HPE Has Big Lead In Hybrid Cloud With HPE GreenLake For Block Storage: Partners

'Everyone is chasing HPE as the (hybrid cloud) platform to beat,’ says Curtis Dery, senior vice president of Powerland, a Canadian IT service provider and Xerox Business Solutions Company. 'I would say everyone is about two to three years behind where HPE is right now.'

Hewlett Packard Enterprise has a significant lead in the race for hybrid cloud AIOps-based storage supremacy in the wake of the new release of HPE GreenLake for Block Storage, partners told CRN.

HPE has a multiple-year lead on competitors in the battle for hybrid cloud leadership with the release of HPE GreenLake for Block Storage, said Curtis Dery, senior vice president of Powerland, a Canadian IT service provider and Xerox Business Solutions Company that has won HPE GreenLake partner awards for three consecutive years.

“Everyone is chasing HPE as the (hybrid cloud) platform to beat,” he said. “I would say everyone is about two to three years behind where HPE is right now.”

That multi-year advantage is not just technology related with seamless hybrid cloud capabilities, said Dery, it encompasses the full HPE GreenLake ecosystem and strategy. “HPE is providing the ability to operationalize all of IT under this (GreenLake umbrella),” he said. “That gets forgotten about when you look at HPE for GreenLake.”

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Chuck Hutton, a senior technical solutions architect, data center for SHI, the $10 billion-plus solution provider behemoth ranked No. 14 on the CRN SP500, said HPE is head and shoulders above competitors in the hybrid cloud storage race.

“HPE is on the observation deck of the Empire State Building, looking around for the next building to climb, whereas their next closest competitor is maybe halfway up toward the observation deck and everybody else is still on the ground floor,” said Hutton, a 40-year-plus seasoned technology consultant with multiple technology certifications.

The high praise from partners comes with HPE releasing the fourth release of HPE GreenLake for Block Storage with increased hybrid cloud AI Ops capabilities and a new HPE GreenLake Block Storage for AWS offering.

HPE’s disaggregated architecture with the ability to manage AWS public cloud and HPE Private Cloud Business Edition with a true hybrid cloud experience sets HPE apart from competitors, said Hutton, a former HPE solution architect.

“HPE is really the only vendor that has this ability to manage your whole private cloud and public cloud all together whether it be through the HPE Data Services Cloud Console or HPE COM Computer Ops Management,” said Hutton.

That allows HPE to manage storage and servers as a “solution rather than having to manage the server separately and the storage separately,” Hutton said. “They can manage it all together as a complete solution and they can grow it independently as they need to.”

The hybrid cloud capabilities being brought to bear by HPE has been a big sales growth driver for Powerland, said Dery (pictured above).

In fact, the GreenLake cloud service model has transformed what was a $1.8 million early GreenLake customer into a $28 million account over the last two and half years, said Dery.

“That’s the benefit of GreenLake,” he said. “We operationalize everything for the customer. It gives the customer agility because they can now just do a change request (rather than a new request for proposal (RFP). So they can do projects much quicker. Traditionally this customer would do 20 to 30 projects a year. We are now doing 50-70 projects a year because we are expediting their process.”

The momentum for hybrid cloud is increasing among customers and will be boosted by the new HPE GreenLake for Block Storage for AWS capability, said Dery. Aligning with the biggest public cloud provider in AWS provides big opportunities for partners, said Dery. “Every customer has some type of workload in AWS,” he said.

HPE GreenLake also provides big advantages in terms of security capabilities for managing on-premise and public cloud environments, said Dery.

In fact, Dery said, Powerland recently brought on board a new GreenLake customer that had a public cloud ransomware incident. That customer – a public sector customer- is now moving to a hybrid cloud model, said Dery. “We are signing off on the GreenLake contract as we speak,” he said.

Dery believes that the vast majority of public cloud workloads are not secure. “You are stretching out your governance and security risk because you are not putting all the controls in place from on prem to the cloud – never mind remote workers and other access,” he said. “You have all these different entry points coming at you. You need to protect those. That is why SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) is a big thing right now. A lot of people are trying to figure out how to secure the edge. The decentralized workforce is a struggle for a lot of companies.”

Dery said he sees an increasing repatriation movement from public cloud because of security, governance and cost. Powerland’s Equinix data center offering is providing big security and cost advantages, he said.

With the new HPE GreenLake for Block Storage, Dery expects his company’s HPE storage sales growth to be up about 20 percent this year with digital twin solutions accelerating, providing the ability for customers do testing and modeling in that digital twin environment, said Dery. “That’s a big growth area,” he said

Both Dery and Hutton credited HPE CEO Antonio Neri for bringing the hybrid cloud model from vision six years ago when he took the helm to fruition with ever-increasing hybrid cloud capabilities for HPE GreenLake.

“Antonio is up there as one of the top tier CEOs in the tech space right now and it is because of execution,” said Dery. “He had the vision. He talked about this in 2018 and he has executed on that vision between acquisitions and internal IP (intellectual property) and utilizing some of the IP they have with existing platforms and systems and centralizing that into a single (GreenLake) platform. That is where I give him a lot of credit.”

Hutton also credited Neri for laying out the HPE GreenLake hybrid cloud vision six years and bringing it to fruition.

Neri was “a visionary,” said Hutton. “He had the vision and was able to execute on it. As a partner you stop to think: can they really do it? Through the last six years they have put their money into it and made it come true. And they are still working on improving it, adding more features and functions. They have not stopped because they are at the observation deck. They are looking for the next building to get to that observation deck.”