HP reveals Helion, its US$1bn bet to take on Amazon, Microsoft and Google

7 May 2014

Hardware and software giant HP is setting out to recapture lost ground in the cloud computing space with Helion, the code name for a plan to reveal new services based on OpenStack that will compete with on-demand cloud services from Amazon, Microsoft and Google.

HP describes Helion as a portfolio of cloud products and services that enable companies to build and manage workloads across hybrid IT environments.

The move is overdue and necessary.

While HP has been dealing with various corporate shenanigans over recent years, from replacing CEOs, backtracking on decisions, to jettisoning an entire PC division and scuppering its own plans to be a player in smartphone land, its focus on cloud appeared diminished alongside more aggressive efforts by Google, Amazon, IBM, Microsoft and Apple.

And let’s not forget feisty young players, such as Dropbox, Box and RackSpace, who are ably meeting the requirement for storage and business services on demand.

Beyond the cloud

Helion is based on HP’s OpenStack technology and spans traditional IT, public, private and managed clouds.

HP plans to invest more than US$1bn over the next two years on cloud-related product and engineering initiatives and on expanding its global reach into on-tap infrastructure.

“Customer challenges today extend beyond cloud,” said Martin Fink, HP’s chief technology officer.

“They include how to manage, control and scale applications in a hybrid environment that spans multiple technology approaches.

“HP Helion provides the solutions and expertise customers need to select the right deployment model for their needs and obtain the greatest return for their investment.”

The deployment is a considerable one when you think that HP owns and operates more than 80 data centres in 27 countries and plans to provide OpenStack-based public cloud services in 20 data centres worldwide over the next 18 months.

You know what they say, never awaken a sleeping giant …

Cloud networking image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years