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HP launches Helion Network, forms cumulus of cloud services partners

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On the first day of the company's Discover 2014 conference, Hewlett-Packard launched the Helion Network, which is a worldwide open network that looks to usher in a new age of hybrid cloud services. 

The Helion Network aims to combine independent software sellers, developers and integrators with HP's cloud services, with partners that have already signed up the network including AT&T, Intel, HKT and Synapsis. These partners will resell HP Helion, and will cooperate with marketing initiatives while providing customers with several pricing models to access the service.

The Helion Network, which is based on the company's OpenStack Helion Cloud platform, will provide its members with a high-security open-standards network with data sovereignty, workload interoperability and high service quality all over the world with portability of work on and off the cloud.

As part of HP's bid to aggressively promote the Helion Network, the company is also providing increased contributions to Neutron, which is an Open Stack project that will provide network services. 

According to HP, the Helion Network will be "hardware agnostic," meaning that it is compatible with most operating systems among most kinds of devices. Users will also be able to connect to several other services while within the network.

Vice president of HP Cloud's go-to-market strategy Steven Dietch said that HP's partners in the Helion Network will have easier access to the OpenStack community, which is a contrast to rival Cisco's Intercloud system which relies on a third-party OpenStack distribution system. In addition, Cisco does not have much engagement with the OpenStack community. HP's Helion Network will also provide equal rights to all its members, when the role of partners in Cisco's Intercloud is still unclear.

Dietch adds that the initial focus of HP will be on securing service providers, which in turn will provide connections to enterprise customers.

Mike Strohl, the CEO of HP Platinum partner Entisys Solutions, sees the opportunity that the Helion Network presents.

"Now that I can expand my conversation with customers globally, my opportunities for sales and profits expands exponentially," Strohl said. "The combination of things that are happening with Helion are going to open up all kinds of opportunities from a sales, consulting and services perspective. The ability to create annuity-based services for my customers increases with this because Helion is a hybrid, on-premise and off-premise conversation that allows us to be more strategic with our customers." 

The company is planning to release a Helion Network pilot program in the fourth quarter of this year, along with HP's OpenStack-based cloud and development platform. 

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