Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Friday, September 17, 2021

HP Expands Open Source Cloud Push 

When Hewlett-Packard rolled out its Helion cloud infrastructure last May, it pledged to invest $1 billion over two years to deliver converged infrastructure geared toward hybrid IT platforms. Making good on that pledge, the company announced Helion Rack on Tuesday (March 24), a preconfigured private cloud based on OpenStack and Cloud Foundry technologies.

The Helion initiative also was intended to extend HP’s commitment to OpenStack technology. To that end, it 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.

Those initiatives along with Helion Rack are intended to help enterprises speed their cloud deployments, the company said, by eliminating the need for months of private cloud development. Rack, described as a "private cloud in a box," is intended to integrate cloud management software and infrastructure to leverage HP's experience running its OpenStack-based Helion Public Cloud.

Increasingly, HP and others jumping on the open source bandwagon are stressing open platforms and architectures based on OpenStack technology and, in the case of Rack, Cloud Foundry software. The intent is to offer greater flexibility in workload hosting, application code and management tools while at the same time reducing costs.

The cloud deployment and management tool is aimed at enterprise IT departments that are fast becoming in-house providers of flexible computing resources. Hence, HP is banking on the rise of enterprise DevOps by offering access to what it calls a multi-language suite of tools designed to speed application development and deployment.

Helion Rack is being positioned as a private cloud with infrastructure- and platform-as-a-service capabilities for provisioning development and production workloads. Along with secure hosting of applications, Rack is said to provide a platform for developing and deploying applications that are native to the cloud.

Along with faster deployment and management of private clouds, HP touts Rack as a platform that can scale out with additional storage and compute nodes, and those nodes can then be scaled up. Access to application services such as database and messaging services also are intended to augment these scaling features along with greater availability to applications.

HP said Helion Rack is the latest addition to its portfolio designed to integrate servers, software and networking as it expands its pursuit of the enterprise cloud market. It previously released Helion OpenStack software with its ProLiant SL-series servers to address scale-out object storage. It announced a new line of Cloudline hyperscale servers running Helion OpenStack earlier this month.

The new Cloudline server family is aimed at software- and infrastructure-as-a-service providers along with telecommunications carriers and managed hosting specialists.

HP said this week that Helion Rack would be available in April. Pricing will vary depending on configuration.

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).

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