GreenLake HPC Supercomputing As A Service: 6 Things You Need To Know

HPE has launched a new GreenLake HPC [high-performance-compute] pay-per-use cloud service that brings affordable supercomputing offerings to midsize and even small businesses.

Supercomputing For The Masses

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is taking the next big step in its cloud services march with a breakthrough new GreenLake HPC [high-performance compute] cloud service that brings affordable supercomputing power to midsize and even small businesses.

“HPE is accelerating our mainstream adoption for high-performance computing through HPE GreenLake, so think of this as delivering supercomputing as a service to the masses,” said HPE GreenLake Cloud Services Business Group General Manager Keith White. “We have a unique opportunity to provide customers with the power of an agile, elastic, pay-per-use cloud experience with HPE’s market-leading HPC systems.”

HPE said the new cloud service—which comes in small, medium and large options—allows customers and partners to order HPC as a service through a self-service portal with delivery from configuration to rollout in as few as 14 days.

HPE said the service will slash by 40 percent the big-ticket, capital expenditure price for HPC systems that previously cost hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars. What’s more, HPE said the new service will speed up the deployment of HPC rollouts by 75 percent.

The GreenLake HPC service is aimed at bringing supercomputing technologies “from the peak of the pyramid” to a single rack or a single server for any small or midsize data center or even for HPE colocation providers, said HPE Senior President and General Manager of HPC and Mission Critical Systems Peter Ungaro.

“This is really about a new era of computing where we’re going to take the very same Exascale era technologies that we are building for massive systems and use that very same HPC technology to harness the explosion of data that is happening in every enterprise, large and small,” said Ungaro. “We are going to help those customers process that data and unlock insights faster.”

The new HPE GreenLake cloud service, which initially will be offered on HPE Apollo systems, will be available in the spring of 2021. The new offering is available to HPE partners, said White.

Opening New Doors For Partners In Supercomputing Market

GreenLake HPC as a Service opens new doors for partners who are playing an increasing role for HPE in the supercomputing business, said Ungaro.

Several years ago, there were no partners or systems integrators teaming with HPE in the supercomputing market, he said.

But with more customers adopting AI solutions in the big data era, more partners are getting into the HPC game, said Ungaro. “More and more partners are starting to see this trend and are jumping in,” he said. “We are seeing growth in the partner channel for our HPC business overall.”

Ungaro said he sees partners providing small and midsize customers that lack HPC expertise a full range of solutions and services. “We’re starting to see more and more partners getting engaged in this, and that’s an exciting part of our business,” he said.

The GreenLake HPC door-opener comes on the heels of growth in the HPC business and the GreenLake business for HPE in the most recent quarter.

HPE’s high-performance computing and mission-critical systems grew 25 percent to $975 million in HPE’s fourth fiscal quarter ended Oct. 31 compared with the year-ago quarter.

HPE GreenLake channel orders, meanwhile, were up 62 percent year over year with the number of active partners selling GreenLake up 68 percent.

The channel GreenLake business was greater than the HPE direct sales business, said White. “[Partners] are really helping fuel the growth we are seeing,” he said.

HPE has tripled its GreenLake channel investment for the new fiscal year, which began Nov. 1. The sales blitz includes a sizable investment in new inside GreenLake sales reps worldwide charged with working hand in hand with partners and an increased account coverage model for partners, both aimed at driving new logo wins.

Supercomputing For Small And Midsize Businesses

The new HPE GreenLake HPC offering provides building block components that small and midsize businesses can use to access supercomputing muscle, said Ungaro.

The GreenLake model is aimed at providing the same multimillion-dollar capabilities that customers would get in a capital expenditure purchase in a pay-per-use model. “We’re sizing this to meet customer needs—small, medium and large T-shirt sizes,” he said.

The new service moves the supercomputing market beyond the biggest corporations to small and midsize businesses, said Ungaro. “We are accelerating mainstream adoption of HPC, bringing this same technology to smaller use cases at lower price points with usage-based costs,” he said. “There is no need for large capital outlays at the start.”

The focus for the GreenLake HPC cloud service is squarely on “speed and simplicity of deployment and use,” Ungaro said. “It is really about integrating our modular, multipurpose HPC solutions and then using these building blocks to take advantage of the intellectual property we have at HPE in this space.”

