The ‘Future Of Storage:’ HPE Unleashes GreenLake File, Block Storage With Alletra Storage MP

HPE has launched what it’s calling “future of storage” with Alletra Storage MP, a new file storage offering and an expanded block storage service for its HPE GreenLake pay-per-use platform.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Tuesday unleashed what it is calling the “future of storage” with the launch of a new file storage offering and an expanded block storage service for its HPE GreenLake pay-per-use platform.

The new storage offerings are based on HPE’s new Alletra Storage MP platform, a modular file and block storage system that provides a single, unified cloud platform that can scale both performance and capacity on a single disaggregated architecture.

The new platform is a “huge step forward” that simplifies data management with “intuitive cloud operations, helping customers store, manage and protect all workloads everywhere,” said HPE Senior Vice President and General Manager of Cloud and Data Infrastructure Platforms Patrick Osborne in a press conference. “We are building the future of storage. We are bringing together the next generation of hybrid cloud data services designed specifically for customers that are taking that data-first modernization journey. They want to store, manage and protect data for all workloads wherever their data lives on this one platform.”

The new HPE GreenLake Alletra Storage MP offerings qualify for HPE’s aggressive new storage commission plan that triples the incentives for partners selling file and block storage from 6 percent to 17 percent.

HPE North America Managing Director Paul Hunter said the new Alletra Storage MP offerings are available to be put together in custom GreenLake offers for customers by partners. “All forms of storage are available to either be purchased or consumed [through GreenLake],” he said.

[RELATED: How HPE Is Out-Innovating Competitors With New Alletra Storage MP By ‘Going to Where The Puck Is Going:’ Paul Hunter]

“This is the best storage portfolio we have ever had,” said Hunter in an interview with CRN. “One of the attributes I love about it is we are going to where the puck is going. We are not competing on feature function benefit—my stuff is faster than your stuff. We are differentiating by helping our partners help our customers with operational and agility aspects of managing data and drawing insights from it.”

HPE is also offering integrated hybrid cloud data protection with a new HPE GreenLake for Disaster Recovery service and HPE GreenLake for Backup and Recovery. Those services are “integrated directly” into GreenLake, said Osborne.

HPE said all of the offerings are available immediately. HPE is rolling out the storage services in North America, the United Kingdom, Germany, Singapore and Japan. HPE plans to add India and Australia regions in the future.

HPE is calling HPE GreenLake for Block Storage—which it said provides 66 percent better price performance—the “industry’s first disaggregated scale-out” block storage with a 100 percent data availability guarantee.

As for HPE GreenLake for File Storage, HPE said it provides enterprise scale-out storage for data-intensive AI and machine learning applications with what it called “unmatched enterprise performance at scale” with hundreds of GByte-per-second throughput.

“These new offerings are helping us and our partners address new market segments—new types of applications, new types of workloads, new types of data types,” said Osborne.

HPE Alletra Storage MP extends the Alletra storage family beyond the Alletra 5000, 6000 and 9000.

“We are changing the game for our customers around data management and data services with a cloud management experience that is going to really help customers deal with their journey to becoming a data-first organization, being able to fully exploit the advantages of a hybrid cloud implementation,” said Osborne.

HPE Alletra Storage MP: An Architectural Breakthrough

The HPE Alletra Storage MP architecture provides the ability to scale out performance or capacity on a single control plane in an HPE GreenLake pay-per-use model.

“The biggest advantage that we are bringing to the table is based on the new Alletra Storage MP architecture,” said HPE Senior Vice President and General Manager of Data Infrastructure and SaaS Infrastructure Omer Asad. “Imagine this architecture as Lego-like building blocks that connect on a standard 100 Gbit-[per-second] TCP-based NVMe [data] fabric.”

The Alletra Storage MP building blocks are attached into the NVMe data fabric, delivering a file or block storage offering that provides shared services with the same controller configured for performance or capacity, said Asad.

“What that allows is a really, really simplistic supply chain methodology and allows our customers to stock these boxes ahead of time and on demand as needed. They can configure them in each direction [capacity or performance] they want,” he said.

HPE Alletra Storage MP provides scale-out capacity and performance on the HPE GreenLake cloud platform in a SaaS model, said Asad.

“This is cloud-delivered software based on the subscription that you purchase from us, whether it is a block subscription or a file subscription,” he said. “The right bits are then transported over to your boxes and you have a fully cloud control plane that manages these clusters in a single pane of glass and allows you to deliver services for these applications in a completely seamless manner.”

Hybrid Cloud Single-Pane-Of-Glass Storage Management

The HPE Alletra Storage MP architecture provides a “simplified, single-pane-of-glass data management experience which has extreme flexibility,” said Asad.

“You can manage it from anywhere because it is a complete cloud operational model; you never have to log into your devices,” he said.

“From a user perspective, the majority of our customers are moving to a cloud operational model,” Asad said. “The HPE GreenLake platform gives them a very, very simple pane of glass to manage across their architecture.”

