LAS VEGAS: HP has launched a partner network for its Helion OpenStack-based cloud platform, calling on service providers and resellers to sign up to develop and sell HP's vision of the cloud as a hybrid, open-standard platform.
The Helion Network is a global open network of service providers, ISVs, developers, channel partners and system integrators, all able to develop on HP's open cloud platform and resell hybrid cloud products.
Partners signing up to the Helion Network will benefit from new revenue streams via differentiated products based on HP technology, the ability to sell other cloud products developed via Helion, and sales and marketing support, according to HP.
Speaking at the HP Discover event in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Steve Dietch, the firm's vice president of Cloud Go-To-Market, explained that the network move is HP's acceptance that it is better to team with others when working in the cloud.
"Not only do we want to deliver a public cloud experience where we learn how to run OpenStack at scale, and also provide a private and a managed world, we want to bring the rest of the service provider community and the partner community along with us for that ride," Dietch said.
"One of the things that HP has learned, is it doesn't matter how big you are, you can't do it all."
Helion Network partners so far include Intel, AT&T and BT. Customers can choose the cloud provider they prefer from the partner network rather than having to deal directly with HP. HP plans to launch a pilot programme of the network in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Jon Summers, senior vice president for growth platforms at AT&T, said that the telco's decision to sign up to the HP network came on the back of customer concerns about security and reliability.
"As customers move workloads from on-premise to the cloud, there are significant issues around security and reliability. They want predictability," he explained.
To help assuage these customer concerns, AT&T developed Netbond, an integrated global cloud solution that offers encrypted data and class of service.
"We're going to deploy Helion with Netbond and explore more opportunities to expand it across Helion," Summers said.
"We're transforming the network into a cloud model. We've exposed the control point of the network as an API, allowing the customer to orchestrate and provision the network based on dynamic workload requirements."
HP unveiled its Helion platform on 7 May, and since then it has had over 1,000 downloads of the free distribution. The Helion brand is the fruit of HP's ambitious $1bn plan to unify all its cloud services under a single architecture.
HP faces competition in the cloud not only from public cloud giants like Google and Amazon, and enterprise players like VMware, but from firms like IBM and Cisco, which are offering similar OpenStack-based services.
Cisco announced its own $1bn investment in cloud services in March, and has teamed with partners like Ingram Micro and Logicalis for its efforts.
Meanwhile IBM recently launched CloudManager with OpenStack, which includes full access to Icehouse, the latest version of the open-standards platform.
As well as appearing in its own right as an application available for download from the IBM store, CloudManager can be bought as part of a package along with the recently announced IBM Power Systems server range.
Also at Discover, HP launched Helion OpenStack Commercial Edition, a version aimed at enterprises that want a higher level of security and reliability than offered by the current free model.
The new edition is a commercial-grade deployment of OpenStack technology that simplifies installation, and offers resiliency thorough code reviews, scalability, manageable plugins and releases every six weeks.
The commercial edition can scale across 40,000-plus VMs. A preview version is available now, with full launch set for the autumn.
The cloud service is sold on a subscription basis, priced at $1,400 per year per server, with no commitment and multi-year and volume discounts available, starting at 50 nodes.
The current community edition is free, but firms can buy support at $900 per year per server.
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