Introducing the new approach to the IT stack, HP CEO Meg Whitman, said delivering the new style of IT requires the power of an industry working together. An approach that was certainly apparent throughout the announcement, as HP moves to embrace many community-driven initiatives like OpenStack and Cloud Foundry.
Not all of the Helion stack is new — it uses many of the existing HP cloud offerings but pairs them with several new offerings like the Helion OpenStack Community edition, the Helion Development Platform, an OpenStack Technology Indemnification Program, and Helion OpenStack Professional Services.
Of those new cloud products, the HP Helion OpenStack Community edition was made freely available this week as a way for IT organizations to do proofs of concept, pilots and basic production workloads. It’s not a full production environment, but capable of handling up to approximately 30 nodes. An enhanced commercial edition is scheduled to be released in the coming months from HP. That version is said to be capable of meeting the requirements of large service providers and enterprises.
The Helion Development platform is a platform as a service (PaaS) offering based on Cloud Foundry. A preview version of the development platform will be released later this year.
Perhaps most interesting in this push to leverage the broader open source community is the introduction of the indemnification program which will protect some customers using HP Helion OpenStack code from third-party patent, copyright and trade-secret infringement claims (directed to OpenStack code alone or in combination with Linux code).
The final new piece is professional services around the OpenStack framework from HP. A new practice will be created, made up of HP’s existing consultants, engineers, and technologists to help customers with their planning and operations.
There’s also the matter of the $1 billion, which will go towards hiring the right people for the cloud initiatives and professional services, the marketing engine to expand reach, and dedicated services for OpenStack.
During a Q&A session following the announcement, one listener asked HP executives why they were creating their own developer platform when Cloud Foundry already exists. To that, the answer was HP wants to create a more tightly integrated platform — one that tightly binds the open source layer and infrastructure layer.
The idea of being to mix and match these services under one heading should be appealing if just to cut down on the complexity of building a stack. HP has created a fairly simple to understand website showcasing its Helion portfolio and new approach to the data centre.
A webcast of the event is still available for viewing.
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