HP Unveils Smaller, Less Costly Helion Cloud Platform

The company, which is investing $1 billion in its cloud initiative, is continuing to grow the services offered under the Helion umbrella.


Hewlett-Packard is continuing to rapidly expand its cloud services offering under the Helion brand name, most recently rolling out a scaled-down version of its infrastructure-as-a-service offering.

HP this week unveiled Helion Managed Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) Lean, a cloud service that is aimed at midsize businesses and enterprises that are looking to move such jobs as application development, software testing and workplace collaboration onto managed IaaS environments.

Through the offering, organizations that might not have needed or could not afford the full Helion cloud services can get such benefits as low latency, compliance, high availability, various continuity options and regionalized cloud services, according to company officials.

"HP already offers a feature-rich industry-leading managed virtual private cloud offering for enterprise customers," Jim Fanella, vice president for workload and cloud at HP Enterprise Services, said in a statement. "The new HP Helion Managed VPC Lean now delivers a lower-priced alternative designed to enable clients to further optimize cloud workloads in the enterprise—while still providing superior, enterprise-class service and performance."

HP's Helion Managed VPC Lean offers a range of services, including compute clustering, virtualization and continuity. At the same time, there are some additional features, such as HP Management Services, additional backup and data retention capabilities, database-as-a-service, and management services around SAP's HANA in-memory systems.

Pricing for Helion Managed VPC Lean starts at $168 a month for a small virtual service configuration. In addition, HP offers a pilot trial service for organizations looking to certify an application to run in the cloud.

Cloud computing has become a key focus in the company's multi-year turnaround effort. HP, which was hit hard by the contraction in the global PC market, has been offering cloud services for several years, but in May announced the Helion platform that is based around HP's work with the OpenStack open-source cloud-management technology. At the same time, the company unveiled its own platform-as-a-service (PaaS) technology called the Helion Developer Platform.

When rolling out Helion, HP officials also announced that the company will spend $1 billion over the next two years for R&D around the cloud, Helion and OpenStack. With the Helion move, HP is looking to compete with the top-tier cloud service providers, such as Amazon Web Services, Google, Microsoft and Rackspace.

Since the initial Helion rollout, HP has been adding to the offerings, including a cloud platform for governments and another for managed storage.

CEO Meg Whitman, in a conference call in May with analysts and journalists to talk about the company's financial results in the first three months of the year, pointed to Helion as an example of HP's return to innovation and as a cornerstone of the vendor's plans to return to more solid financial footing.

"Helion is changing the game in cloud by allowing the integration of public, private, managed cloud and traditional IT environments on an open and secure platform," Whitman said. "We are addressing a major pain point for the enterprise customers with Helion, and the early interest has been very positive."

HP officials will unveil the latest quarterly financial numbers Aug. 20.