VM.

"It's like a game or a movie where you have a virtual walkthrough of everything that's going on in the cloud," said HP's Sadler.

"You can zoom in for more granular detail or pan out to get a panoramic view."

The G-Cloud demo site launch came a day after the UK Government lost CIO John Suffolk, giving rise to speculation his resignation may stall the Government's cloud computing plans.

Suffolk was widely viewed as the principal advocate for data centre consolidation and its G-Cloud. In similar fashion to the US government, the UK also hopes to launch its own Government Applications Store.

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