HP to invest $US1 billion in open Cloud services

The new HP Helion line will encompass the full breadth of the company's enterprise Cloud offerings

Following a similar move by IBM, Hewlett-Packard is unifying its Cloud portfolio under a single architecture and brand name, called HP Helion.

The company has pledged to invest $1 billion in open Cloud products and services over the next two years, along with community-driven, open-source Cloud technologies.

"Just as the community spread the adoption of Linux in the enterprise, we believe OpenStack will do the same for the cloud," said Hewlett-Packard CEO and President, Meg Whitman, in a webcast announcing Helion.

Customers have been asking for open-source-based cloud technologies, Whitman said. Harnessing the collective effort around open-source projects such as OpenStack, "the result is something that is more flexible, secure and affordable than any one company could do alone," she said.

A distribution of OpenStack, called Helion OpenStack, is the first Helion component HP has released. Helion OpenStack will serve as the cornerstone for the Helion line of Cloud services and products, although Helion OpenStack can also be installed on any x86 server from vendors other than HP.

The company is integrating Helion OpenStack with existing HP networking, storage and server products. For instance, it will be configured to work with HP 3Par storage servers, HP StoreVirtual storage appliances and the company's software defined networking (SDN) controller. Helion OpenStack will also work closely with HP's Cloud Service Automation (CSA) software.

Beyond OpenStack, the Helion portfolio will encompass all of HP's cloud offerings, including the company's cloud management and automation software, infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offerings, and managed services, said Martin Fink, HP chief technology officer and general manager of HP's Cloud business unit.

The company is also creating a developer platform based on Cloud Foundry, a package developed and open sourced by VMware and now managed by VMware spinoff Pivotal software.

Under Helion, the company will continue its hybrid Cloud strategy, which allows enterprise customers to "extend on-premise infrastructure to the Cloud," Fink said.

The $1 billion investment will be used to beef up all aspects of HP's Cloud operations, such as improvement of datacentres, training for consultant and operation teams, and research into advancing core Cloud technologies.

HP's announcement follows a similar move by IBM last week, which is also unifying all of its Cloud services within a single online marketplace.

Both companies have been aggressively building their Cloud portfolios over the past several years. Earlier this year, IBM pledged $1.2 billion to building out its cloud middleware portfolio.

The brand and architecture unification is a good move for HP, said Forrester principal analyst Bill Martorelli.

"The idea of a unifying brand is a step forward," he said. HP has been seriously invested in serving the cloud market for well over two years now, he noted. The company has expertise in serving the private and enterprise Cloud markets, which could give it an advantage in that space over commodity services such as Amazon's.

"There's still opportunities in the private Cloud," Martorelli said.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

Tags development platformsManaged Servicesinternetcloud computingSoftware as a serviceHewlett-PackardInfrastructure services

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