HPE’s ‘Monumental’ Breakthrough: GreenLake Central Is Here

.“This is the huge next step for GreenLake, taking what started out as a capacity and consumption model and now providing the tools to drive outcomes for businesses,” said HPE Global Vice President Customer Experience for HPE GreenLake Erik Vogel.


Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) Monday unleashed what it sees as a revolutionary breakthrough in delivering hybrid cloud solutions in an edge to cloud platform as a service model with the general availability of GreenLake Central.

The arrival of the eagerly awaited self service hybrid cloud portal provides partners and customers the ability to do complex cost, compliance and security analysis across the HPE GreenLake pay per use private cloud, AWS and Microsoft Azure. The portal is provided at no cost to customers.

For partners, who are already seeing growing recurring revenue annualized run rates with GreenLake, the new services portal represents a watershed moment in the GreenLake story. They say the technology provides them with the technology muscle to grab a bigger share of the robust cloud services market.

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HPE Global Vice President Customer Experience for HPE GreenLake Erik Vogel, for his part, called GreenLake Central a “monumental leap forward” in HPE’s ability to drive workload optimized business outcomes starting at the edge and then moving across private and public cloud.

The single pane of glass management platform provides self service capabilities that match public cloud, compliance controls across hybrid cloud estates for Chief Security Officers (CSO’s), and the ability to do workload cost optimization across public and private clouds.“This is the huge next step for GreenLake, taking what started out as a capacity and consumption model and now providing the tools to drive outcomes for businesses,” said Vogel.

GreenLake Central – which will be available to the channel starting in June- provides partners the ability to drive GreenLake deeper into an enterprise in the digital transformation era, said Vogel. That includes self service provisioning for developers working in a DevOps rapid development model. “We’re providing the automation tools and orchestration capabilities especially with our private cloud as a service where a developer now can come in and in five clicks have their VM (virtual machine) up and running in five minutes,” Vogel said. “That is a huge leap forward.”

A CSO or chief compliance officer, meanwhile, now has the ability to ensure GDPR, PCI and HIPAA compliance across GreenLake, AWS and Microsoft Azure, said Vogel. GreenLake Central, in fact, provides compliance metrics and remediation recommendations, said Vogel. “It gives them an auditable piece of information at their fingertips that says they are complaint with PCI, ISO 27000, HIPAA and GDPR and here is the verifiable, audited proof,” he said.

As for the cost control that has become part and parcel of every enterprise cloud strategy, GreenLake Central provides for the first time “aggregated cost data” on AWS, Azure and GreenLake in a single pane of glass management portal. “Now the customer can see exactly what they’re spending on premise and off premise with AWS and Azure,” said Vogel. “This is not the big complex bill they get from those (public cloud) providers. It is simplified and consistent so they can see a true apples to apple comparison across GreenLake, AWS and Azure.”

GreenLake Central is providing cost-saving cloud insights like singling out un-utilized reserve capacity or spotting over-sized environments in AWS or Azure, said Vogel. “This is really giving customers the tools they need to help reduce their spend,: he said. “We can do that in real time, constantly looking for those opportunities for cost savings. That is very hard to do.”

HPE also stepped up its portfolio of solutions under the GreenLake as a service model with new converged data management and file storage service offerings in a seamless pay per use model with Cohesity and Qumulo.

Last but not least, HPE expanded its partnership with colocation provider CyrusOne to enable end to end service delivery of any HPE GreenLake pay per use offering with a single bill.

GreenLake Central accelerates HPE’s all out drive to deliver the full HPE portfolio as a service by 2022. “My focus with my team is to accelerate this strategy and make it a reality sooner rather than later and obviously continue to prioritize the R & D investments,” said HPE CEO Antonio Neri in a call with partners last week.

Neri calls the everything as a service edge to cloud platform as a service sales model HPE’s North Star. He said GreenLake Central provides a “true control plane” to broker workload optimized applications and data from the edge to the core to the cloud – whether it’s on prem, off prem in a public cloud or with a colocation provider.

