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HP updates Helion CloudSystem as hybrid cloud push gathers pace

Hardware giant reinforces commitment to hybrid, open cloud push with updates to Helion CloudSystem software

The next iteration of the Hewlett-Packard (HP) Helion CloudSystem software platform will include support for a wider range of hypervisors and cloud environments, the hardware giant has confirmed.

HP Helion CloudSystem is billed by the supplier as a private cloud-enabling software package that allows users to manage legacy, off- and on-premise workloads in a variety of environments.

Speaking at a recent HP cloud roundtable in central London, Xavier Poisson, Europe, Middle-East and Africa vice-president for HP Helion Cloud, said the offering fits in with the company’s view that private cloud deployments tend to pave the way for hybrid IT environments in the enterprise.

“We strongly believe everything starts in the enterprise with the private cloud. What we are really aiming at with this announcement is to bring the use case for the private cloud to the hybrid cloud and make it ready to deploy,” said Poisson.

“As part of this, we absolutely must continue to enable our customers to include legacy applications in these workloads, and this solution gives us everything we need to do that,” he added.

HP reinforces open, hybrid cloud commitment

The latest, and ninth, iteration of the product also bundles in the latest version of HP Helion OpenStack and the HP Helion Development Platform to make it easier for users to develop cloud-ready apps.

The decision to court OpenStack with this release follows on from the pledge HP made in May 2014 to invest in the open-source cloud platform as part of its Helion-related hybrid IT push.

Paul Morgan, Europe, Middle-East and Africa director for HP CloudSystem, said the software’s previous generations have played an important part in helping the supplier position itself as a leader in the private cloud space.

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“It’s an exceptional product, with more than 3,000 customers running CloudSystem, and the evolution we see with the OpenStack initiative will fortify and strengthen that position,” he said.

CloudSystem 9.0 brings with it support for a wide range of hypervisors, including Microsoft Hyper-V, Red Hat KVM, VMware vSphere and bare metal deployments. This is in keeping with HP's ongoing push to improve the openness of its cloud platforms and help customers avoid supplier lock-in.

In a similar vein, it will offer support for a wide range of cloud environments, including those powered by Amazon, Microsoft Azure, OpenStack and VMware, and is set to go on general release in September 2015.

Standalone or bundled together

As well as being offered as a standalone software product, the HP Helion Cloud System is included in the firm’s converged infrastructure packages, which are pre-tested and configured before being delivered to customers.

According to Morgan, this approach takes away some of the barriers, particularly from a technology skills point of view, that may have held up the move to cloud for some enterprises.

However, for companies that have the skills needed in-house to deploy such systems, the standalone version of the software would make a good fit.

“Customers have a choice of how they do things and can choose to mix and match both in the same environment,” said Morgan.

“For example, if you have a project where you want to do the integration yourself, you can do that [using the standalone version of the product]. If on the next project you want to add capacity, but don’t have the time and resources to do that, then we can also help by going down the converged route,” he added.

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