Advanced Computing in the Age of AI|Friday, May 29, 2020
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HP Beefs Up Helion Ecosystem 

Addressing what it says is the growing need for more flexible infrastructure to deploy and run new applications, Hewlett-Packard rolled out a "hyper-converged infrastructure appliance" delivering a virtual server and storage platform designed to be configured in minutes.

HP also said it has acquired a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) portfolio from a Canadian partners that also will boost its Helion cloud development platform.

The company announced Tuesday (Aug. 4) its ConvergedSystem 250-HC StoreVirtual (CS 250) appliance combines enterprise-class data services with highly available virtual servers and hybrid cloud orchestration. While primarily designed for virtual desktops and remote office connections, the company said CS 250 could provide a simplified path to hybrid cloud deployment.

The appliance combines HP x86 server and virtualization products with its StoreVirtual software-defined storage technology. The CS 250 also includes tighter integration with VMware technologies, including being pre-configured for vSphere 5.5 or 6.0 server virtualization platforms.

The appliance also supports hybrid cloud architectures, including HP Helion CloudSystem built in to offer a pathway to cloud deployment.

The company's software-defined storage technology is positioned as a way of lowering deployment costs independent of hypervisors and hardware platforms. "Hyper-convergence is simply the next step in HP’s evolution of the software-defined data center," Manish Goel, general manager of HP Storage, noted in a statement.

The appliance comes with three 4-TB virtual storage appliance licenses that are included as a way to replicate data on other HP-based platforms. The CS 250 also can be configured with up to 96 processing cores, a combination of solid-state or serial-attached SCSI drives and up to 2 TB of memory per four-node appliance.

Providing a path to hybrid cloud deployment, HP also said its new Helion CloudSystems 9.0 is "built on" the CS 250 appliance. The combination is intended to leverage clustered compute and storage resources for on-premise workloads while adding provisioning and other cloud features that are touted as moving beyond server virtualization.

Along with the new appliance, it also will offer new software-designed storage services to help deploy scalable and elastic cloud storage.

HP said a 4-node CS 250-HC StoreVirtual will be available on Aug. 17. A 3-node version will be released on Sept. 28. Details on its Helion CloudSystem 9.0 and its software-defined storage availability are "forthcoming," it added.

Separately, HP said last week it has acquired the Stackato PaaS portfolio from Vancouver-based ActiveState. The Stackato platform is built on the Cloud Foundry PaaS, and HP said the deal would complement its Helion cloud development platform.

HP and ActiveStates have been collaborating since 2012. After the deal closes, the Stackato platform will become part of HP's cloud business, the partners said. The acquisition also expands HP's presence in Cloud Foundry while extending its internal hybrid cloud portfolio.

Since launching Helion last year, HP has positioned the converged cloud infrastructure offering as a way to bridge traditional IT infrastructure and cloud-native applications. "Maximizing developer productivity is key," the company stressed in announcing the Stackato deal.

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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