For a long time, public cloud dominated the conversation with enterprises seeking the benefits of migrating to a flexible and scalable model – as opposed to maintaining IT infrastructure on-premise. Billed as a third way for cloud computing, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) launched its flagship GreenLake platform as a means to offer the benefits of both models in one. HPE GreenLake is a suite of infrastructure as a service (IaaS) tools that allow customers to consume IT resources on a pay-per-use basis.
HPE GreenLake provides customers with a set of public cloud-like services on more traditional on-premise-type setups – with both the hardware and software provided in a subscription mode. Its capabilities include cloud management, cost management, and compliance tools which are all accessible through a central console, with tools and services including computing, storage, networking, data protection, and security. It’s designed to be flexible and scalable to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes. HPE GreenLake also includes a number of tools and features to help customers manage and optimize their use of these IT resources, including real-time billing, usage reports, and automation capabilities.
When did HPE GreenLake launch?
HPE launched its flagship GreenLake hybrid cloud service in June 2018. On its launch, HPE GreenLake was billed as a way to offer a more flexible and scalable way to consume IT resources versus the traditional cumbersome on-premises model.
In the three years prior to the launch of HPE GreenLake, HPE primarily sold hardware and software products, with customers then needing to build, deploy, and maintain these products themselves. With the launch of HPE GreeLake, however, the company began offering a full range of IT services on a pay-per-use basis.
Since its launch, HPE GreenLake has continued to evolve, with the addition of new services and features to meet the changing needs of its customers. In 2019, for example, HPE announced it was expanding its GreenLake offering to include a range of managed services, including database management, application development, and data analytics. In 2020, HPE announced it was extending the reach of its GreenLake offerings to include a range of edge computing solutions designed to help customers process data closer to the source.
In June 2023 HPE brought a range of services to GreenLake in order to support customer demand for generative AI. HPE GreenLake for Large Language Models allows customers to train and deploy models through the HPE’s as a service platform.
Where does HPE GreenLake sit in the hybrid cloud market?
HPE GreenLake is designed to be a ‘best of both worlds’ marriage between the simplicity and flexibility of the public cloud alongside the security and compliance benefits of on-premise IT infrastructure. The company, therefore, positions HPE GreenLake as a unified solution that lets organizations take a relatively risk-free and simple approach to digital transformation efforts. HPE GreenLake is also positioned as a way for customers to more easily and seamlessly integrate their on-premises and cloud-based IT resources. It competes on the one hand with the likes of Dell Apex, and on the other hand hyperscalers like AWS and Azure.
The company says its flagship platform provides customers with a single platform for managing and optimizing their use of IT resources, regardless of whether those resources are located on-premises or in the cloud. This can help customers to reduce complexity and costs and to adapt more quickly to changing business needs.
How does HPE GreenLake work?
It’s the combination of hardware and software – not just each in isolation – that defines HPE GreenLake. Regardless of which services a particular company needs, these needs must be married with hardware systems, which are provided as part of the subscription fee.
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To use HPE GreenLake, customers first select the types of IT resources they need, such as computing, storage, networking, or security. They can then specify the specific configurations and capabilities they require, such as the number of CPU cores, the amount of memory, or the type of storage. Once the customer has selected the resources they need, HPE GreenLake provisions these resources and makes them available for the customer to use.
Alongside the hardware and software provision, the firm also packages these with in-house experts who get involved in the implementation of these systems and their maintenance during the life cycle. This comes in the form of the HPE Pointnext service.
Customers can also gain access to HPE GreenLake through channel partners, notably managed service providers (MSPs). In 2020, HPE partnered with Wipro to deliver GreenLake across the latter’s managed service portfolio.
HPE GreenLake uses a range of technologies and tools to manage and optimize the use of these IT resources. For example, it includes real-time billing and usage reports to help customers track their consumption of resources and automation capabilities to help customers manage and optimize their use of these resources. HPE GreenLake also includes a number of security and compliance features to help protect customers' data and systems.
Which services comprise HPE GreenLake?
HPE GreenLake offers a range of computing resources, including virtual machines (VMs), containers, and bare metal servers. Customers can choose the type of computing resources that best meet their needs and can specify the specific configurations and capabilities they require, such as the number of CPU cores, the amount of memory, and the type of storage.
HPE GreenLake offers storage in a range of types and performance categories, including block storage, object storage, and file storage. HPE GreenLake customers are promised enterprise-grade storage at every level, to be used for intensive processes with extreme low latency response.
The networking resources available include virtual networks, load balancers, and virtual private networks (VPNs). Options for configuration include the type of network topology, the level of security, and the level of performance.
Key to the GreenLake offering is its security services, which include firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, and identity and access management (IAM) systems. As with GreenLake’s other services this is highly customizable.
AI & ML
One of the newest service platforms HPE has released is HPE GreenLake for Large Language Models. This is powered by high-performance computing (HPC), and allows customers to train AI and create models tailored to their enterprise use cases.
In addition to these core services, HPE GreenLake offers a range of managed services, including database management, application development, and data analytics. These services are designed to help customers manage and optimize their use of IT resources and can be customized to meet the specific needs of each customer.
How does HPE GreenLake’s consumption model work?
GreenLake’s pricing structure looks more like a typical cloud service, rather than a hardware leasing service. The firm installs the IT infrastructure in customers’ environments then offers the services on top of that – all for the agreed subscription fee. These fees are also metered, meaning customers pay for services used, rather than the totality in, say, a fixed monthly fee.
There are a handful of factors that can influence the pricing, such as whether a customer selects computing, storage, networking, or security. The configurations and pricing for computing resources will depend on the number of CPU cores, the amount of memory, and the type of storage required, while the configurations and pricing for storage resources will depend on the amount of storage, the type of storage media, and the level of performance required.
Customers who require more CPU cores or more memory will generally pay more for their compute resources than customers who require fewer CPU cores or less memory. Similarly, customers who require faster storage or more bandwidth will generally pay more for their storage or networking resources than customers who require slower storage or less bandwidth.
Finally, the length of the contract a customer signs with HPE GreenLake can also impact the configurations and pricing for their IT resources. Customers who sign longer-term contracts can potentially negotiate more favorable terms, such as lower pricing or additional discounts.
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