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Helion Cloud Suite redefines HPE hybrid cloud strategy

HPE consolidated seven offerings from its Helion platform to ease cloud migrations -- and its customers are encouraged.

LAS VEGAS -- Hewlett Packard Enterprise hopes it has found a way to update the venerable HP Way for the new computing age, extending a helping hand for users navigating a hybrid cloud strategy.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) rolled out a handful of cloud-based offerings at its annual HPE Discover conference here that make it easier to deliver, integrate and manage a mix of applications that work with a range of cloud-based infrastructure -- and catch up with some of the company's heavyweight competitors.

The HPE Helion Cloud Suite lets IT shops deliver and manage applications from traditional on-premises to virtualized to containerized apps across a range of infrastructure environments. Unveiled were:

  • The new Helion CloudSystem 10 suite is a hardware-software bundle to help IT shops build and deploy cloud environments for a number of workloads.
  • HPE OneView 3.0 offers software-defined intelligence across the company's infrastructure lineup, including HPE ProLiant servers, BladeSystem and hyper-converged product lines. It also integrates tightly with CloudSystem 10 to permit automatic provisioning of cloud resources from bare-metal infrastructure, company executives said.
  • HPE also debuted version 4.0 of Helion Stackato, described by company officials as a multicloud, open application development platform as a service (PaaS) offering, fueled by the open source-based Cloud Foundry, intended to help speed the delivery of cloud-native applications. The container-based product also is designed to provide continuous integration and delivery, according to company officials.

Some users said they approve of the company's approach to simplify and clarify cloud choices with the three additions to the Helion family of products.

"I feel better about [HPE's] cloud direction with the new bundles, which bring together a bunch of products that were offered separately before," said one IT professional with a large San Francisco-based bank. "I like the inclusion of some open source [products] with their own products, because we are looking more and more at open source to fix some of our issues."

Another user said she liked the promised ability of the new products to accommodate a broader range of applications spanning on premises to cloud-native across multiple cloud environments.

"It's encouraging to see [HPE] pull together an approach that takes a look more at what we have to deal with in terms of legacy apps and web-based apps we are focused on dealing with now," said one systems administrator with a large transportation company based in Las Vegas. "With [HPE] being a new company, really, they have enough incentive to work hard to gain our intention."

Essentially, HPE is consolidating seven different software offerings from the Helion portfolio and HPE software portfolio into one unified offering, said Jay Jamison, vice president of product marketing with HPE. "Now, users can get a full stack from us, including PaaS, IaaS [infrastructure as a service] layers built on an open source-based distribution of OpenStack and Cloud Foundry runtime."

The new offerings represent an effort to provide users -- many of whom are transitioning from age-old on-premises to cloud-based environments -- with a single set of tools to manage both environments.

"We see this as a management service that gives you a common way to interact with apps, whether they are traditional, three-tier apps running in VMware or new cloud-native apps," Jamison said.

Some analysts also liked the direction HPE appears to be heading in terms of its hybrid cloud strategy, after backing off being a public cloud provider some months ago.

"These cloud announcements make it clear [HPE] is putting themselves an abstraction above the public cloud and veering more into the area of hybrid [cloud] management," said Dana Gardner, principal analyst with Interarbor Solutions LLC, based in Gilford, N.H. "So, if users want to go to Azure, they can; or, if they want to go to AWS [Amazon Web Services], then so be it.

Gardner also cited statements made by multiple HPE executives on stage at the conference that no one, whether they are IT shops or developers, knows the right mix of clouds for any particular user organization.

"HPE is hoping to make itself a partner [with IT shops] and made it clear today they will work with users to figure this out to everyone's benefit," he said.

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

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