HP launches private cloud with high-security federal users in mind

Hewlett-Packard is making a play for high-security government enterprise customers with its new managed private cloud product that launched May 27.

Jeff Bergeron, vice president and chief technology officer for HP's U.S. public sector, said the offering is "focused on the unique security requirements mandated by public-sector agencies" and represents a starting point in the transformation to a new way of thinking about IT. It is the latest addition to HP's Helion virtual private cloud offering.

"Helion's foundation is the ability to bridge traditional IT with next-generation cloud services and being able to integrate those environments seamlessly," Bergeron told FCW.

The goal in part is to encourage agencies to migrate to the cloud without first upgrading their legacy software. HP maintains mission-critical systems and provides integration layers from the data mart and end-user perspectives. Clients, who manage resource allocation via a Web-based portal, can act as cloud brokers to other agencies and can provide shared services via the cloud.

Clients can use their own hardware or hardware from HP or another company. That flexibility allows HP to support sensitive systems, including single-tenant systems with dedicated hardware. It also gives HP the potential to offer scalable, metered enterprise cloud services to high-security agencies, along the lines of Amazon's $600 million deal with the CIA.

HP's previous virtual private cloud offering earned a provisional authority to operate under the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program's moderate-impact level. The new product aims for Level 5 authorization under the Defense Information Systems Agency's cloud service broker, which would authorize it to host sensitive information systems. Bergeron said the new product has "a glide path toward FedRAMP high, should it be required by defense and intel agencies."

HP is in the midst of a corporate restructuring. On May 22, the company announced that it would be eliminating 11,000 to 16,000 jobs in addition to the 34,000 positions that were already scheduled to be cut in a massive reorganization. The new cloud product represents an increased focus on the federal and high-security enterprise market, which includes a $1 billion investment in products and professional services over the next two years.

Note: This article was updated on May 27. An earlier version incorrectly defined Level 5 authorization under DISA's cloud service broker, and mischaracterized Helion Private Cloud's place in the company's portfolio of products.

About the Author

Adam Mazmanian is executive editor of FCW.

Before joining the editing team, Mazmanian was an FCW staff writer covering Congress, government-wide technology policy, health IT and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to joining FCW, Mr. Mazmanian was technology correspondent for National Journal and served in a variety of editorial at B2B news service SmartBrief. Mazmanian started his career as an arts reporter and critic, and has contributed reviews and articles to the Washington Post, the Washington City Paper, Newsday, Architect magazine, and other publications. He was an editorial assistant and staff writer at the now-defunct New York Press and arts editor at the online network in the 1990s, and was a weekly contributor of music and film reviews to the Washington Times from 2007 to 2014.

Click here for previous articles by Mazmanian. Connect with him on Twitter at @thisismaz.

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