The HPE Alletra Storage MP architecture supports intent-based AI provisioning, which automatically chooses the most efficient system based on the workload.

“It picks the right cluster, it picks the right node and then goes ahead and deploys your workload,” said Asad.

The HPE GreenLake platform provides software updates in a cloud delivery model. “Your upgrades are completely invisible,” said Asad. “Our proactive management system automatically recommends upgrades through the right cluster nodes and if allowed goes ahead and performs those upgrades.”

Buying Storage From HPE GreenLake

All of the storage hardware configuration for capacity and performance is controlled and managed with the HPE GreenLake storage console.

“It’s an intuitive cloud experience where you buy a subscription from a simple rate-card-based analysis depending on the performance and capability you like,” said Asad.

The subscription is activated in the HPE GreenLake console and is delivered on top of the Alletra Storage MP boxes.

“The clusters are configured based on any direction you want. The cloud control plane is fully multi-tenanted so you can have sub-accounts and give rights to configure their own mini accounts on top of the same environment,” he said.

The HPE Alletra Storage MP provides a “radically simplified” deployment process with Alletra Storage MP boxes automatically dialing into the HPE GreenLake cloud platform. “From there it matches onto your subscription, registers itself onto your account and then off you go, giving it the file or block personality you want to move forward with,” said Asad.

Disaggregated Block Storage With 100 Percent Data Availability Guarantee

The new HPE GreenLake Block Storage provides a 100 percent data availability guarantee for mission-critical storage.

“The 100 percent availability guarantee is built in on a standard support contract,” said Asad. “You do not have to sign any additional contracts. You buy the product, you get standard support and your 100 percent availability guarantee comes with it.”

The GreenLake Block Storage provides “first-in-class” block storage in a pay-per-use offering that provides 66 percent better price performance than prior offerings, said Asad.

With the disaggregated Alletra Storage MP architecture, partners can expand capacity and performance independently, said Asad. “If you want more capacity, you can just keep on expanding your flash-based storage or if you want more performance, you can add more performance-based nodes into the cluster,” he said.

HPE GreenLake For File Storage

HPE GreenLake for File Storage—also based on the HPE Storage Alletra MP architecture—is designed for Network File System (NFS) cloud-native applications.

The GreenLake for File Storage leverages an AI-powered-based scale-out storage offering from Vast Data, which was named Emerging Vendor of the Year by CRN UK at the 2022 CRN Channel awards last November.

The Vast Data scale-out file storage platform is designed to provide “faster time” to data insight.

The HPE GreenLake for File Storage OS is ideal for machine learning frameworks and data lakes, said Asad.

The file storage platform is a single flash-based fabric with a “price performance which is much better than existing environments,” said Asad.

HPE GreenLake Backup And Recovery

HPE GreenLake Backup and Recovery, which was introduced last November, is being expanded with cloud-native backup capabilities.

In addition, HPE is expanding its VMware backup capabilities by adding SQL applications to the same service.

“It’s a really, really simplistic unified SaaS backup experience which does not require any hardware configuration,” said Asad. “All you need to do is configure it with your cloud account or configure it with your VMware vCenter and it automatically discovers your infrastructure and starts backing you up.”

The SaaS-based model means partners do not need to install or patch the backup and recovery platform, said Asad.

The software is delivered from to the Storage Alletra MP block or file storage platform. The VMware vCenter capabilities can be added to the platform.

HPE GreenLake For Disaster Recovery

HPE GreenLake for Disaster Recovery is a SaaS-based disaster recovery offering based on HPE’s $374 million acquisition of Zerto two years ago.

“Zerto is now coming onto the GreenLake platform as HPE GreenLake for Disaster Recovery,” he said. “It is a radically simplified disaster recovery management experience. You go to the GreenLake console, purchase a subscription and from a subscription perspective you then go ahead and configure your VMware environment and disaster recovery applications from HPE take over at that time. You do not need to babysit your infrastructure.”

The HPE GreenLake for Disaster Recovery “automatically discovers your source and destination and configures your disaster recovery policies depending on the availability characteristics the environment is subjected to,” said Asad.

HPE GreenLake: A “Partner-Led And Partner-First Platform’

HPE’s Osborne stressed that the new HPE GreenLake storage offerings are backed up by HPE’s “partner-led and partner-first” commitment.

In fact, the new Alletra Storage MP platform is designed not only for customers, but for partners as well, said Osborne.

To that point, the new Alletra Storage MP platform opens the door for partners to build their own services on the platform, said Osborne.

“Many of our partners not only transact and help customers purchase and acquire these solutions and install them they also help manage them,” he said. “They also do life-cycling and data services on their own. So for us this is a partner-first platform.”

The HPE GreenLake storage console is similar to the HPE Aruba Central networking console, which supports more than 120,000 customers.

HPE partners can manage and support customers through the GreenLake storage console with the ability to transact and size their customers’ storage platforms.

“We are 100 percent in with our distribution partners and our reseller partners,” said Osborne. “With the GreenLake platform we imagine that almost the entirety of our business will be partner-led in this segment.”