Hewlett Packard Enterprise Compute General Manager Neil MacDonald said the global pandemic is driving a new era of workload-optimised HPE infrastructure solutions.
“At the end of the day customers are trying to run their business, right now that means they are having to adapt and evolve their actual business and needing to adapt and evolve their infrastructure is a means to an end of survival and thriving in the new environment we area all in,” said MacDonald in an exclusive interview with CRN ahead of HPE’s Accelerating Next Workload-optimised Solutions virtual seminar on Wednesday.
In fact, MacDonald said the global pandemic has accelerated the “evolution” of workload-optimised infrastructure. “I think there’s a new normal that we’re heading to and the pandemic has accelerated the evolution of infrastructure because of the need to change,” he told CRN. “Our goal is to be there hand in hand with our partners, enabling our customers to make those transitions and to do them faster.”
One of the most dramatic examples of the need for workload-optimised solutions is VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) solutions that came to the fore in the midst of the pandemic, said MacDonald. “Almost every organization is dealing with more remote working than it was before,” he said. “But how many organizations were really set up to make a remote workforce productive? As a result they have had to embrace and deploy virtual desktop infrastructure, for example, so they can get the benefit of that productivity at a distance without compromising the security of their data or the efficiency of their infrastructure.”
As the economy recovers from the global pandemic, more organizations are going to be “looking to get the possible return for their investments” through workload-optimised solutions and HPE’s GreenLake pay per use cloud service, said MacDonald.
MacDonald encouraged partners to join the HPE Accelerating Next webcast to get up to speed on the workload-optimised compute strategy. “We absolutely welcome our partners to participate in Accelerating Next,” he said. “Working together we are excited about accelerating next for our end customers but also enabling our partners to accelerate their business as they move forward as well.”
Responding to ‘customer needs’ and the ‘new realities’
Workload optimization and delivering workload-optimised solutions is all about responding to our customer needs. In the last 18 months – more than ever- organizations of all shapes and sizes are having to transform faster than they planned…IT leaders have to accelerate their strategic transformations given all the pressures they are facing to evolve their business to deal with the new realities we are all facing. That means they are having to deploy solutions that they maybe didn’t have to before.
At the end of the day customers are trying to run their business. Right now that means they are having to adapt and evolve their actual business and needing to adapt and evolve their infrastructure is a means to an end of survival and thriving in the new environment we area all in. In that world our customers tell us that great infrastructure is a start but what they are really trying to do is solve a problem. What they are really trying to do is enable their workforce to be productive or develop new services and applications to serve end customers and drive new revenue or to drive greater efficiency and automation and resiliency into their existing infrastructure. If they are trying to do all those things it enables them to go focus on actually running their business and scale.
With the recovery that is moving right now at different phases and different stages and different parts of the economy, every business is trying to recover from the challenges of the last 18 months and really, really trying to avoid focusing too much energy on running their technology so they can spend more of their time and energy in leveraging technology to drive their business. And that is what we are enabling with our workload-optimised solutions.
The Power of workload-optimised solutions
The power of a workload-optimised solution is being able to bring customers a verified, validated, supported infrastructure to run a particular workload in an optimal way rather than them having to integrate it themselves or indeed our partners having to do all that integration and exploration.
We can bring the benefits of our engineering and the work that we have done all the way down to the platform level to bring an opinionated offer to them that helps them get their infrastructure deployed and into production faster and makes it much, much easier to sustain.
For our partners that is key because it drives efficiency and enables them to focus on adding value further up the stack in the customer’s experience rather than having to do the same amount of solutioning and assembly that we can do for them.
The power of our partners is their intimacy with our joint customers and their understanding of those customer’s needs. With the workload-optimised solutions we are able to shorten up that sales and solutioning cycle for them and enable them to focus on really delivering value to our end customers.
HPE GreenLake is fueling workload-optimised growth
We’re really excited as you’ve heard from (HPE CEO) Antonio (Neri) (pictured) on the growth that we are seeing with GreenLake. We were the first to deliver such an experience to our partners and our customers. And we are really, really excited about the growth and trajectory that GreenLake is on as a platform and as an offering in the market.
We are seeing very broad uptake as you have heard from Antonio. Many, many more customers are adopting that as a service experience because it helps them match their revenues to their costs and it helps them treat their infrastructure as a service rather than in the traditional experience where they would have to run more of that infrastructure themselves.
HPE GreenLake is a great way to help customers match more closely their expenses with their revenues by moving to an as a service model. Many organizations are struggling with the balance of needing to transform and needing to invest but not perhaps having the financial capacity to do so. That is where it is really, really exciting to work with HPE Financial Services to create financial capacity for our end customers by helping them monetise some of the assets they already have and transform to a more modern infrastructure. That alone creates an enormous amount of value and return because it is unlocking value that enables the transformation to happen in the first place.
The broadest set of workload-optimised solutions
We have the broadest sets of compute solutions for a range of workloads across all of today’s enterprise needs- all the way out to the far edge and all the way up to exascale with everything in between. As we are delivering those solutions we are partnering with our technology providers such as AMD and Intel to bring our customers options that support those specific workload needs on top of the workload optimization features that we have embedded inside our ProLiant servers and the expertise that we bring for workloads themselves with the years of application delivery that we have done for customers of all sizes all around the world.
Silicon root of trust is key to workload-optimised
It is super important that infrastructure is secure so as we work on all of our platform technologies we have for years invested aggressively in holistic 360 degree security embedded in differentiated ways at the silicon level with the industry’s only silicon root of trust built all the way up from the time the server is manufactured, extending security throughout shipping and distribution and finally to secure recycling at the end of the lifecycle.
