The cloud ecosystem is changing rapidly, with cloud management standards and industry alliances springing up to serve the needs of enterprise customers.
Organisations seeking to expand their cloud strategies are searching for suppliers who can offer a safe house when it comes to protecting their existing cloud investments and delivering a technology roadmap to support their wider move into the cloud.
Companies also need standardised cloud architectures and business continuity and security services that meet industry standards for data protection.
This HP whitepaper looks at how the HP Helion cloud offering is evolving to deliver the technology, cloud support and security needs of enterprises.
HP Helion Network
When migrating apps and services into the cloud, organisations need not only a good cloud management platform but good support from their cloud provider.
HP already provides the good cloud management through its industry-standard HP Helion Openstack platform and other products such as HP Helion CloudSystem, and now it is turning up its cloud support abilities with its HP Helion Network.
HP Helion Network is a global alliance of service providers and partners offering a broad portfolio of open standards-based cloud services and support to enterprise customers. It provides them with extensive geographic reach and the means to meet the full range of any in-country or cross-border requirements - for instance, to help address data continuity or data compliance needs.
The HP Helion Network is being built on enterprise-grade, OpenStack-based distributed cloud computing. It is focused on an ecosystem of ISVs/developers, system integrators and channel partners. And it aims to accelerate innovation, enable workload portability and create the optimal mix of on- and off-premises cloud services.
As part of this effort, HP Helion OpenStack is the cost-effective, open source, scale-out cloud management platform that provides everything an organisation needs for success in the cloud, from enterprise reliability and advanced security to simplified management and a rich application platform.
HP Helion OpenStack delivers a common standardised architecture across private, public and hybrid clouds, making it easier to develop and deploy complex, native cloud applications in multi-vendor infrastructure environments.
Stephen Spector is an HP cloud evangelist promoting HP Helion OpenStack-based clouds for hybrid, public and private clouds. He says: “As enterprises look to increase agility, speed innovation and lower costs, they’re looking to IT to not only support this effort but to help shape it.
"To make this happen IT teams need to ensure that enterprise applications are deployed to the right platform or destination based on service level requirements.
“These requirements often include performance, latency, cost and privacy needs and must be accomplished in the most effective and efficient manner. This is where the value of hybrid cloud comes in – where applications are deployed in a private, managed or public cloud environment depending on the specific needs of that particular application.”
With the Helion Network in mind, Spector adds: “Imagine having the ability to create your enterprise-grade hybrid IT environment by leveraging a powerful network of service providers.
"Imagine this being a global, open standards-based network of service providers that will provide enterprise customers with a portfolio of hybrid cloud services - to accelerate innovation, enable workload portability, and deliver open standards-based cloud services to meet the full range of an enterprise's in-country and cross-border requirements.” This is the HP Helion Network, says Spector.
The HP Helion Network will be rolled out in two phases. The first phase, slated to begin mid-2015, is focused on service providers standardising on HP Helion OpenStack and enterprise customers procuring cloud services directly from HP Helion Network service provider members and/or via HP channel partners.
The second phase, expected to begin in 2016, is intended to build on Phase 1 to create a federated ecosystem of open standards-based cloud platforms that enables service providers to seamlessly resell each other’s services. Members will be able to enhance their own portfolio, geographic reach, and revenue generating opportunities.
The second phase will allow enterprise customers to discover, provision, and manage a global cloud services portfolio via a single Helion Network service provider member and/or channel partner.
This will provide customers with an expanded portfolio of cloud services to meet both local and global needs, to address issues such as data privacy and data sovereignty.
HP is also expanding the number of data centres it's HP Helion cloud services are available from to address performance and security needs. In business continuity for instance, HP Helion Continuity Service - a disaster-recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) offering in the cloud – will now be available from many more HP data centres.
HP says its Helion DRaaS offering can improve data recovery times by up to 90 per cent, reduce data loss by up to 95 per cent, and can save 15 per cent to 50 per cent in costs through its cloud-based as-a-service pricing model.
The service was previously delivered through HP data centres in the state of Georgia, US and Reading, Berkshire in the UK. To improve availability of the DRaaS service and help meet regional regulatory requirements, HP has expanded the number of data centres the service is available through.
It is now offered from data centres in Toronto, Boston and Colorado (for US public sector data) in North America, and Milan and Melbourne.
When it comes to overall cloud security concerns, HP also works with the industry-backed Cloud Security Alliance to help re-assure organisations that the cloud systems they are using come up to the mark.
The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) sees major cloud providers submit reports to a registry of cloud security controls.
The CSA Security, Trust and Assurance Registry (STAR) is a free and publicly accessible registry that documents the security controls provided by various cloud computing offerings.
Potential cloud users often require STAR reports as part of their procurement process, so HP can meet that demand.