Hewlett-Packard signaled its intention to step up the competition in the cloud arena, by announcing it would make $2 billion in financing available to clients initiating cloud computing projects.

The computer giant said the funds would be made available through HP Financial Services, its leasing and asset management subsidiary.

“In this hugely competitive global economy, having the financial flexibility to drive new projects is critical,” Irv Rothman, chief executive of HP Financial Services, said in a statement. “We are committed to helping our clients drive innovation and agility by transforming their legacy systems to advanced cloud solutions.”

The $2 billion financing will be made available to clients acquiring and deploying offerings from HP’s cloud portfolio.

At the company’s Discover 2011 conference in Las Vegas this week, chief executive Leo Apotheker took the stage and affirmed HP’s ambitions to dominate the cloud space. Apotheker said HP is building a full portfolio of infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) solutions. He said the company will soon launch an Open Cloud Marketplace and is bringing on a number of cloud providers that will be fully integrated with its technologies.

HP also announced expanded cloud security services, including vulnerability scanning, and a vulnerability intelligence offering, which provides information on newly discovered potential threats.




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