HP Gets Set For Open Source Cloud With Helion

by CXOtoday News Desk    May 13, 2014

open cloud

Technology major Hewlett-Packard (HP) introduces HP Helion, a portfolio of cloud products and services that enable organizations to build, manage and consume workloads in hybrid IT environments. The company also announced it plans to invest more than $1 billion over the next two years to develop and offer open source cloud-computing products and services, especially to the telcos.

The firm’s Helion solutions incorporates existing HP cloud offerings, new OpenStack technology based products and professional and support services under a unified portfolio to help meet customers’ specific business requirements. OpenStack, a cloud computing project that HP co-founded, provides a free and open-source cloud computing platform for public and private cloud services.

“Customer challenges today extend beyond cloud. They include how to manage, control and scale applications in a hybrid environment that spans multiple technology approaches,” says Aman Dokania, vice president and general manager, Cloud Division, HP Asia Pasific & Japan.

The company will make its OpenStack-based public cloud services available in 20 data centers over the next 18 months, and will hire more developers and consultants to design, build and run cloud systems, he said.

Surving competition

The $1 billion investment would account for a substantial portion of HP’s shrinking R&D budget, which fell 8% last fiscal year to $3.1 billion, believe experts. A WSJ blog states that HP’s  commitment pales in comparison with cloud investments from bigger competitors such as Google, Amazon and Microsoft that are spending $1 billion to $2 billion a quarter to build data centers and acquire the necessary real estate, on top of billions more in R&D each year.

Nearly all the players are aggressively pushing them further to the cloud. Amazon.com and Google recently slashed prices of most of their cloud computing services as other companies join the fray. last month, Cisco Systems announced its plans to spend $1 billion on cloud computing services, over the next two years, while Microsoft said it will increase its cloud storage offering for business users 40-fold.

Analysts wonder, whether HP will survive the growing competition in the cloud computing space. In her effort to revive HP’s fortunes after a period of turmoil, Chief Executive Meg Whitman has stabilized the company over the past two-plus years but has yet to bring back the momentum for innovation, they say.

The unique value proposition

Meanwhile Whitman is looking to bring a new class of enterprise customers who prefer to rent computing technology and software rather than buy and maintain their own systems.

Analysts point out that HP’s effort is somewhat unique in that it represents a risky bet on the free open-source technology known as OpenStack, a kind of operating system for computer rooms that is gaining momentum but is still young and needs more development.

“HP Helion provides the solutions and expertise customers need to select the right deployment model for their needs and obtain the greatest return for their investment,” says Dokania.

Last week, HP entered into a deal with Taiwanese company Foxconn Technology Group to make servers aimed at companies that provide cloud computing services.

Cloud computing has a huge potential across business verticals. A recent report from market research firm Markets and Markets reveals that the cloud market is expected to grow to $121 billion dollars by 2015, a 26% CAGR from the $37 billion value in 2010.