HP HAS REVEALED plans to extend its reach in the cloud services market with a brand name and a very large wodge of cash.
The Helion brand comes as the result of HP's ambitious plans to unify all of its cloud services under a single architecture. As part of the launch, the company has announced that it will spend $1bn in research and development over an initial two year period, the fruits of which are likely to accrue not just to HP but also to its partners in the Openstack framework.
Although the company supported Openstack through HP Cloud Services for several years, offering contributions to the Openstack project, this move takes that commitment several steps further.
HP is making available Helion Openstack, based on the recently announced Openstack Icehouse iteration, free of charge, with a commercial edition set to follow bringing more features and support.
The company will also release a preview edition of its Cloud Foundry distribution of HP Helion Developer Platform this coming autumn.
The announcement also includes indemnification in the event that Openstack users are sued, and a support consultancy to advise customers on how to make the most of the service.
The INQUIRER spoke to Michael Clifford, director of cloud computing for HP UK & Ireland. When asked as to whether he felt some of the more cynical old school elements in the IT industry were more open to the cloud environment, he told us, "They're massively more open to it now. The whole language has changed. This adoption cycle is incredible to watch.
"Eighteen months ago we were having conversations where people would debate the validity of cloud. Today, we have conversations about when they're going to use it, how they're going to use it, what applications they're going to put on it. It's now part of our computing language. It's incredible how it's changed."
With a number of players already in the open source cloud game, including recent announcements from Red Hat, Canonical and Oracle, the new offering from HP will do well to gain traction, but with plans for rollout in 20 data centres over the first 18 months, HP apparently plans to make the effort. µ
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