What is most valuable?
We're looking for an open stack platform. The whole HPE wraparound support and everything that we can get with an open source project is what we are looking at.
Helion Being backed by a vendor (HPE) rather than vanilla openstack gives us a little more confidence that the product is now at a level of maturity where we are happy to start consuming open technologies.
How has it helped my organization?
The cost is really a big benefit. It gives us an extra string to our bow. We run quite a big hosted-enterprise solution for customers on the network, and I think Helion will give us another opportunity to sell more to them.
We're still in a POC at the minute, so time will tell whether it improves the way my organization functions.
What needs improvement?
Some improvements I think are needed are greater stability and more up to date packages. The Ceph Cluster components that we've been looking at are still in the previous Hammer release. We were expecting the next release to be pretty much in line with it; at least not more than one behind. They're a couple behind at the minute. Maybe a better track to the upstream software would be good.
With this obviously being an elastic type solution, the initial setup time seems to be taking a lot longer than we expected.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
We've been in the POC phase for quite a while, since I think version 1. With each release we get more stability. Hopefully things will continue.
How is customer service and technical support?
We speak to the teams that are helping us out with the POC that we're running. We do speak to the technical support teams every so often. It's a working relationship at the minute.
Which solutions did we use previously?
We were not using any previous solutions. We just needed some kind of flexible offering. With being a HPE partner, we thought Helion was the way to go.
How was the initial setup?
I wasn't involved with the initial setup. One of my other colleagues has been running with it. Obviously we keep a bit of an eye to make sure that everything's going the right direction. I do know that it was very complex. We were trying to leverage it in a custom way and I think out of the box, it may be easier. I think making any small tweaks and changes upset things. That's where the complication came in.
What other advice do I have?
Give it a go. Maybe look at other upstream vendors, maybe. Obviously with the announcement that Helion's going across to SUSE now, hopefully that development train will accelerate and things will stay more in line with the open upstream.
When choosing a vendor, cost is obviously important. What sort of support we can get from that vendor is also important, as well as a good working relationship.
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My company is an HPE partner.
Dec 13 2016