That security is super important and an integral part of what we do in our HPE ProLiant server technology to underpin these solutions whether it is in GreenLake or delivered as capex purchases through our partners.
The cloud as an ‘operational experience’
Our perspective is that the cloud is about an operational experience. It is not about a location or a destination. What we are doing with GreenLake is delivering an as a service experience that still enables you to have the control of your data and the optimization of your infrastructure that you have always enjoyed on an on-prem deployment.
So for us the cloud is really about an experience and the combination of that experience with the industry’s broadest range of server platforms from the edge to exascale really enables us to deliver that experience in ways that are optimised for the use cases and the workloads that our customers have.
HPE’s edge advantage
If you think about where data is being generated today more and more and more and more data is being generated at the edge where we are or where machines are or where industrial equipment is or where sensors are. As a result that data needs to be dealt with.
That is driving a need for more and more compute and storage actually at the edge. So customers find themselves with an edge, a data center and a cloud environment. HPE was very forthright a number of years ago that the world was going to be hybrid and I think that has been borne out because you see that edge to data center to cloud spectrum being addressed now and being recognized and acknowledged by the industry as a whole.
We are very excited to have the ability to build on our track record of delivering for our customers across all of these in a hybrid environment and doing it now in these workload-optimised ways.
AMD is a workload optimised HPE partner
We’re very excited to have (AMD President and CEO Dr.) Lisa Su joining us this week for Accelerating Next. I was excited to participate with Lisa and her team in their launch announcements last month. We have been working very closely with AMD as we have for many years in the design of platforms and systems that take advantage of AMD EPYC technology along with HPE’s ProLiant technology.
We have been working to target particular solutions for those as we have brought our Gen 10 Plus platforms based on AMD third gen EPYC processors to market. In practice what that really means is we have focused in on the following key workloads where we have specific solutioning that is really, really well adapted to the combination of these technologies.
In mainstream VDI environments we have solutions based on the DL325 platform (Powered by AMD EPYC) which are really targeted in that area. We have brought to market now the DL365 which brings a broader range of performance capabilities or high end VDI in an enterprise setting.
The other area that we are really excited is in data management where the DL345 platform brings the right balance of compute and storage and memory capabilities combined with all of HPE ProLiant’s technologies and leverages AMD’s 3rd Gen EPYC processors to bring a really optimised solution for our partners to take to our customers.
The Intel partnership- ‘excited’ to see return of Pat Gelsinger
We’ve partnered with Intel very, very closely for decades and we’re very excited to see (New Intel CEO) Pat (Gelsinger) back at Intel and the announcements that he has made where Intel’s great innovation engine is heading. We are working very closely with Intel on their Ice Lake processors which will be broadly integrated as we have announced across our Gen 10 Plus platforms. They continue to provide the backbone for many, many workloads for many of our customers particularly we see them very broadly deployed in private and hybrid cloud and virtualization environments. We expect that to continue as we move forward. We are very, very excited about the work we are doing together.
Partner community is ‘core’ to workload-optimised strategy
Our partner community is so core to everything that we do at HPE that it is actually as much about HPE aligning to enable our partners as the other way around. That is the mindset that we bring to our strategy and our planning and our go to market efforts.
We have enjoyed the partnership with many, many organizations around the world in servicing our mutual customers and we expect to continue to build on that by making sure we are enabling success for our partners too because we do this together.
As our market evolves, we need to evolve together to respond to that. Our customers are asking for more workload-optimised solutions. Our customers are asking for more as a service experience. Our customers are asking for more expertise and value being delivered so that they can focus on running their business not on running their infrastructure. And together with our partners the work that we are doing with Gen 10 Plus and all of the wonderful things that we are doing with GreenLake and the other parts of the HPE portfolio. We are really excited about continuing to build with our partners and work together to help our end customers accelerate what’s next.
Expect ‘more workload-optimised solutions’ going forward
If you think about HPE’s history in computing we have worked extensively with the software community in many, many different ways over many generations of different technology and we are going to continue to do that moving forward.
What I would say is that today the ability to optimize the infrastructure to best support the workload and deliver the best end customer value is becoming more and more important and more enabled by all of the diversity of technologies that are available to us. So we are going to continue to work as we have done in the past with a broad range of partners as we continue to build that out, while continuing to innovate in certain areas where we can deliver great value to our end customers in our offerings from HPE.
So expect to see us continue to provide more and more workload-optimised solutions for the sweet spot workloads in the market that are most in demand so that our partners can continue to serve and acquire customers and we can have great success together in meeting our customers where they are.
Driving ever increasing efficiency in infrastructure
If you think about what our customers need today they are trying to solve a particular set of problems. They are trying to drive every increasing efficiency in their infrastructure. They are trying to develop and deploy new services and applications to drive revenue or to improve and automate their processes. They are trying to enable largely remote workforces to be productive in a way that their infrastructure was never really designed to do.
As you think about all those areas we have got workload-optimised solutions that we bring to bear whether that is the VDI type solutions for enabling the productivity of a remote workforce, whether that is enablement we can bring them in developing new apps and services by building a modern infrastructure with web scale style economics leveraging technologies like Pensando, bringing great benefits to the underlying infrastructure costs or leveraging technologies like HPE Ezmeral and the data fabric that helps them integrate that diversity of sources of data from the edge all the way to the data center as they develop and deploy new container based applications.
For organizations that are driving their infrastructure to support a horizontal set of workloads they need the security we talked about, but they also need the agility and the automation that we bring to bear with HPE ProLiant in order to make their infrastructure effective in the efficiency it brings and how much effort it takes them to manage it.