Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Monday, July 22, 2024

HP To Invest $1 Billion In Helion Cloud Infrastructure 

Hewlett-Packard said it expects to invest more than $1 billion over the next two years to deliver and support a "converged infrastructure" that includes cloud products and services geared to hybrid IT platforms.

HP's cloud offerings, OpenStack-based technologies, and support services will be incorporated under its new Helion portfolio. The goal of the initiative is to offer hybrid cloud services that blend existing IT infrastructure with new technologies, the company said.

Helion "moves beyond the cloud to become the very fabric of your enterprise," HP CEO Meg Whitman repeated during a webcast.

The company also said the Helion initiative extends HP's commitment to OpenStack technology. HP has been scaling OpenStack-based cloud services for more than three years. It is an early member of the OpenStack infrastructure cloud project, with two HP employees on its board, as well as participating in the Cloud Foundry platform cloud community.

Company officials also stressed that cloud challenges extend to managing and scaling applications in multiple hybrid environments based on different technologies. Martin Fink, HP's executive vice president and chief technology officer, said Helion builds on its earlier cloud investments, including open source cloud technologies like OpenStack that encourage the development of solutions that can be used across different platforms.

Among the cloud products and services incorporated under the Helion umbrella are:

  • OpenStack Community, a community edition intended for use in pilot projects and "basic production workloads." HP said a free download of a preview version of its OpenStack Community edition is available now. "We want to really encourage the developer community," Fink said.


  • A development platform based on Cloud Foundry's platform-as-a-service (PaaS) model. HP said it plans to release a preview version later this year and will provide more details on the PaaS development platform during a company-sponsored event in June.


  • An OpenStack technology indemnification program to protect qualified HP customers using Helion OpenStack code from third-party intellectual property claims. The protection program includes patent, copyright and trade-secret infringement claims directed at both OpenStack code alone or in combination with Linux code. No monetary caps are included with the protection program, Fink said, adding that the program demonstrates the company's commitment to open source technologies.


  • An OpenStack services offering to assist customers with cloud planning and implementation.


HP also said its existing CloudSystem offering would be incorporated under Helion as its private cloud component supporting OpenStack.

The company plans to make its OpenStack-based cloud services available over the next several months via a network of service providers and in HP datacenters. It currently operates more than 80 datacenters in 27 countries. It also plans to provide public cloud services based on OpenStack in 20 datacenters over the next 18 months.

Company officials acknowledged that security remains key to wider cloud adoption. To that end, HP senior vice president Bill Hilf stressed that it has been investing in OpenStack to bolster security for enterprise clouds. The company also leads OpenStack technical groups working specifically on security.

HP executives also noted that the company's public cloud infrastructure that has been operating for several years is under constant attack. Hence, it hopes to leverage that experience in an attempt to bullet-proof OpenStack.

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).