HPE Focuses on Networking, HPC and Storage with GreenLake Extension
Hewlett Packard Enterprise was a bit ahead of the curve when it announced in 2019 that it would offer its entire product portfolio as a service by this year and that its GreenLake hybrid cloud platform would be the foundation of the effort.
Rivals of the past two years have followed suit, including Dell Technologies with its Apex initiative, Lenovo and TruScale and Cisco Systems with its Cisco+. HPE has strived to stay ahead of the pack, keeping a steady pace of adding new services to the rapidly growing portfolio, from storage and data analytics to HPC and networking (through its Aruba Networks business). It has added artificial intelligence, machine learning, containers and virtual machines into the mix and integrated aspects of its Ezmeral software portfolio.
A year ago, the vendor unveiled GreenLake Lighthouse to bring together cloud-native software and hardware to make it easier for enterprises to launch their hybrid cloud environment and services and Project Aurora to provide zero-trust security features to GreenLake cloud services.
This all comes as organizations continue to adopt hybrid cloud strategies in an increasingly distributed computing environment to bring cloud agility, scalability and consumption-based payment models to their data centers. .
“Where we’ve really pivoted over the last 12 to 18 months is probably the platform architecture, bringing all of HPE’s services together on a single platform,” said HPE CTO Fidelma Russo during from a recent press briefing. “At the foundation of this platform architecture is the GreenLake cloud platform and you can think of this as your Amazon experience. When you enter, you have one login, you have one way to consume: you see your subscriptions, you get your support, and you can get all these different coins in GreenLake. Once you enter GreenLake, you have this unique experience, a unique identity that you bring with you, whether you use compute, whether you use storage, our MLOps offerings or our workload orchestration offerings.
This week, HPE is once again expanding its offerings within GreenLake, focusing on areas such as networking, storage, HPC, and compute operations management. With these latest developments, every HPE business unit will now have cloud services offered on GreenLake and consumed through this single user experience, Russo said.
“Security and compliance are key [and] traverse the platform and we provide security and compliance not only to the underlying GreenLake cloud platform, but also to the services on it,” she said, noting consulting services, managed services and corporate financial services. “You will start to see these integrate more and more tightly into the platform as we move forward. The cloud platform is a fundamental substrate on which all of our cloud services are built.”
In the latest enhancement to the platform, a key element is integrating the bulk of the Aruba portfolio into its range of services. Of the 12 new services added – bringing the total to more than 50 – eight of them fall into the networking category. Since buying Aruba in 2015 for around $3 billion, the network provider has become key to big business efforts in areas including infrastructure, cloud and edge.
In this case, HPE bundles many of these services into GreenLake for Aruba Networking, making it easier for businesses to deploy Networking as a Service (NaaS) and ensuring both cost effectiveness and an always-ready network.
It also means a significant increase in GreenLake’s numbers. According to Russo, bringing Aruba and its customers deeper into the fold will increase GreenLake’s customer base from around 1,350 to more than 120,000 on the platform.
The company also noted other numbers to show GreenLake’s health, including 136% year-over-year order growth in the first quarter, annual recurring revenue of $798 million in the first quarter, more 900 partners and a customer retention rate of 96%.
Flynn Maloy, vice president of marketing for GreenLake, said during the briefing that such accelerated growth gives HPE the opportunity for new services. Beyond networking, the vendor has also introduced GreenLake for block storage, providing block storage as a service and ensuring data availability through self-service provisioning for greater agility.
Also in storage, HPE’s Backup and Recovery Service is for hybrid clouds, with data protection for virtual machines, fast onsite recovery, and a cost-effective approach to storing long-term backups in public cloud environments. The provider also adds immutable copies of data on-premises or on Amazon Web Services to help the business protect and recover from ransomware attacks.
According to Sandeep Singh, vice president of storage marketing at HPE, the new storage offerings build on what HPE rolled out a year ago when it launched its Storage-as-a-Service offering, which included the Console data services and cloud data.
“What we’re introducing with HPE GreenLake for Block Storage is this whole notion of customer self-service agility, where line of business owners, database owners, are able to provision and act faster,” Singh said. “Second, software customers want to adopt storage service offerings for their mission-critical environments with a 100% uptime guarantee. We’re making it available with the block storage offering, and overall, industry-wide compared to other offerings, we’re able to deliver that self-service agility, combined with the mission-critical reliability, combined with the ability to essentially order quickly, deploy quickly, and have highly managed self-service agility and tracking. »
The expansion of GreenLake’s HPC capabilities aims to enable organizations to better run compute and data-intensive workloads such as AI, machine learning, and analytics. Improvements include the addition of the HPE Apollo 6500 Gen10 system, which uses Nvidia’s A100, A40, and A30 GPUs in two-, four-, and eight-accelerator increments. The service also includes Nvidia’s high-speed NVLink interconnect between the GPUs to allow them to work in unison as a single powerful accelerator. HPE also includes Slingshot, the Ethernet-based fabric inherited when the company bought supercomputer maker Cray in 2019 for $1.4 billion.
HPE uses Slingshot in its Cray EX supercomputers — which also entered under the Cray deal — and its several upcoming exascale systems.
The introduction of HPE’s parallel file storage system will deliver improved throughput for a range of HPC and AI demands and multicloud connector APIs allow enterprises to programmatically orchestrate HPC workloads across public clouds or among other compute resources in GreenLake. HPE is also narrowing the entry point for enterprises looking to leverage GreenLake for HPC by offering a smaller 10-node configuration to test workloads and then scale as needed.
HPE’s first GreenLake HPC offering was based on the vendor’s smaller, denser Apollo 2000 platform. The new HPC offerings not only include Nvidia’s latest GPUs, but will also include the option of AMD’s MI100 accelerators. Other workloads are also supported, including fluid dynamics, genomics, biosciences, and oil and gas.