Hewlett Packard Enterprise Tuesday raised the bar in the hybrid cloud services battle with a blockbuster new unified release of its HPE GreenLake cloud service that includes the first standardised versions of HPE GreenLake Networking as a Service (NaaS).
The new unified release for the first time provides a complete integrated on-premises networking, storage and compute cloud services experience in a swipe-and-click service via GreenLake.HPE.com. In fact, partners told CRN US that the new release makes HPE GreenLake every bit as seamless as the public cloud services from Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.
The new release represents a dramatic step forward in the architecture of the platform with compute, storage and networking services all available in a unified platform, said Russo.
“At the base of this platform architecture is the GreenLake cloud platform—think of that as like your Amazon [Web Services] experience where you go in, you have a single sign-on, you have a single way to consume, you look at your subscriptions, you get your support and you can get all of those different pieces in GreenLake,” said Russo.
“So once you enter into GreenLake, you have the single experience with single identity that you bring with you no matter whether you are consuming compute, no matter whether you are consuming storage, ML [machine learning] Ops [operations] offerings or workload orchestration offerings.”
The new architecture brings cloud services from all of the major HPE infrastructure groups from storage to networking to compute onto a single platform that can be consumed as a unified experience for partners and customers, said Russo. “Basically this will make everything much, much easier to consume in an as-a-service mode,” said Russo.
The new single sign-on at GreenLake.HPE.com supports different roles and personas from channel partners including MSPs, resellers and distributors to developers to systems operators and admins.
The core cloud services platform through GreenLake.HPE.com provides the ability to manage all of HPE GreenLake cloud services and subscriptions. “It sounds very simple but going to a single place called GreenLake.HPE.com to get all of your cloud services and manage all of your services is fundamental,” said Russo.
An Operate and Use Platform opens the door for MSPs, systems administrators and IT managers to provision devices and manage subscriptions, said Russo.
With GreenLake.HPE.com, HPE is for the first time bringing e-commerce to the edge-to-cloud platform. “You can easily subscribe, you can easily expand and you can easily renew in a self-service manner,” said Russo.
GreenLake.HPE.com also provides seamless integration to manage the complete hybrid estate from HPE GreenLake at the edge and in the data centre to the three major public clouds: AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.
HPE’s advisory, managed services and financial services will be more tightly integrated into the platform over time, said Russo.
“With this announcement, we continue to expand our leadership in the hybrid, multi-cloud world with a winning combination and a winning proposal for our customers and our partners with GreenLake,” said Russo. “We have the broadest portfolio across the industry. We have one unified platform.”
The new HPE GreenLake release marks a new front in the networking battle with HPE rival Cisco Systems with standardised HPE GreenLake NaaS offers now available with flex-up and flex-down options.
Up until now, Aruba has been offering bespoke NaaS offers rather than standardised NaaS offers, said HPE Intelligent Edge Business Executive Vice President Phil Mottram. The HPE standardised offers provide subscriptions by metrics such as the number of users or square footage of a campus or facility.
“The bigger opportunity here—and we are very partner-led as an organization—is to generate some offers that are more kind of standardised and repeatable but more importantly can be sold through the partner channel,” said Mottram.
Mottram said as far as he knows there is no other vendor that is offering a similar NaaS opportunity for partners. “I am not familiar with any other networking company similar to us with a partner-friendly offer in the market today,” he said.
The eight new HPE GreenLake enterprise NaaS offerings from Aruba are Indoor Wireless as a Service, Outdoor Wireless as a Service, Remote Wireless as a Service, Wired Access as a Service, Wired Aggregation as a Service, Wired Core as a Service, SD-Branch as a Service and Aruba UXI, or User Experience Insight, which provides network application and performance management.
HPE GreenLake for Aruba provides an 11 percent back-end rebate for partners in contrast with what has been a 17 percent rebate on GreenLake compute and storage offers.
Cisco, for its part, is looking at putting its Cisco Plus Networking-as-a-Service offering into the market in the second half of the year with large-scale adoption expected in 2023.
Dell Technologies, meanwhile, is just starting to build out its as-a-service channel model. The company recently launched a new team specifically dedicated to better enabling channel partners to sell its Apex portfolio of as-a-service solutions.
HPE has also added what it is calling the industry’s first Block-Storage as-a-Service offering with a 100 percent data availability guaranteed on a cloud operational model.
The new GreenLake for Block Storage offering includes self-service provisioning that opens the door for partners, storage administrators or line-of-business executives to instantly self-provision storage.
HPE calls the Block Storage service a storage game-changer with instant quoting and ordering by selecting key workload SLA attributes such as business-critical or mission-critical, storage capacity and IOPS (inpout/output operations per second).
The new block storage service provides five times better TCO than any and all block storage offerings, said HPE GreenLake Vice President and General Manager of the Cloud Data Services Business Omer Asad. In fact, with data reduction capabilities, HPE is providing lower-cost block storage than any public cloud provider, he said.
