HP has declared that its professional services unit charged with helping customers to implement an OpenStack-based cloud is operational, in preparation for the release of its own official OpenStack distribution.
Available from Thursday, HP Helion OpenStack Professional Services are being delivered by an experienced team of HP cloud experts, backed by hundreds of engineers who have already had experience operating HP's own Helion Public Cloud infrastructure, the firm said.
HP unveiled its Helion cloud portfolio back in May, nailing its colours firmly to the OpenStack mast with the release of its own HP Helion OpenStack Community edition and promising to deliver a commercial release before the end of the year, along with professional services for customers.
Now the full commercial Helion OpenStack distribution is due for release later this month, HP's business development executive for OpenStack Professional Services Simon Hassall told V3. As such, the firm is ensuring it has the support infrastructure in place to meet the expected customer demand.
"We needed to be good to go today, because when the product is released we are expecting to see mass downloads of it, and three out of four customers have already told us they will want help with their implementation," he said.
The HP Helion OpenStack Professional Services will use HP's traditional methodology of "advise, transform and manage", Hassall said.
This will mean supporting the customer with everything from initial assessment of requirements, through to proof-of-concept projects, implementation and then ongoing lifecycle management of their cloud deployment.
In other words HP will take responsibility for building and managing a customer's OpenStack cloud for them, until such time as the customer feels able to take direct control itself. Ubuntu developer Canonical unveiled a similar strategy earlier this week.
HP will support the customer with the appropriate deployment model for their needs, whether this is involves private (on-premise), public or hybrid cloud infrastructure, either new build or based on the assets they already have in place, according to Hassall.
"Most of our customers at the moment are saying they want to leave their existing legacy infrastructure and applications, and re-purpose some of their IT spend and put that into innovation and new applications that will help them get quicker time to market," he said.
HP has put in place a dedicated "centre of excellence", located near Galway in Ireland that will be responsible for delivering 24x7 customer support for HP Helion OpenStack customers, Hassall revealed.
"It really is a full soup-to-nuts OpenStack experience with the HP Helion OpenStack portfolio, he said.
HP's own Helion distribution is based on the latest Icehouse build of OpenStack, and HP has previously said it will keep up to date with releases as they come out of the OpenStack project itself.
However, Hassall was unable to confirm whether this meant customers would be automatically upgraded as new releases become available, or whether they could choose to remain on a stable configuration if they require this.
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