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HP reinforces commitment to open, hybrid cloud vision as business split looms

Meg Whitman restates firm's stance on enterprise appeal of hybrid cloud, as latest version of HP Helion CloudSystem goes on general release

Hewlett-Packard (HP) has reinforced its commitment to helping enterprises move to the hybrid cloud, as the company readies itself for the forthcoming split of its business-to-business and consumer business units.

The move is part of the hardware giant’s much-discussed, multi-year turnaround strategy and will see responsibility for the firm’s infrastructure, software, services and cloud activities fall under the remit of new company, HP Enterprise.

The company’s consumer-focused computing and printing interests, meanwhile, will be catered for by HP Inc, once the split occurs at the start of November.

Ahead of that, Meg Whitman, who is set to become the president and CEO of HP Enterprise, has outlined the soon-to-be created company’s continued support for its parent’s hybrid cloud vision, which is covered off by the contents of its Helion product portfolio.

“Hewlett-Packard Enterprise will be smaller and more focused than HP is today, and we will have a broad and deep portfolio of businesses that will help enterprises transition to the new style of business,” she said, in HP’s 2016 financial statement.

“As a separate company, we are better positioned than ever to meet the evolving needs of our customers around the world.”

The HP Helion portfolio was announced in May 2014 with much fanfare, along with its pledge to invest $1bn over the next two years in open-source-based cloud technologies.

HP Helion and the hybrid cloud hype

Whitmans hybrid cloud declaration of commitment coincides with the news from HP about the general release of HP Helion CloudSystem 9.0, following its initial launch in June 2015.

The private cloud-enabling software package is geared towards helping users manage legacy, off- and on-premise workloads, and features the latest version of the HP Helion OpenStack infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offering.

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Users also have the added benefit of being able to tap into the platform-as-a-service (PaaS) HP Helion Development Platform, which is aimed at firms that want to develop their own cloud-native apps in-house.

Speaking to Computer Weekly about the release, Paul Morgan, Europe, Middle-East and Africa director for HP CloudSystem, said the latest iteration should help the firm capitalise on the success it’s already had with the product during its five years on the market.

“Five-and-a-half years ago we launched the cloud business unit and really recognised the value of having a dedicated unit for cloud. That’s when we launched CloudSystem and since then we’ve got 3,000 clients worldwide and the number one leadership position in private cloud,” he said.

The company’s commitment to helping users avoid supplier lock-in through its partnership with OpenStack has been a factor in this success, he added.

“What we heard from day one from customers is their concerns around vendor lock-in and the use of proprietary systems, and that’s what we’ve focused on addressing,” he added.

“Spending huge amount of time, resource and funding on something only to find it doesn’t work, and then having to write off that investment, is a huge concern for customers. So we’ve gone all-in on protecting them against that.”

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