That intellectual property includes storage and networking interconnects and software such as HPC workload management purpose-built for complex supercomputer modeling and simulation workloads, said Ungaro.

The new GreenLake HPC cloud service makes the vision HPE had to bring supercomputing to businesses of all sizes and shapes a “reality,” said Ungaro. “These are HPC solutions that perform like a supercomputer but run like the cloud,” he said.

The GreenLake HPC Advantage Versus Public Cloud

HPE’s GreenLake HPC cloud service is allowing customers to sidestep high-priced public cloud egress fees for massive data sets, said White.

“What people are finding especially in these HPC scenarios is that the data sets are massive and there is a charge when you bring data back down to do certain things with it,” said White, referring to public cloud data egress charges. “Many customers are finding [that those egress charges] are quite expensive.”

Another big issue for public cloud providers is the data latency issues that come with moving big data sets from the edge to the public cloud, said White.

“You need that instantaneous computation,” said White of the HPE GreenLake HPC on-premises advantage. “You don’t want to be dependent on things going over the wire and coming back.”

The ability for HPE to work with partners to build systems for the specific needs of each and every customer is key, said White.

ISV And Platform Provider Support Is Key To GreenLake HPC

HPE is bringing a wide range of supercomputing ISV and HPC platform provider offerings to the market with the GreenLake HPC service, said Ungaro.

The ISV and platform provider relationships include AI and blockchain provider Core Scientific, Ansys computer-aided simulation, Activeeon orchestration and scheduling, and UberCloud cloud simulation for engineers.

“We’re working with ISVs such as Ansys to build end-to-end vertical solutions,” said Ungaro. “You’ll see more and more partnerships with ISVs building out those solutions in different segments.”

The aim is to allow partners to quickly deploy supercomputing applications on workload-optimized platforms, enabling customers to “containerize” their applications, said Ungaro.

A GreenLake HPC Customer Win: Analyzing Autonomous Vehicle Data

Zenseact, formerly Zenuity, a leading player in the autonomous vehicle software market, is already a GreenLake HPC customer, said White.

Based in China and Sweden, Zenseact is using the HPE GreenLake HPC cloud service to analyze hundreds of petabytes of data it generates globally from its network of test vehicles and development centers.

“The solution has really helped fuel their mission to model and simulate the autonomous driving experience to develop next-generation software to support driver safety,” said White. “What they want to do is transform the driving experience by improving this advanced driver-assisted system and automated driving technologies.

The Zenseact GreenLake HPC service performs 10,000 simulations per second using driving data from test cars, said White.

“We have customers today that are really taking advantage of this [GreenLake HPC service],” said White. “This is a fantastic example of how we are helping digitally transform companies like Zenseact.”

High Growth Ahead For GreenLake And HPC

HPE expects the total addressable on-premises cloud services market to grow to $22 billion by 2023, up from $6 billion today, a 58 percent compound annual growth rate, said White.

Nearly 50 percent of the GreenLake sales growth is coming from areas like HPC, analytics, engineering applications and virtual desktop infrastructure, said White.

At the same time, HPE sees big growth ahead in the HPC market, where sales in the most recent quarter were up 25 percent.

HPE, which bought supercomputing power Cray in 2019, said it now has a market-leading 37 percent market share in the supercomputing market.

“We’re approaching this whole HPC solution area fundamentally differently than traditional cloud providers,” said Ungaro. “We start with our leadership HPC position in the market and then bring that capability to a cloud infrastructure, rather than starting with a cloud infrastructure and trying to apply that to HPC.”

HPE’s aim is to provide customers of all sizes access to unique HPE supercomputing technologies like HPE Slingshot high-speed interconnect; HPE HPC Performance Cluster Manager; and Cray ClusterStor parallel performance storage management system, said Ungaro.

Through the Cray acquisition, HPE also offers a complete Cray programming software suite for high-performance computing, said Ungaro.

HPE, in fact, plans to expand the HPE GreenLake cloud service for HPC to Cray technologies in the future.

“We’re excited about broadening the scope of what solutions our partners can deliver to customers, and we are excited to help them,” said White.