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Hewlett-Packard this week announced plans to invest more than $1 billion over the next two years on cloud-related product and engineering initiatives, professional services, and expanding the global reach of HP Helion, a new portfolio of cloud products and services. HP Helion is intended to help organizations build, manage, and consume workloads in hybrid IT environments.

It's a mix of existing HP cloud products and services, new OpenStack technology-based products, and professional support services all neatly packed into a unified portfolio. For those who are not familiar, OpenStack is a co-founded cloud computing project that's intended to provide a ubiquitous open source cloud computing platform for public and private customers.

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"Customer challenges today extend beyond cloud. They include how to manage, control and scale applications in a hybrid environment that spans multiple technology approaches," said Martin Fink, executive vice president and chief technology officer, HP. "HP Helion provides the solutions and expertise customers need to select the right deployment model for their needs and obtain the greatest return for their investment."

HP is including a bunch of new cloud products and services in its new HP Helion portfolio. One of the inclusions is the HP Helion OpenStack Community Edition, which is a commercial product line of OpenStack that is delivered, tested, and supported by HP. It's also free. HP envisions it being used for proofs of concepts, pilots, and basic production workloads.