HP Discusses Its New Helion OpenStack Cloud Strategy

 VIDEO: Hewlett-Packard's Bill Hilf explains the strategy and opportunity behind HP's Helion OpenStack cloud effort and how to make money from open-source software.

OpenStack cloud

Earlier this month, Hewlett-Packard announced its new $1 billion Helion Cloud effort as the company's own OpenStack cloud distribution. It's a move that redefines HP's approach to the cloud and how it plans to be a key player in the marketplace.

In a video interview with eWEEK, Bill Hilf, vice president of product management for HP Cloud, discusses how the Helion Cloud strategy was born and what it means to HP moving forward. Hilf is one of the key executives driving HP's cloud strategy forward and reports to Martin Fink, HP's CTO.

As part of HP's product portfolio for cloud, there are multiple components, including hardware, software and services. Having multiple products that can be sold to a potential customer is a key point of differentiation for Hilf in the way that HP will compete in the cloud marketplace.

"When it comes to business and monetization, I have lots of knobs; there are lots of ways I can monetize," Hilf said. "So we can price things at a certain price point because we know we have all these available ways to monetize the customer."

HP can sell customers any combination of software, hardware and/or professional services in order to generate cloud revenue. That ability to make money from multiple avenues is a lesson that Hilf said he learned years ago about how to be successful in open-source technology.

Helion is HP's distribution of the open-source OpenStack cloud platform. HP is one of the leading members of the OpenStack Foundation and competes against vendors large and small in the emerging market for OpenStack distributions.

"The more ways you have to monetize in a business model, the more successful you can be with open source," Hilf said.

Hilf explained that by having multiple paths to monetization, a vendor can be aggressive with its open-source contributions as it's not bound to make decisions keeping software proprietary as the only way to make money.

Watch the full video interview with Bill Hilf below:

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.