Hewlett Packard Enterprise has been aggressive in extending the tentacles of its GreenLake cloud-like IT consumption model since announcing the technology in mid-2018. Over the past 15 months or so, the giant tech vendor has stretched out into the public cloud via a collaboration with Google Cloud Platform through validated designs for hybrid clouds and offering a hybrid cloud for containers that can be delivered as a service through GreenLake.
HPE also in June unveiled an initiative to bring the consumption-based model to the midmarket and SMB space, including through preconfigured offerings that include compute, networking, storage, virtualization and software and based on the company’s SimpliVity infrastructure. Another part of the plan is to make GreenLake available to smaller businesses through Equinix and CyrusOne colocation firms, which can run GreenLake in their own datacenters. HPE also unveiled tools to make it easier for the channel – an important avenue for bringing GreenLake to enterprises that are not immense but still large – to sell GreenLake services.
The edge also is in play, with HPE offering a new network-as-a-service on GreenLake based on a range of networking offerings from the company’s Aruba Networks business, including WiFi, edge switching, and analytics.
At the HPE Discover show in June, the company announced an ambitious plan to deliver its entire portfolio as a service by 2022, essentially letting customers decide whether to pay for HPE products as they have for years or through the GreenLake model, paying only for the resources they use. To do that, the company will have to continue to expand the reach of GreenLake not only throughout its own product lineup but also into new markets and through its technology and channel partners.
At the VMworld 2019 show this week in San Francisco – an event where cloud took center stage – HPE took another step in that direction, announcing a partnership with VMware to integrate GreenLake and HPE’s Synergy composable infrastructure with VMware Cloud Foundation, an integrated cloud infrastructure that brings together compute, storage, networking, security and cloud management that enables enterprises to run workloads in both private and public clouds, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.
Now the tens of thousands of joint HPE-VMware customers can run VMware Cloud Foundation as a service on GreenLake. It’s illustrative of a core tenet of the everything-as-a-service-by-2022 push by HPE, that the effort will need to include technology partners as well, according to Paul Miller, vice president of marketing for converged data center infrastructure at HPE.
“It’s not only about our portfolio, but how we partner with our partners to deliver their technology also as a service,” Miller tells The Next Platform. “What we’ve been hearing from customers is they want the cloud experience with the cloud economics, the cloud agility, all that goodness delivered in their own datacenter. That’s what we have teamed with VMware to deliver. This is built on Synergy, which takes the value even higher. This is a fully managed hybrid cloud environment, so on premises and, if a customer uses [VMware] Cloud Foundation, we go to their favorite cloud. That really delivers a managed environment that we continually optimize and do the heavy lift for customers of managing the infrastructure, the software stack, etc.”
That’s what is driving the GreenLake effort, the idea of giving organizations a cloud-like experience that includes greater flexibility and agility, lower costs, paying for only what is used and not over-provisioning to cover spikes in demand, and having someone else worry deploying and managing the environment. In the case of VMware Cloud Foundation, enterprises can shift 40 percent of what they would normally spend on infrastructure purchasing and management to innovation, R&D and building products and services for customers, he says. It also drives down the total cost of ownership by 30 percent, with organizations leveraging Synergy to spin up and down resources based on demand.
GreenLake, which is under HPEs PointNext enterprises services unit, also comes from the realization that not every workload will run in the cloud. For various reasons, from the cost of reprogramming applications for the cloud or moving them between clouds to compliance or data protection issues, the world is settling into hybrid clouds. GreenLake is designed to enable IT environments that include both public clouds and on-premises infrastructures.
“I spend 50 percent of my time with customers and they are telling me at their scale of production workloads, it is cheaper for them to run it on-prem than off-prem,” HPE president and chief executive officer Antonio Neri said during a conference call this week to talk about the company’s fiscal Q3 financial results, which we covered separately here. “That said, they will put workloads in both places. And last but not least is the fact that they want to consume more and more as a service, and that’s the new reality.”
GreenLake isn’t HPE’s initial foray into consumption-like models. With Flex Capacity over the past decade, the company has enabled enterprises to pay for some ProLiant servers on a subscription basis. And it’s not the only vendor looking to give customers options on paying for technology. For example, Dell EMC has its own Flex on Demand infrastructure consumption services. However, GreenLake is gaining some momentum, according to HPE. The vendor has $2.5 billion under contract for GreenLake, with more than 600 customers. Orders in the most recent quarter were up 10 percent and the renewal rate is at 99 percent.
The opportunity for joint HPE and VMware customers is significant, Miller says.
“A lot of customers are telling us they can’t afford to re-platform, refactor and retool their current environment to go to the public cloud,” he says. “The expense of doing that is too much. With this solution, they get the cloud economics, they get to free up the resources, get this continually optimized environment where they’re only paying for the VMs [virtual machines] they use without having to change anything. Their existing environment, their existing tools, their data all stays in place and … that is one of the biggest values they see. They get the benefits of cloud without the expense of having to do any of that heavy lift on the application or data side. This as a big step forward for a large installed customer base today, whether it be HPE platforms or other platforms. We’re going to be aggressively taking this to market.”
HPE is running GreenLake on a variety of platforms, including SimpliVity and Superdome, Miller says. However, Synergy remains the core infrastructure for GreenLake.
“It enables customers to interface through the API – as we call it, infrastructure-as-code – to help them quickly deploy their workloads and applications,” he says. “Synergy provides a great economic base for us. When we think about moving into an as-a-service world, this unique IP, like Cloud Cruiser in GreenLake – which enables us to get this granularity of metering – but then building on Synergy, which allows the fluid resource pools to quickly spin up and spin down through a self-service model. Also, the efficiencies of Synergy [and] the ability to scale dynamically are extremely appealing. It is one of the foundational building blocks of our of our GreenLake offering.”
