HP announces $1B Helion cloud push around OpenStack

HP HelionHP Wednesday introduced HP Helion, its new brand for a portfolio of cloud products and services centered on the OpenStack open source cloud platform technology. The launch of Helion will include both familiar products, like HP’s CloudSystem private and hybrid cloud-focused converged infrastructure stacks, and new offerings, like free and enterprise editions of a Helion flavour of OpenStack.

In all, the company said it intends to invest more than $1 billion over the next two years on developing the Helion brand and product lines.

“This show the commitment we have to enabling hybrid IT and cloud environments in partnership with our channel,” said Randy Milthorpe, business development manager for HP Cloud at HP Canada. “Helion is all about making it easier to manage, operate, and consume workloads across a hybrid IT environment.”

The launch includes CloudSystem 8, in both Foundation and Enterprise flavours, introducing new capabilities, and two flavours of OpenStack – a free Community edition that will be available for download, and in the next few weeks, an Enterprise edition that will be availble for channel partners to resell and build on.

The new Helion OpenStack environments will replace HP’s previous OpenStack-based Cloud OS platform, and follows the “free” and “enterprise” editions path championed by Linux a decade ago.

Borrowing another play from its previous open source experience, HP will also offer its Helion OpenStack Enterprise customers legal indemnification, a stance it took more than a decade ago for its enterprise Linux push when SCO’s litigation against companies that widely used Linux caused considerable trepidation amongst would-be customers.

“That’s a big differentiator for us, and something that enterprises really need and demand,” Milthorpe said. “Customers can be confident about deploying the technology and not have to worry about being sued over patents.”

Along with the OpenStack distributions, Helion will include a PaaS Helion Development platform based on Cloud Foundry that will provide the infrastructure for building, deploying and managing cloud-based apps. Milthorpe said to expect a lot more about that platform at HP’s Discover conference in Las Vegas next month.

There will also be a professional services component to Helion, which will work with customers and partners on planning, designing, implementing and operating environments based on the Helion OpenStack distributions.

Ultimately, Milthorpe suggests there will be a broader cloud-based community of solution providers, cloud providers, and ISVs under the Helion brand, an effort that will make more areas of hybrid IT available to a broader swath of solution providers.

“Our channel will be able to sell and integrate with developers and service providers, and have HP Helion OpenStack available for scale-out and new investment built upon a reliable enterprise-class distribution. It will extend the market, and the functionality available to the channel,” he said.

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