Wednesday, December 07, 2011

A First Look at HP Cloud Services

imageOn 12/7/2011 I received an invitation to test a Private Beta version of HP Cloud Services (@HPCloud). Following is an illustrated description of the sign-up and compute/object storage provisioning processes:

Setting Up an Account

1. I set up an account with the access code provided by e-mail and clicked the Dashboard button to open the following page:


2. I clicked the Activate Now button for Compute Services in the US West 2 - AZ1 Availability Zone, which opened a Setup Up a Payment Method (credit card) information form:


HP says the credit card info is for “testing the billing system only” and you won’t incur charges when you use the Private Beta version.

Configuring Compute Instances

3. Completing the form and clicking the Submit Payment Method button opened the following Compute US West 2 - AZ1 page. The invitation requested that I configure no more than 2 VMs, so I selected a standard.medium image with 2 vCPUs, 4 GB RAM and a 160 GB hard drive:


Note: The Welcome to HP Cloud Services page stated: “During private beta, you can sign up for up to 10 compute instances (contact us if you need more).”

4. In the Install Image list, I selected the latest Ubuntu version:


Notice the lack of Windows Server images.

5. I accepted the defaults for Security Group, Key Pair, Public IP, and Instances. Security Group and Key Pair only offer default values and clicked Create. After about 4 minutes, the instance entered Scheduling status, showed a Running Instances list and displayed a mysterious AdminRequired error message:


6. Clicking the Instance ID link opened a detail page:


7. Clicking View Console Log returned an HTTP 404 error.

8. Clicking Connect to Server opened this dialog:


9. Clicking Attach Public IP did nothing evident.

10. Clicking Reboot Server and Confirming the request resulted in an HTTP 500 error.

11. Clicking the Get Compute API Keys link (see step 5) opened the Account page’s API Keys tab:


OpenStack appears to have provided the EC2 Compatibility endpoint option.

Configuring Object Storage

12. Clicking the Activate Now button for Object Storage (see step 1) opens a page for creating containers and adding files. Typing a container name and clicking Create adds a link to the container. Clicking the Information icon opens and Options and Info dialog:


13. Clicking the container (TestContainer for this exampe) link enables uploading files from your computer:


14. Clicking Select files opens a Select File(s) to Upload by dialog:


15. Clicking Open displays an Upload Objects list. Clicking Upload Files adds the selected files to the container:


16. Clicking a filename opens an Options and Info list with a Download button and public URL for the file:


The Public URL appears as the result of clicking the Make Public button in step 12. Note that you can create a net directory by replacing the New Directory Name in the text box and clicking Create.

The invitation requests that Public Beta users use a maximum of 20 GB of object storage.

17. Pasting the Public URL to IE’s Address Bar returns the image:


The design of HP Cloud’s UI for object (blob) storage management is very straightforward and intuitive.

HP provides a OpenStack C# Object Storage binding from Rackspace on GitHub:


Other object storage bindings include Ruby, Java, Python and PHP.

Digging into HP Cloud Compute Services

18. Clicking the Build menu item opens a Getting Started with HP Cloud Services page with an embedded introductory video:


Here’s the text below the video element:

HP Cloud Services consists of:

For detailed REST API information, dig into those links above. In order to interact with the services, you'll need your API Keys.

For direct interactivity with HP Cloud Services, you can use the following officially supported tools:

For creating your own applications, take a look at our Bindings section.

Take a look at all the documentation available inside Build or if you have a question, feel free to post something over on our forums. We'd love to help.

Stay tuned for details of managing HP Cloud compute instances.