Since launching GreenLake in 2018 and promising that all of its portfolio would be available as services by next year, Hewlett Packard Enterprise has been on a sprint to build up the capabilities of the platform. That has only accelerated since Antonio Neri took over as CEO in the wake of the initial GreenLake announcements.
In May 2020, the company brought in Keith White – a longtime Microsoft executive who had been integral to helping that company build out its Azure public cloud – to oversee the creation of a cloud services group based on GreenLake to give enterprises as consistent cloud-like experience regardless of where their data sat – in the cloud, in the datacenter or out at the edge.
A month later HPE unveiled a dozen new cloud services and launched Ezmeral, creating a home for its broad array of software within the GreenLake environment and a way to address such modern workloads as container orchestration and management, artificial intelligence and machine learning, data analytics and MLOps, which is essentially using machine learning for IT operations.
Since then, HPE has brought its range of high-performance computing (HPC) software and hardware into GreenLake’s orbit and soon added an expanded storage-as-a-service initiative that included technologies from its own portfolio as well as that of its networking arm, Aruba Networks. In June came Lighthouse, a cloud-native infrastructure platform to simplify the process for organizations to configure and run workload-optimized configurations, and Project Autora, a zero-trust architecture for the cloud.
“We’ve actually done a pretty large and a pretty significant operating model shift over the last over the last two months where we have taken all of the assets that we had, which from a GreenLake perspective were all the software assets and all these services assets, that help us bring these clouds to our customers – whether it’s in their datacenters, whether it’s [colocation facilities], whether it’s edge locations – all together under one platform,” Vishal Lall, senior vice president and general manager of GreenLake cloud services at HPE, said during a recent virtual press conference.
HPE took another step in that direction with the recent unveiling of another round of services for GreenLake that includes the vendor’s expansion into the fast-growing software markets of unified analytics and data protection – and an Edge-to-Cloud Adoption Framework that includes automation tools and methodologies to make it easier for enterprises to embrace a cloud experience throughout its environment, including the datacenter and the edge.
The latest services help expand the services organizations can get through GreenLake and help HP in what is becoming a highly competitive as-a-service space. Rivals like Dell Technologies (with Apex), Lenovo with TruScale and Cisco Systems with Cisco Plus all are pushing to offer much if not all of their portfolios as a service – part of their larger years-long shift from sellers of boxes to providers of software and services.
That said, HPE is seeing growing success with GreenLake. In reporting its most recent quarterly numbers, the company said that it has more than 1,200 customers and $5.2 billion in total contract value, and that its annualized revenue run rate had grown 33 percent year-over-year. In addition, as-a-service orders were up 46 percent, with such wins as Woolworths Group – the largest retailer in Australia and New Zealand – and the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA).
Unsurprisingly, data is central to what HPE is doing with GreenLake.
“What we’re trying to do is provide customers with unmatched capabilities to power their digital transformation, modernization and greater monetization efforts for all their apps and data, no matter where they live – in a datacenter, in a colo or at the edge,” White, senior vice president and general manager of GreenLake, said during a virtual press conference. “They’re making a lot of decisions today and they have data spread out all over the place. Getting ahead in their market really requires deriving insights from their data. This takes modernizing their environments, running a modern data platform and running analytics on top of that. For many of our customers, the data actually sits outside of the public cloud. Today, for many reasons, we hear about data latency, gravity and, frankly, pretty expensive egress charges from the public cloud vendors. Helping our customers modernize and make the most out of their data – organize it, unify it, rationalize it against all the locations and then analyze it – represents a really large opportunity.”
The Edge-to-Cloud Adoption Framework is designed to help organizations accelerate their embrace of hybrid cloud strategies by adopting a more modern operating model. As shown below, the framework includes eight domains ranging from operations and innovation to DevOps, data and security. Each domain includes a number of sub-domains and the entire framework focuses on three key areas: organizational structure, the operating model and data analytics.
Organizations can assess maturity levels across the domains, benchmark against peers and gives enterprises a common language to operate with. As part of this, HPE is adding new cloud-like services for on-premises environment. This includes Ezmeral Unified Analytics, which includes a scale-up data lakehouse platform optimized for Apache Spark that is deployed on premises and reaches into the cloud and edge. HPE said the service will offer 35 percent more cost efficiencies than the public cloud in long-running data-intensive, mission-critical jobs.
The service gives enterprises a single platform for managing a range of data types, from file and tables to streams and objects.
The Ezmeral Data Fabric Object Storage is a Kubernetes-native object store to improve the performance of analytics workloads and provide access to data sets in the cloud and at the edge. It combines an S3 object store – it’s designed with a native S3 API – file, streams and databases into a single data platform and is available on bare metal infrastructure and Kubernetes deployments.
HPE also is getting into a data protection-as-a-service space that is forecasted to grow from $7.61 billion last year to almost $19 billion by 2026 as the trend toward cloud services continues to ramp and the frequency and scale of cyberattacks – particularly ransomware – expand.
The Backup and Recovery Service on GreenLake includes policy-based orchestration capabilities, automation to backup and protection of virtual machines throughout the hybrid cloud. GreenLake for Disaster Recovery comes on the heels of HPE’s $374 million acquisition of Zerto, a cloud-based data management and protection technologies provider. The goal is to enable enterprises to recover from a ransomware attack within minutes and without a significant impact on business operations.
HPE also is ensuring that Zerto’s software will continue to be offered as a standalone service as well as being available via GreenLake and the Data Services Cloud Console.
The vendor also added its InfoSight AIOps software on GreenLake for infrastructure with InfoSight App Insights, which is designed to detect anomalies in applications, recommends actions and keeps workloads running. CloudPhysics delivers insights from the data to frame smart IT decisions from workload placement to right-sizing infrastructure to lowering costs.
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