Hewlett-Packard Co has recently revealed plans to invest more than $1 billion US over the next two years to offer cloud-computing services and products. HP follows the lead of competitor IBM with OpenStack, which is a public-based cloud service which will be rolled out over the next two years. The service will be offered under the brand name of Helion, which will now include the current cloud-based products, new services at the enterprise level, and support for businesses to build and manage hybrid IT environments in the cloud.
Several new services and products that have been introduced as part of the Helion’s launch will include a free platform in the cloud to handle basic production workloads. In the coming months a commercial version, targeting global enterprises and providers, will be released.
Helion will also offer cloud-based professional services, from a community consisting of engineers, HP’s consultants and technical personnel, to help customers with the planning, implementation, and operation of their businesses.
The development platform will offer IT departments the opportunity to develop, deploy and manage cloud-based applications, and an indemnification program will protect qualified users from infringement claims. The move to release and further develop OpenStack-based free software will see Hewlett-Packard join the ranks of other computer companies such as Oracle and Red Hat who already offer Cloud-based hosting services.
Open Stack is a non-profit, collaborative effort that includes companies such as HP, NASA, Intel, and IBM hosting giant Rackspace. The group aims to support interoperability among the providers of cloud services and the offers the free open-source cloud computing platform under the Apache 2.0 license.
HP has been offering OpenStack cloud services for the last three years and currently operates more than 80 data centers in 27 countries around the globe. Martin Fink, chief technology officer and Vice President at HP, says that Helion will provide the expertise that customers need in making the right choices of the correct models for their needs, and should also provide better returns for their investments.
The announcement that HP will invest more than $1 billion in cloud-based computing services comes less than one week after the company signed a deal with The Foxconn Technology group of Taiwan. The company will make the servers for the companies that provide the cloud computing services.
For many companies that are strapped for cash, or do not have the resources to maintain or operate full IT departments, cloud computing can be a very suitable alternative. Even some of the larger companies have found a cost-effective alternative by using computer resources provided by companies such Google and Amazon. The area is expected to become competitive as Google and Amazon continue to reduce their prices and many other providers become involved.
Other competitors in the space include Cisco Systems, who recently announced plans to provide cloud computing services by pledging to invest $2 billion over the next two years. The world’s biggest software company, Microsoft, has also announced plans to increase cloud-based storage capacity by 4000 percent.
With the costs of storage dropping dramatically, it is easy to envision why companies such as HP are willing to invest more than $1 billion in cloud computing services. Recent surveys suggest that impact of the technology can exceed $6 trillion in 2025, with the market for cloud-based services topping $5 trillion.
By Dale Davidson