HP Launches Version 2.0 Of Its Helion OpenStack Platform

It’s no secret that HP is about to sunset its public cloud business and that it has conceded that side of its business to the likes of AWS, Microsoft and Google. Instead, the company is now focusing on its private and hybrid cloud business. When it comes to private clouds, OpenStack is currently the only real option and with Helion OpenStack, HP has offered its own OpenStack platform for about a year now. Today, the company announced the launch of version 2.0 of this commercial and enterprise-grade distribution.

As Mark Interrante, HP’s senior vice president of HP Cloud, told me, HP’s move away from its public cloud businesses means that the team can now double down on its private and hybrid cloud efforts. “This means more focus for us. It means we can build the best private cloud for our customers and make  sure that we can really accelerate our hybrid management and the hybrid nature of our cloud,” he said.

Helion OpenStack 2.0 is based on the OpenStack ‘Kilo’ release. While the OpenStack project is already one release ahead of HP (with the release of Liberty earlier this month), it’s standard procedure in the OpenStack world to be somewhat conservative with adopting new releases. This new version includes all of the new features of the Kilo release, but also adds a number of new HP-specific features.

As Interrante told me, HP’s team takes the vanilla OpenStack release and then curates it, sets sane defaults for the configuration, and hardens the security of the platform against internal and external attacks. In addition, the team also backports some of the bug fixes from the newer releases when possible, though it doesn’t backport any new features.

Thanks to the advances in the Kilo release and HP’s own work, Helion OpenStack 2.0 now offers features like rolling upgrades without downtime, continuous patch management without application interruptions, and an improved administrator interface with centralized logging and monitoring features. Version 2.0 now also adds new networking features through its integrations with HP’s Distributed Cloud Networking service for managing distributed data center environments. Helion OpenStack 2.0 also supports Nuage Networks’ Virtualized Services Platform.

In addition, HP also adds features like an installer with a user interface, a load balancer, firewall and VPN as a service to the platform. HP also now adds its own ops console, which helps operators monitor and better understand the state of their clouds.

As Interrante and his team noted, HP’s customers don’t want to completely customize their setups. Instead, they want to configure them. Using the new Helion Lifecycle Management service, for example, they can create their cloud layouts and then replay these installs with small tweaks as necessary.

HP says it currently has 210 engineers who are contributing to OpenStack, including eight Project Team Leads (who lead the development of OpenStack’s various sub-projects) and three members of the project’s Technical Committee.