It's been described as the "Wild West of Cloud Computing" -- no slick "urban" services like Amazon provides, but HP is in beta with its cloud services, and the time is ripe to make your land grab with free real estate (for now) hosted by the world's second-largest PC maker, looking to move into Web services in a big way.

In the formal announcement, HP is on record stating its Cloud Services will provide a "business-grade" public cloud infrastructure that is open source based and developer focused.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

"Our initial Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offerings, HP Cloud Compute and HP Cloud Object Storage, are built on HP’s hardware and software, with a developer-friendly integration of OpenStack technology -- backed by exceptional customer support," the company said. 

HP said the company plans to provide access from its own data center via REST-based API's (application program interface) and will offer open source cloud software tools from the OpenStack project.  These will include mobile-accessible services. Developers are free to use a variety of tools and languages, such as Ruby, Java, PHP, and Python.

HP Cloud Services: Getting Started from HP Cloud on Vimeo.

Two Key Services at Launch: Compute and Storage

HP is starting with two key services. Compute allows deployment of virtual machines, on-demand with customized compute instances that handle changing workloads and scale easily. Object storage provides on-demand online storage that the company says is ideal for archiving and backup of static content for web apps and media.  The embedded video gives a good overview of what the company is offering. To get access, HP asks for a valid credit card on file, but no charges will be made during the beta period.