GreenLake’s metering and capacity management means the resources needed for workloads can deploy in minutes rather than months, cutting the amount of time to launch global IT products by 65 percent, according to HPE. Another tool, Right Mix Advisory, helps customers determine which workloads should move to the public cloud – and how best to migrate them – and which should remain on premises.
WHY HPE INFOSIGHT AND HPE SIMPLIVITY IS A GOOD THING FOR YOUR DATA CENTER
When implementing IT solutions, businesses often fail to consider how exactly these systems will work with one another. Seamless integration is essential, but not all solutions are well-equipped to work alongside each other. The data center landscape is constantly changing, as are the number of solutions available from virtualization to cloud to software-defined data center.
Several of Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s solutions offer effective integrations that promote efficiency, reliability, and scalability — all while dramatically reducing costs and time spent on upkeep and management. HPE InfoSight and SimpliVity, in particular, are NOW well-suited to use alongside one another — as we explain below:
WHAT IS HPE INFOSIGHT?
As HPE’s solution for managing infrastructure, InfoSight consists of a platform driven by artificial intelligence and capable of predicting potential problems long before they strike. The solution’s predictive analytics approach processes millions of data points constantly and from across information being fed into the system by companies worldwide. In fact, HPE Infosight eliminates most of the pain of managing your infrastructure alone by automatically predicting and resolving 86% of issues automatically. This allows for increased application availability and reduced costs, all while avoiding the typical headaches of manual log files and vendor issues.
Key steps involved in HPE InfoSight predictive analytics and machine learning process include:
- Observation involving a myriad of data points and sensors.
- Applying pattern recognition to data that has been collected from sensors on a variety of devices.
- Predicting future problems based on already observed patterns and early observation of emerging issues.
- Using artificial intelligence to recommend solutions capable of improving performance and preventing future issues.
- Driving greater efficiency via automated solutions.
President of Hybrid IT and Chief Sales Officer Phil Davis explains, “To scale and grow without bounds, HPE provides the hybrid cloud path for customers with advanced analytics and machine learning that removes the burden of managing infrastructure, enables digital transformation, and accelerates growth.” This transformation forms the cornerstone of HPE InfoSight.
WHAT IS HPE SIMPLIVITY?
Recently highlighted as the March 2019 Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice for hyperconverged infrastructure, HPE SimpliVity holds great promise. This hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) solution allows for streamlined deployment and management, while also ensuring the ultimate in scalability.
As its name implies, HPE SimpliVity seeks to simplify IT operations by promoting greater efficiency in the data center. With this solution, the entire IT stack is converged within each node, including storage, network and compute resources into a single platform.
What exactly are the Benefits of HPE SimpliVity? The following are a few of the most notable advantages of this hyperconverged infrastructure solution:
- Fully Integrated System – Combining resources into a single software-defined data center platform allows for simplicity.
- Rapid Deployment – With HPE SimpliVity, you can rapidly deploy and expand your environment with minimal effort.
- Data Protection – HPE SimpliVity RapidDR offers accelerated disaster recovery.
- Hardware Consolidation – With SimpliVity’s design, your data center requires less storage and physical space leading to lower operating costs.
- Security – Built in encryption is provided to ensure that sensitive data remains safe at all times.
- Cloud Ready – Flexible options for organizations looking to take further steps into a cloud environment.
WHY HPE INFOSIGHT AND HPE SIMPLIVITY ARE A POWERFUL COMBINATION
HPE recently made waves by announcing that powerful HPE Infosight would be combined with HPE SimpliVity to create a powerhouse offering in the data center. This is exciting news for business leaders and administrators, who can now harness the power of both solutions to significantly improve data center outcomes.
HPE InfoSight and HPE SimpliVity can prove formidable on their own, but these solutions are that much more powerful when combined. A multifaceted solution is always key when it comes to simplifying and automating your data center, and HPE has developed an ideal combination. While InfoSight was initially designed to accommodate Nimble Storage environments, then expanded to 3Par, its problem-detection capabilities can now be integrated into servers to promote greater visibility and problem-solving functionality. InfoSight’s strengths in predictive analytics can be applied to server environments to minimize maintenance issues or even increase security by monitoring problematic login attempts.
HPE Senior Vice President Bill Philbin believes that servers are a natural extension for HPE InfoSight’s capabilities. “Servers are the basic building block for all of the other solutions we are providing…solutions [such as SimpliVity] build upon the basic server building blocks.”
HOW THIS PARTNERSHIP WILL CREATE A BETTER DATA CENTER
HPE InfoSight is a natural fit for the data center environment. Predictive analytics can be called on to solve a myriad of problems that plague modern data centers and prompt both reduced efficiency and security concerns. Top applications offered through the genius integration of InfoSight and SimpliVity include:
- Forecasting an accurate timeline that can indicate when the physical capacity will be full.
- Determining which virtual machines consume the most resources.
- Identifying which virtual machines boast exceptional performance — and why.
- Observing and analyzing data centers and clusters via an easy-to-navigate dashboard.
- Receiving automated wellness alerts.
Ultimately, HPE InfoSight improves the streamlining and simplicity that HPE SimpliVity already promotes. VM administration, in particular, is easier to handle under this integrated approach. Administrators no longer need to waste precious time searching for necessary information or wondering when capacity will run out. InfoSight’s proactive approach is ideal in a data server environment in which reactivity is best avoided.
If you’re ready to make the most of a simplified data center made smarter with artificial intelligence and predictive analytics, HPE InfoSight and HPE SimpliVity may be just the ticket! Reach out to Comport to find out how you can leverage this new solution to reduce administration hassles, improve efficiency, and strengthen security.