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HP Helion throws forward PaaS to hybrid clouds

HP unwraps new cloud, development and converged platforms to bolster its hybrid cloud strategy, and move up the cloud stack in larger enterprises.

In the wake of a second round of massive layoffs in a year, HP continues its push to better position its open source-flavored hybrid cloud to enterprises.

The company made available its HP Helion CloudSystem 9.0 cloud offering that can be delivered either as a standalone product, or come integrated with the HP ConvergedSystem 700 platform, the latter containing improvements to better mesh with Helion CloudSystem 9.0.

CloudSystem 9.0, which contains HP Helion OpenStack and the HP Helion Development Platform, supports infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS). This tighter coupling of both products and their positioning is an indication of HP Enterprise's greater ambitions in the cloud market.

"HP is really focusing on advancing its cloud stack by 'moving up the stack,'" said Cassandra Mooshian, a cloud analyst with Technology Business Research, Inc., market researchers in Hampton, N.H. "First, it focused on IaaS and now PaaS seems to be its focus as it appeals to a wider swath of developers with each partnership. This should help its [software as a service] business going forward."

A closer look at the new HP Helion offerings

CloudSystem 9.0 is the first HP product that works with the technology from Eucalyptus, which HP acquired last fall, Mooshian noted. This new technology in version 9.0, a cloud services automation layer, not only allows IT shops to run Helion and Amazon Web Services side by side, but also brings Cloud Foundry into the mix, thanks to HP's acquisition of the Cloud Foundry-based Stackato, she said.

The HP ConvergedSystem 700, built primarily for private clouds and mixed workloads, is an integrated server made up of the processor, storage, networking and management components that users can have pre-configured at the factory. When used in concert with CloudSystem 9.0, it can view and manage their environment from a single pane of glass with HP's OneView, company officials said.

HP updated the Helion Development Platform to version 1.3, giving IT professionals the ability to deploy their own Docker containers and to streamline testing and development of applications that can move among multiple clouds. 

Perhaps the most strategically important aspect of HP's latest features is that users have the ability to deploy their own containers, one analyst said. It gives the company an advantage over competitors in this space, especially Microsoft and VMware.

"With this platform improvement, IT shops and developers can bring their own containers to the platform as a service offering," said Dana Gardner, principal analysts with Interarbor Solutions, LLC, a consultant in Gilford, NH. "It puts them a step ahead of Microsoft and VMware without compromising their revenues because they don't have to protect an OS in Microsoft's case or a virtualization layer like VMware."

Pricing for CloudSystem 9.0 with one year of support starts at $1,350, with pricing for the Helion Development Platform 1.3 with 24x7 support for $890 a year.

Ed Scannell is a senior executive editor with TechTarget. Contact him at [email protected]

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