Amazon Web Services Helps HP Inc. Power Its Personal System Services


HP Inc. was formerly known as Hewlett-Packard (HP), HP Inc.was founded in 1939 with headquarters in California, USA, technology company with businesses covering IT infrastructures, global services, commercial and home computers, and print and image services. HP owns business entities worldwide, including HP Information Technology R&D (Shanghai) Co., Ltd., which focuses on HP printers and personal systems. Its software R&D department, tasked to develop a unified service platform for HP’s personal system software (PSSW), plans to deploy the HP Horizon Platform on Amazon Web Services.

Better Supporting the Application Departments

HP Horizon Platform is a brand-new platform designed to provide secure and stable support for HP’s PCs and business computers services. It is capable of general functions such as login, user management, and message management, as well as IT infrastructure support that helps application departments sharpen their focus on business logic and launch better product faster.

HP Horizon Platform’s users primarily are HP’s application R&D departments and end users. On the platform, the application R&D departments develop applications for laptops, business computers, VR headsets, and other hardware products. When the applications are launched, the platform serves their users, or HP’s end users. To satisfy the needs of these two types of users, HP Horizon Platform has to fulfill the following technical requirements: first, serviceability. This is crucial as the platform supports a wide range of applications and some of them register a large number of, even millions of, users. Second, security. This involves both system security and data security. Third, automated scaling up/down to support the ever-increasing applications. To address these requirements, the HP Horizon Platform R&D team has set a line criteria for the underlying IT infrastructure, covering globalized technology stacks, service-level agreement (SLA), disaster recovery, network segmentation, defense against DDoS attacks, auto-scaling, and log tracking, auditing, and alarming in the event of application errors. And Amazon Web Services fits all these criteria.

Amazon EKS and other Amazon Web Services simplify our Kubernetes cluster management. We are able to build a fully-functioning container ecosystem and provide a secure, stable, and efficient platform to support the application systems of our business departments.”

XU Xiaofeng

Infrastructure Manager, HP

Why Amazon Web Services

As a platform designed to provide integrated support for business departments, HP Horizon Platform relies on the microservice architecture to offer general services like login/authentication and user management. It saves application developers from repeated development of these basic functions. It provides unified tools to liberate the application developers from service deployment and maintenance and concentrate on project-specific needs. To do this, the platform requires the underlying cloud that is based on globalized technology stacks and delivers functioning, flexible, and scalable services. “Amazon Web Services offers a wealth of cloud services, and SLA provides high level of technological commitments for each of these services,” said XU Xiaofeng, O&M Manager at HP. “The multi-region and multi-AZ solutions enable easier disaster recovery of system. In particular, Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) simplifies Kubernetes cluster management. With Amazon Web Services’ rich combination of best practices and prompt and efficient support and services, we can tackle all kinds of problems fast.”

To support the business departments and their applications, HP Horizon Platform relies on the best practices of Amazon Web Services for architectural design. Its design, subnet division, and security group deployment are based on Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC), thus assuring platform security. Benefitted from Amazon Web Services’ multi-AZ solution, the platform delivers high availability. It deploys Kubernetes clusters and back-end services on Amazon EKS. The HP Horizon Platform R&D team initially deploy Kubernetes clusters, the mainstream container management platform, on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). Increasing clusters add to the O&M burden for cluster deployment, upgrade, security, and application integration. To help lighten the O&M workload, Amazon Web Services’ architects and in-house container experts had rounds of discussions with the R&D team to introduce the advantages of Amazon EKS, including the simpler management and O&M brought by managed services, full compatibility with the community version of Kubernetes, community empowerment, and Amazon EKS’s integration with other cloud-native Amazon Web Services. “When we learn the functionalities and usage of Amazon EKS, we are sure that it is the best solution for us to run Kubernetes clusters on Amazon Web Services,” said CAO Bing, an O&M architect at HP. In March 2020, the HP Horizon Platform R&D team migrated all Kubernetes clusters from Amazon EC2 to Amazon EKS, and the migration took only one month. Figure 1 shows HP Horizon Platform architecture on Amazon Web Services. Amazon Web Services used include Amazon EC2, Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), Amazon EKS, Amazon Elastic Container Registry (ECR), Amazon CloudWatch, Amazon CloudTrail, and more.

Figure 1: HP Horizon Platform Architecture on Amazon Web Services

Empowering a Well-Functioning Kubernetes Ecosystem

The HP Horizon Platform R&D team has also benefitted a lot from working with Amazon Web Services. They accumulated rich experience in Kubernetes operation to build a functioning Kubernetes ecosystem. Drawing from the experience of building HP Horizon Platform, which is secure, highly available, and scalable, the team is technological empowered to support the application systems of other business departments in terms of massive application container deployment, cluster monitoring and management, high availability and elasticity, continuous integration and deployment, and Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC).

About HP

Founded in 1939 with headquarters in California, USA, Hewlett-Packard (HP) is a technology company with businesses covering IT infrastructure, global services, business computers, PCs, and print and image services.

Why Amazon Web Services

  • Rich combination of functions, flexibility, and scalability
  • Globalized technology stacks
  • Superb technical support

Amazon Web Services used

Amazon EKS

Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) makes it easy to deploy, manage, and scale containerized applications using Kubernetes on Amazon Web Services.

Amazon VPC

Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) lets you provision a logically isolated section of the Amazon Web Services Cloud where you can launch Amazon Web Services resources in a virtual network that you define.

Amazon RDS

Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) makes it easy to set up, operate, and scale a relational database in the cloud. 

Amazon ECR

Amazon Elastic Container Registry (ECR) is a fully-managed Docker container registry that makes it easy for developers to store, manage, and deploy Docker container images. 

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