“We are the only vendor offering 100 percent availability guaranteed in a true cloud operational and management model,” said Asad.
Once a partner or customer places an order via GreenLake.HPE.com, a storage appliance is configured and shipped to customers, who activate it via GreenLake.HPE.com as a Software as a Service.
HPE is also providing an updated HPE Backup and Recovery Service that it said makes it the only vendor to convert an on-premises storage model into a 100 percent cloud-based SaaS model.
The Backup and Recovery Service allows partners or customers to order the service via GreenLake.HPE.com with three simple clicks, said Asad. “With three clicks you are into production, your backup administrator can go celebrate a birthday, go off to a party,” said Asad.
The Backup and Recovery Service is available for VMware workloads on any storage that a customer is using, said Asad. “We out-innovate everybody else when it comes to VMware technology from an ownership experience for the customer and a selling experience for our partners,” he said.
HPE partners, for their part, said the groundbreaking new release of GreenLake is a major step forward that will pay off in increased GreenLake sales opportunities.
“HPE GreenLake has had a leadership position in this marketplace, and this will certainly solidify that,” said Ron Nemecek, business alliance manager for CBTS, the $1 billion HPE Platinum partner that is integrating its own services with GreenLake.
CBTS expects to double its GreenLake deals this year, said Nemecek. “We’re closing more deals and seeing an enhanced pipeline,” he said. “As-a-service is becoming a mainstream discussion; it is not a boutique discussion any longer. It is mainstream. When customers see the economic and business outcome impact for their specific case, it becomes the default conversation. That is the key to the castle.”
Customers have become more savvy when looking at as a service and comparing on-premises cloud services with public cloud, said Nemecek. “Customers have become sophisticated in understanding the as-a-service marketplace and the portfolio of offerings,” he said. “They have found for their on-premises estate, this discussion is real. The offering is real and everything that HPE says it is it is. That has impacted our pipeline of opportunities significantly.”
As for Aruba NaaS and the new Block Storage as a Service, Nemecek said the two offerings are yet another sign of HPE’s “leadership position” in the market. “These are additional strategic offerings that we can provide as a service to customers,” he said. “If you are going to talk to customers about as a service you can’t tell them you can do this but not that.”
CBTS also sees the HPE GreenLake High Performance Compute release as a blockbuster opportunity, said Nemecek. “It’s a big opportunity for us, we are aligning with the [HPE] HPC organization and a couple of vertical ISVs to simplify this journey for our customers,” he said. “It’s not only about the HPC GreenLake platform. It is about delivering AI as a service, making it mainstream.”
Nemecek praised HPE President and CEO Antonio Neri’s ability to make good on his promise three years ago to deliver the complete HPE product set in an as-a-service model by 2022. “Antonio has done what he said he would do,” said Nemecek. “All of the announcements, focus and training we have received has all been around as a service. HPE has invested quite a bit in enabling us to lead with everything as a service. The investments have certainly matched not only their vision but the commitments that have been made to customers and the partner community.”
The new GreenLake release gives HPE the firepower to go head to head against public cloud providers, said Joe VanPatten, vice president of cloud consumption for Advizex, one of HPE’s top GreenLake partners.
“With this new unified release, HPE is one step closer to providing the self-provisioning picture that makes public cloud so popular,” said VanPatten. “This makes HPE a viable head-to-head competitor to public cloud.”
With the addition of GreenLake NaaS offerings, Advizex can now offer a complete Infrastructure-as-a- Service offering to customers in an a a-service model, said VanPatten.
“That’s huge because now we can complete a whole data center as a service picture on-premises for a customer,” said VanPatten. “Now we can provide a complete as-a-service offering for customers who want all their infrastructure consumed in an as-a-service manner. Having Aruba integrated into a GreenLake offering makes it easier for the customer to understand and consume and for us as a partner to put together a complete solution.”
Now that Aruba is available as a NaaS offering, Advzex will pursue all networking opportunities with the GreenLake pay-per-use model as it is doing with storage and servers, said VanPatten. “In the same way we are doing storage and servers, we are going after networking opportunities aggressively too,” he said.
With Block Storage as a Service and Backup and Recovery, HPE is stepping up with more cloud-enabled self-provisioning capabilities for customers, which is critical to driving continued GreenLake momentum, said VanPatten.
The self-provisioning storage cloud services are going to provide customers the capability to do storage pricing comparisons against public cloud, said VanPatten. “If you are going to compete with public cloud, you need those self-provisioning capabilities,” he said.
Ultimately, the new release of GreenLake is going to help drive robust recurring revenue streams for Advizex with its own deep managed services offerings driving the Everything-as-a-Service experience, said VanPatten. “This is going to help us grow our managed services business and gets us closer to becoming that cloud managed services provider for our customers,” he said. “It makes Advizex a stronger and more valuable company. This is where the market is going. We are all in on consumption and providing Everything as Service for customers.”