LAS VEGAS: HP HAS RAMPED UP its Helion Openstack based cloud platform with a commercial edition and the launch of a partner network, in the hope that service providers and resellers will flock to develop and sell HP's vision of the cloud as a hybrid, open-standard platform.
The Helion Network is a global open network of service providers, ISVs, developers, channel partners and system integrators, all able to develop on HP's open cloud platform and resell hybrid cloud products.
HP said that partners signing up to the Helion Network will benefit from new revenue streams via differentiated products based on HP technology, the ability to sell other cloud products developed via Helion, and sales and marketing support.
Steve Dietch, VP of Cloud Go-To-Market at HP - a new one on us, that job title - said that the network move is HP's acceptance that it's better to play together in the cloud.
"Not only do we want to deliver a public cloud experience where we learn how to run Openstack at scale, and also provide a private and a managed world, we want to bring the rest of the service provider community and the partner community along with us for that ride," Dietch said. "One of the things that HP has learned, is it doesn't matter how big you are, you can't do it all."
Helion Network partners so far include Intel, AT&T and BT, and customers can choose the cloud provider they prefer from the partner network rather than having to deal directly with HP. HP plans to launch a pilot programme of the network in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Jon Summers, SVP of Growth Platforms at AT&T, said that the telco's decision to sign up to the HP network come on the back of customer concerns around security and reliability.
"As customers move workloads from on-premise to the cloud, there are significant issues around security and reliability, they want predictability," he explained.
To help assuage customer concerns, AT&T developed Netbond, an integrated global cloud solution that offers encrypted data and class of service.
"We're going to deploy Helion with Netbond and explore more opportunities to expand it across Helion. We're transforming the network into a cloud model. We've exposed the control point of the network as an API, allowing the customer to orchestrate and provision the network based on dynamic workload requirements," Summers added.
HP unveiled its Helion platform on 7 May, and since then it has had over 1,000 downloads of the free distribution. The Helion brand is the fruit of HP's ambitious $1bn plan to unify all of its cloud services under a single architecture.
HP faces competition in the cloud not only from the public cloud giants like Google and Amazon, and enterprise players like VMware, but also from firms like IBM and Cisco, which are offering similar OpenStack-based services.
Cisco also announced a $1bn investment in cloud services in March, and partners like Ingram Micro and Logicalis play a large part in the networking firm's efforts.
Meanwhile IBM recently launched Cloudmanager with Openstack, which includes full access to Icehouse, the latest version of Openstack. As well as appearing in its own right as an application available for download from the IBM store, it can be bought as part of a package along with the recently announced IBM Power Systems server range.
HP also launched Helion Openstack Commercial Edition at Discover, a version aimed at enterprises that want a higher level of security and reliability, according to the firm. The new edition is a commercial-grade deployment of Openstack technology that simplifies installation, and offers resiliency, thorough code reviews, scalability, manageable plugins and releases every six weeks.
The commercial edition can scale across 40,000-plus virtual machines. A preview version is available now, with full launch set for autumn.
The cloud service is sold on a subscription basis, priced at $1,400 per year per server, with no commitment and multi-year and volume discounts available, starting at 50 nodes. The current community edition is free, but firms can buy support at $900 per year per server. µ
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