HP readying private cloud systems for Oracle apps

The OpenWorld announcement comes as the companies spar over Mark Hurd's job at Oracle

Amid tensions over ex-Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd's move to Oracle, HP will announce a new series of systems on Sunday for running Oracle applications on a private cloud.

Hurd left HP last month following a scandal involving his relationship with a contractor and alleged falsification of expense reports. He was named co-president of Oracle on Sept. 7. HP has sued Hurd, saying he will not be able to perform the job without violating a confidentiality agreement reached as part of his severance package.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has called the suit "vindictive" and said it places the companies' partnership in jeopardy. During Oracle's first-quarter earnings call Thursday, Ellison expressly avoided mentioning HP.

But from HP's perspective, the companies' relationship remains strong, despite those tensions and the fact that Oracle itself has entered the hardware business through its acquisition of Sun Microsystems, according to Mike Crowsen, vice president of HP's alliance with Oracle.

"We're going to continue to have a strong partnership," he said. A significant percentage of Oracle software licenses run on HP hardware today, he added. "That's not going to change tomorrow."

HP is hoping to grab even more of Oracle customers' IT spending with its new Private Cloud Solutions for Oracle Applications, which are to be announced at the OpenWorld conference in San Francisco. The product line will include releases for PeopleSoft, E-Business Suite and Fusion Infrastructure, the last of which refers to the underpinnings of Oracle's upcoming Fusion Applications.

The systems are based on HP's BladeSystem Matrix and also include software for service automation and data services. A set of Cloud Maps -- which include elements such as templates, workflows and whitepapers -- allow customers to go live quickly. In addition, the cost of running the systems is lowered thanks to integrated management of the storage, server and networking layers, HP said.

HP is also offering related services for the new products. The PeopleSoft version will be available in October, followed by E-Business Suite and Fusion Infrastructure editions by year's end.

Pricing for the PeopleSoft release will start at under $US700,000, HP said.

HP will have plenty of competition from Oracle itself in the months ahead around private cloud products and services. Oracle's executive vice president of product development, Thomas Kurian, is scheduled to deliver more details about what the company has in store during a keynote address on Monday.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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