Key to HPE’s GreenLake Central strategy is the ability for partners to add their own services to the platform through an open Application Programming Interface (APIs). HPE has provided a 17 percent up front rebate on the GreenLake multi-year contracts. That is providing many partners the compensation model to make the recurring revenue run rate pivot paying their sales reps up front on the deals.

HPE’s Financial Services organization is providing the critical financing for the GreenLake pay per use model. That’s a “huge differentiation” advantage given the demand for pay per use models in the wake of the financial fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, said Neri.

HPE partners said they see GreenLake Central as game changer as they move to capture a bigger share of the cloud services market.

GreenLake Central provides the hybrid cloud “flexibility and choice” customers are craving especially in the midst of a crises like the current pandemic, Erik Krucker, CTO at Comport Consulting, an HPE Platinum partner, No. 333 on the CRN SP500, said

“Customers want to be able to burst into a public or private cloud,” he said. “They want capacity is on demand. There is definitely a big need for this type of product. HPE has stepped up and shown some leadership with this product where some others have not. HPE has taken a leadership position here.”

HPE’s strategy to provide an open ecosystem with its GreenLake model provides customers with a big competitive advantage as they move to drive cost optimized, business outcomes in the cloud, said Krucker. He said the inclusion of providers like Cohesity, Qumulo and CyrusOne is a big differentiator. “That’s very forward looking,” he said.

“GreenLake Central shows that HPE is taking a holistic view of the world,” he said. “They are not just sitting on their laurels and looking at this one dimensionally. They are providing customers choice and flexibility. They are uniquely positioned. This is a true consumption flexible capacity model that gives customers the flexibility to put more gear on site and consume it on demand as they need it.”

With the pay per use GreenLake on premise model, customers have the ability to instantly obtain private cloud busting capabilities in the case of a crises like the coronavirus pandemic, said Krucker. “If we run into another wave of this pandemic in the fall, this gives customers the capablilty to react quickly,” he said. “It could take weeks to get gear on site if they have to react quickly. To have this capability on site and only pay for what you use is key for CIOs and IT organizations. There is always going to be a hybrid world with a mix of private and public cloud.”

GreenLake Central’s broad analytic capabilities are going to help customers determine where to place workloads in a fast moving hybrid cloud market, said Krucker. “Having that dashboard capability and being able to see public, private cloud and on premise infrastructure is key,” he said.

Krucker also praised HPE’s support of the channel with the ability of solution providers to add their own recurring revenue services to the GreenLake platform. “To be able to take some of our services around operations and infrastructure to help our customers run this infrastructure is key for us,” he said. “We can layer our services on top of what HPE is offering to really give customers an entire experience that is not just infrastructure as a service. It is an experience as a service.”

GreenLake Central as a service broker providing customers with unique insights into governance, utilization and cost is going to help drive increased GreenLake pay per use sales pipeline and deals, said Paul O’Dell, a director at CPP Associates, a Clinton, N.J. HPE Platinum partner.

“I expect us to crack the $100,000 dollar a month rate this year with GreenLake,” he said. “We have Cohesity, Qumulo and data center GreenLake opportunities and having Cyrus One embedded into the GreenLake offer with a single contract makes it much easier for customers to transact GreenLake business. Many of our customers use colos.”

GreenLake Central provides the technology muscle to win over many customers considering moving to a pay per use public cloud, said O’Dell. “Just because you have to go to a certain procurement model does not mean you have to throw out the baby with the bathwater,” he said.

O’Dell said he is interested in seeing how GreenLake Chief Keith White, a former Microsoft cloud superstar who joined HPE five month ago, builds out the GreenLake model. “I’m looking forward to the virtual GreenLake session with him at Discover,” he said

Ultimately, GreenLake Central is going to make more customers understand that the GreenLake pay per use model is “less expensive than public cloud with better controls, better performance, better security, and better governance,” said O’Dell. “If this tool allows customers to look more closely at the costs for public cloud and GreenLake that is a home run.”