In a question in the Spanish Language site about the origin of Spanish hola 'hello', one of the answers states that Old English ēalās, written ēalā before a name, already sounded quite similar to hola, and was used as an equivalent to our current hello. The user states that ēalā freond means hello friend. But the only example I can find of those words is in the Wessex Gospels:
Ða cwæð se hælend to hym. Eala freond to hwam be-come þu. Ða geneahlacten hyo & þanne hælend ge-namen.
This is from Matthew 25, 50:
And Jesus said unto him, Friend, do that for which thou art come. Then they came and laid hands on Jesus, and took him.
Given the context, I would say that ēalās means something closer to the current alas, and not hello. In fact, ēalās and alas are much more similar than ēalās and hola.
Etymonline actually states that Modern English hello comes from hallo, an aliteration of holla, which came from French holà (akin to Spanish hola) and does not refer to ēalās. In the same web, the only reference to eala from Old English is in the entry for oh.
So, did Old English ēalās mean hello? Or was it used as the current alas? Or did it mean something completely different?