​HPE backs off from OpenStack development

HPE still supports OpenStack in its Helion cloud program, but it's cutting way back on how much it's spending on helping create OpenStack.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

HPE has had a... curious cloud history. It's tried the public cloud, that failed. It's supported several different cloud platforms, and now, having been a major OpenStack cloud developer, it's backing off devoting major programming resources to OpenStack.


HPE will still support OpenStack, it just won't help that much in developing it.

Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Mind you, OpenStack is still offering and supporting the OpenStack cloud under the Helion brand. Indeed, HPE just released the latest version of its Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud, Helion OpenStack 4.0.

But, even as Mark Interrante, HPE's senior vice president of cloud, announced at the release announcement at OpenStack Summit in Barcelona, Spain, "OpenStack has become mainstream," everyone knew HPE had laid off most of its OpenStack development team.

Mark Shuttleworth, Canonical and Ubuntu's founder, said "HPE has laid off their entire OpenStack team, those were the guys who were pushing Ironic, Trove, and Heat." These are three important OpenStack components.

Earlier, it became public that HPE had laid off most of the staff behind Stackato, HPE's Docker-based Platform-as-a-Service.

Stackato itself is being sold to SUSE. The Linux company, in turn, is owned by Micro Focus. HPE is also spinning off/merging its non-core software assets with Micro Focus. What does it all look like when this corporate game of musical chairs is done?

Well, according to Sarwar Raza, HPE's VP of Network Function Virtualization (NFV), "HPE will still have OpenStack engineers." But, SUSE will be taking the lead in OpenStack Helion development. In short, "The only thing that's changing is where all the bits are coming from. Helion is still our private cloud offering."

In particular, Helion has done well for HPE in the teleco market. Telecommunication operators are finding OpenStack suits their needs well for software-defined networking (SDN).

But, what does that mean for Stackato, Ironic, Trove, Heat, and the HPE software engineers who worked on them? Good question.

SUSE executives said they were looking for more engineers. As for the projects, well, maybe we don't need an OpenStack specific database-as-a-service, Trove. But, Heat, an orchestration program, and Ironic, OpenStack on bare metal, those strike me as being a wee bit more important.

Related Stories:

Editorial standards