HPE Is ‘Doubling Down’ On VDI As GreenLake Covid-19 Game Changer

“I think COVID has given us a tailwind (in the on premise VDI market),” said Erik Vogel, global vice president of customer experience for HPE GreenLake. “Preserving capital liquidity is key for every customer. GreenLake solves that problem.”


Hewlett Packard Enterprise is “doubling down”on the VDI market with a new GreenLake VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure) on-premise, pay per use cloud service with major ISV support and predefined configurations optimized for specific workers.

“It’s definitely one of the massive workloads that we are doubling down on,” said HPE GreenLake Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Go To Market Arwa Kaddoura in an interview with CRN. “We already have many customers that have been leveraging VDI on GreenLake. As you can imagine now (with the pandemic) it has just become a much, much hotter topic with all of our customers.”

As part of the sales blitz, HPE has optimized VDI configurations for four types of remote workers (knowledge, task, power and engineering) with specific predefined configurations for 100, 300, 500 and 1,000 or more workers.

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[RELATED: HPE GreenLake Worldwide Sales Leader Arwa Kaddoura On Dell, Public Cloud Repatriation And ISV Support]

HPE has also pulled together software offerings from VDI leaders like VMware’s Horizon, Nutanix’s hyperconverged solution, Citrix VDI and Nvidia’s Virtual GPU as part of the service. The new service is available starting in December.

With the gobal pandemic driving a work at home boom, the VDI market represents a multi-billion dollar channel opportunity, said Kaddoura.

“We’re in a new paradigm right now,” she said. “The customers that have already invested in those (VDI) capabilities with us obviously found themselves in a really great spot. Unfortunately people now have no choice. People are having to scramble to figure this out.”

The HPE GreenLake VDI solution is the “solution for the moment,” said Erik Vogel (pictured), global vice president of customer experience for HPE GreenLake. “I think COVID has given us a tailwind (in the on premise VDI market), he said. “Preserving capital liquidity is key for every customer. GreenLake solves that problem.”

The work at home market has soared to more than 50 percent of workers, up from just 20 percent pre-pandemic, said Vogel. “That’s across all the segments whether you are talking enterprise, commercial or SMB,” he said.

The beauty of the GreenLake VDI cloud service is it has been tailored to meet the needs of every kind of worker from knowledge worker, task oriented worker, power user and engineering worker, said Vogel.

Also appealing for customers is the ability to scale up or scale down depending on the post pandemic workforce demands, said Vogel.

HPE forecasts the GreenLake on premises cloud services market as a $30 billion market opportunity with a 58 percent compound annual growth rate, said Vogel.

Vogel urged partners to mount an all out GreenLake sales offensive with the full range of GreenLake digital transformation cloud service offerings. “GreenLake provides an opex model and helps with that digital transformation (for customers),” he said. “Whether it’s a VDI, storage or a workload solution this is what the customer needs today. And COVID is accelerating it. It is pushing it and accelerating it because it absolutely fits the need today.”

Comport Consulting, an HPE Platinum partner, No. 333 on the CRN SP500, sees a strong demand for the GreenLake VDI combined with its ComportSecure managed services offering, said Comport CTO Erik Krucker. “We’ve seen a pretty big uptick in VDI opportunities in the last six months, with customers looking to deploy VDI or redeploy VDI because they were forced to do something (quick) in the wake of COVID,” he said.

The ComportSecure GreenLake managed service offering includes applications support and service level guarantees, said Krucker. “This is great for us,” he said of the new HPE GreenLake VDI offering. “It gives us a lot of options for customers with dedicated infrastructure in a pay as you go cloud economic model.”

ComportSecure provides customers with a single one stop point of accountability, said Krucker. “We can provide on premise, public cloud, private cloud within our data centers,” he said. “Customers are coming to us as a single marketplace.””

HPE’s multivendor prowess with VMware, Nutanix, Citrix and Nvidia is a major competitive advantage versus legacy as a service competitors, said Krucker. “Customers want a one stop shop for a solution like this,” he said. “They don’t want to have to cobble it together…HPE is providing a one stop complete service. That is one of the strengths of what they are doing with GreenLake.”

Paul Cohen, vice president of sales for New York-based PKA Technologies Inc., one of HPE‘s top Platinum partners, said the new GreenLake VDI service is “timed perfectly.”

“Our customers have been asking for an on premise, secure VDI solution that gives them an alternative to a hyperscalar cloud offering,” he said. “Based on customer converations we expect GreenLake and more specifically the VDI cloud services pipeline to grows significantly in the next two to three months with expected sales closing within the next five months We are very excited that HPE is bringing to market these bundled solutions that make it very easy for us to propose and sell to our customers.”