HP Buying ActiveState's Stackato Cloud PaaS Product

The move brings in technology to complement HP's Helion Development Platform, which the company launched last fall.


Hewlett-Packard is growing its hybrid cloud portfolio through the acquisition of ActiveState Software's Stackato developer platform.

The two companies have partnered on cloud technologies since 2012, and HP officials have used the Stackato platform-as-a-service (PaaS) as part of HP's larger Helion cloud initiative, which they kicked off more than a year ago.

In October 2014, HP launched its Helion Development Platform, a PaaS offering based on the open-source Cloud Foundry technology aimed at giving customers a platform their developers can use to easily create, run and manage cloud applications by leveraging open APIs and a broad range of develop tools.

"Since launching the HP Helion Development Platform, we have seen increased interest and feedback from customers who want to do more with hybrid cloud," Bill Hilf, senior vice president of cloud and service management for HP, said in a post on the company blog.

That was the impetus behind the decision to buy ActiveState's Stackato product, Hilf wrote. It "gives HP a more complete cloud offering. Complementing the HP Helion Development platform, the technology helps customers bring applications to market more rapidly by reducing the amount of time spent on IT configuration."

Customer studies by ActiveState indicate that enterprise customers can deliver applications 30 times faster than what is the traditional development cycle, and do it for 90 percent less cost, he wrote.

The deal is expected to close in the fourth fiscal quarter, when Stackato and its development team will become part of HP Cloud, officials said.

HP over the past year has been building out the capabilities of its Helion portfolio as it grows its focus on the hybrid cloud environment, where businesses use a mix of on-premises private cloud products and access to public clouds from the likes of Amazon Web Services, Google and Microsoft.

The tech giant's public cloud efforts generated some confusion in April, when Hilf was quoted in a news article suggesting that HP was finding it difficult gaining traction in a market dominated by several large players, and that it was pulling back from that arena. It created a firestorm of media coverage, causing HP officials to issue a statement saying the company wasn't leaving the public cloud market.

"We run the largest OpenStack technology-based public cloud in the U.S.," they said in the statement. "This has to do with not competing head-to-head with the big public cloud players."

Soon afterward, Hilf made his own clarifying remarks in a blog post, saying that HP's "portfolio strategy to deliver on the vision of hybrid IT continues strong." He noted the work HP was doing not only in building its Helion Public Cloud but also in contributing to the open-source community, including OpenStack and Cloud Foundry. He also said the company was continuing to expand its capabilities in fully managed clouds.

"The bottom line is HP Helion offers customers choice across hybrid delivery models: public, managed (hosted), or private," Hilf wrote.

In his latest blog, he reiterated the importance of open-source technology, saying that "expanding our presence in the Cloud Foundry community is critical to our strategy of helping enterprises transition from traditional IT systems to a hybrid infrastructure."

The Helion effort also comes as HP prepares to break into two companies starting next month, with completion targeted at Nov. 1. The cloud business will go with Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, which will focus on everything from data center infrastructure to support and services, while the other new company—HP Inc.—will sell PCs and printers.