HP’s First Major Helion Announcement Since Revealing Split

Brendan Morse
Oct 28, 2014

On October 23rd, Hewlett-Packard Co. launched the commercial and community version of Helion OpenStack® software along with an integrated trial version of the Cloud Foundry based development environment named Helion Development Platform. This integrated Helion infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) represents another step in HP’s efforts to develop its hybrid cloud solutions for enterprises and government.


The announcement included a number of innovations not featured in the beta version of Helion OpenStack:

  • Support for multiple programming languages including Java, Ruby, Node.js, PHP, Python and Perl,
  • Implementation of OpenStack Trove with built-in high-availability with Cloud Foundry offering the first fully-integrated database-as-a-service,
  • Multiple database and queuing services: MySQL, PostgreSQL, RabbitMQ, Redis, Memcache and Trove,
  • Utilization of Docker containers for flexible scheduling new cloud-native applications into compute resources across deployments seamlessly, without any work on part of the developer,
  • Fully-integrated scale-out object storage solution based on OpenStack Swift, called Helion Content Depot,
  • Built-in support for HP StoreVirtual VSA, a virtual storage appliance with Cinder integration.

The lack of discussion regarding the recently acquired Eucalyptus Systems was intriguing. The technical overview of Helion shows it supporting the KVM hypervisor, a capability likely acquired via Eucalyptus. HP had previously announced a deal with VMware to support the ESX hypervisor. Eucalyptus’ best known technology, enabling applications to move seamlessly between on-premise environments and public cloud, does not appear to be supported by Helion at this time.

The Helion Development Platform is a major vote of confidence in Cloud Foundry, as HP does not appear to have made significant changes to the platform. The most important additions are support for all major program languages and access to the HP’s engineers via the Cloud Foundry community.

There are also two new programs to support the Helion ecosystem; Helion Ready and Helion Developer Network. With HP Helion Ready, ISV and SaaS providers can earn certification for HP Helion. The HP Helion Developer Network enables developers and enterprise IT departments can participate in events like coding workshops, hangouts, and meet-ups.

The webcast announcing the Helion launch was as much about the broader vision for the new Hewlett-Packard Enterprise as the actual products and services. CEO Meg Whitman and other HP management were clear and emphatic about HP’s cloud strategy. Here are some of the talking points:

  • In a clear nod to investors, analysts and any skeptics out there, CEO Meg Whitman firmly said “we are in this market to win.”
  • HP has had a strong cloud strategy with notable achievements over the past three years and will continue to follow that strategy.
  • HP is committed to their vision of the future hybrid IT environment.
  • There is a strong commitment to open-source like OpenStack and Cloud Foundry development communities.

InfoTrends expects continued rapid growth in the hybrid cloud market. With this growth will come intensifying competition and innovation from current players and new market participants like hyper-scale IaaS providers. InfoTrends will continue to monitor HP’s ongoing transformation and cloud based services and solutions more broadly. You can watch (with registration) the webcast of the HP announcement here.

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