​HP shuts up public Cloud shop as AWS, Google and Microsoft competition intensifies

Tech giant to shut down HP Helion Public Cloud in a matter of months.

HP will shut down its HP Helion Public Cloud in a matter of months, as the tech giant struggles to compete head-on with industry rivals Amazon Web Services, Google and Microsoft.

The move follows years of HP downplaying around its public Cloud offering, with the final nail in the coffin expected to be hammered on January 31, 2016 - when the company will “sunset” the product.

“As we have before, we will help our customers design, build and run the best cloud environments suited to their needs - based on their workloads and their business and industry requirements,” says Bill Hilf, SVP and General Manager, HP Cloud - via a company blog post.

As the industry big three - AWS, Google and Microsoft - continue to dominate, HP’s exit from public Cloud is no great surprise, following strong criticism that HP Helion is too small and unfocused to make serious market inroads.

“Over the past several years, HP has built its strategy on the idea that a hybrid infrastructure is the future of enterprise IT,” Hilf said. “In doing so, we have committed to helping our customers seamlessly manage their business across traditional IT and private, managed or public Cloud environments, allowing them to optimise their infrastructure for each application’s unique requirements.”

According to Hilf, the market for hybrid infrastructure is “evolving quickly”.

“Today, our customers are consistently telling us that in order to meet their full spectrum of needs, they want a hybrid combination of efficiently managed traditional IT and private Cloud, as well as access to SaaS applications and public Cloud capabilities for certain workloads,” he explains.

“In addition, they are pushing for delivery of these solutions faster than ever before.”

With these customer needs in mind, Hilf says the company has made the decision to “double-down on our private and managed Cloud capabilities.”

“For Cloud-enabling software and solutions, we will continue to innovate and invest in our HP Helion OpenStack platform,” he adds.

“HP Helion OpenStack has seen strong customer adoption and now runs our industry leading private cloud solution, HP Helion CloudSystem, which continues to deliver strong double-digit revenue growth and win enterprise customers.”

On the Cloud services side, Hilf says HP will focus its resources on its Managed and Virtual Private Cloud offerings.

“These offerings will continue to expand, and we will have some very exciting announcements on these fronts in the coming weeks,” he adds.

Public Cloud

At present, Hilf acknowledges that public Cloud remains an important part of HP customers’ hybrid Cloud strategies - as the lines continue to blur between cloud manifestations.

“Customer tell us that they want the ability to bring together multiple cloud environments under a flexible and enterprise-grade hybrid cloud model,” Hilf adds.

“In order to deliver on this demand with best-of-breed public cloud offerings, we will move to a strategic, multiple partner-based model for public cloud capabilities, as a component of how we deliver these hybrid cloud solutions to enterprise customers.”

To support this new model, HP will continue to “aggressively grow our partner ecosystem” and integrate different public cloud environments.

“To enable this flexibility, we are helping customers build cloud-portable applications based on HP Helion OpenStack and the HP Helion Development Platform,” Hilf adds.

For customers who want access to existing large-scale public cloud providers, Hilf says HP has already added greater support for Amazon Web Services as part of its hybrid delivery with HP Helion Eucalyptus, while also working with Microsoft to support Office 365 and Azure.

“We also support our PaaS customers wherever they want to run our Cloud Foundry platform - in their own private clouds, in our managed cloud, or in a large-scale public cloud such as AWS or Azure,” he adds.

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For Hilf - in trying to dress up the exit - all of these are key elements in helping HP customers transform into a hybrid, multi-cloud IT world.

“We will continue to innovate and grow in our areas of strength, we will continue to help our partners and to help develop the broader open cloud ecosystem, and we will continue to listen to our customers to understand how we can help them with their entire end-to-end IT strategies,” he adds.

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