Hewlett Packard Enterprise has introduced a management plane for its GreenLake IT-as-a-service platform that enables centralized procurement and administration of both onsite and offsite workloads.
Called GreenLake Central, the new dashboard gives uses of GreenLake’s consumption-based, on-premises resources access to the same intuitive provisioning and oversight capabilities available through public clouds like Amazon Web Services for the first time, according to Erik Vogel, HPE’s vice president for customer success, hybrid cloud software and services.
“We’re providing a set of automation and orchestration tools that allow a client to provision an environment in five clicks,” he says. “We’ve digitized the GreenLake experience.”
Additional tools let users deploy a variety of applications and other workloads on top of their GreenLake infrastructure with similar ease, Vogel continues.†
“They can go in and provision an Apache web server or a VMware environment, any number of different environments, again, with three or four clicks, all sitting on top of their flexible capacity environment,” he says.
GreenLake Central also displays real-time, consolidated capacity utilization and planning data designed to help IT professionals and channel pros with IT procurement duties anticipate approaching resource shortfalls and reduce overspending on underutilized infrastructure.
“They can look more deeply at what they’re paying, and where the money is going, and where they’re spending,” Vogel notes.
The system gives administrators access to the same information for resources in the Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure public clouds as well, he continues, with additional support for Google Cloud Platform to come in the future.
Additional public cloud functionality in GreenLake Central lets users monitor and manage compliance with regulations like HIPAA, GDPR, and PCI-DSS.†
“If somebody opens a firewall they’re not supposed to, it will immediately show up red on the dashboard,” Vogel says, along with “plain English” instructions for fixing the problem. HPE will add similar capabilities for onsite GreenLake workloads next spring, he adds.
Also forthcoming to GreenLake Central is an associated marketplace that will let users research and try out supplemental software-as-a-service offerings for functions like data migration and application management, among others.
“There’ll be wikis, there’ll be community groups, demos, standard materials, [and] white papers where clients can come and learn about these service capabilities on their own, like they would any other SaaS provider,” Vogel says, noting that every listing in the marketplace will offer a free tier or free trial period as well.
Solutions in the marketplace will be a mix of offerings from HPE itself, third-party ISVs, and channel pros. HPE plans to limit the volume of listings, however, to avoid overwhelming users with options.
“We don’t want to just open it up and create a giant marketplace that’s confusing and has too much in it,” Vogel says. “We’ll be kind of selective and making sure we’re picking and choosing the right services as part of that catalog.”
In development as well for future editions of GreenLake Central is a “customer experience platform” that will draw on aggregated usage and management statistics to spotlight current and emerging end user pain points. According to Vogel, channel pros can use that data to identify high-value sales opportunities among their clients.
“We’re going to be able to provide our partners with some really good insights about the problems our customers are facing, what they’re looking at, what they’re reviewing, [and] where they may have interests,” he says.
HPE is rolling out GreenLake Central to existing GreenLake users on a phased basis at present. Newcomers to GreenLake will have access to the system as well beginning in the second half of the vendor’s current fiscal year, which begins May 1st.
Use of flexible, consumption-based IT solutions has swiftly become pervasive among businesses of all sizes, according to survey data published by HPE today. The study of 1,000 technology decision-makers at organizations with as few as 50 employees indicates that 87% of organizations have either begun or completed adoption of as-a-service offerings, and that 75% will move to “full adoption” of aaS solutions in less than five years. Well over half of respondents to the poll called use of as-a-service solutions very important to their company’s future, competitiveness, and growth.†
According to Vogel, however, further HPE research has found widespread discomfort among end users with the public cloud’s “data gravity” constraints and potential security vulnerabilities. GreenLake Central is designed to combine the public cloud’s flexibility with a private infrastructure’s control by allowing users to view and manage an entire hybrid IT estate through a single set of “cloud-like” tools.
“We’re trying to give them the best of both worlds,” Vogel says.
Available through the channel since June 2018 and extended deeper into the mid-market a year later, GreenLake is now one of HPE’s fastest-growing businesses. Orders overall for GreenLake services rose 39% in the company’s 2019 fiscal year, which concluded in October. Orders through the channel jumped 200% in the same timeframe. HPE aims to drive half of its consumption-based revenue through partners by the end of the 2020 fiscal year.
HPE aims to drive half of its consumption-based revenue through partners by the end of the 2020 fiscal year. In support of that goal, the company announced last month that it’s hiring new sales specialists tasked with driving channel-led GreenLake sales opportunities and introducing a “quick quote” process designed to get pricing to resellers within a few hours.
In June, HPE pledged to offer its entire portfolio on an as-a-service basis by 2022.
Mushrooming demand for pay-as-you-go infrastructure and applications is pushing vendors beyond HPE to roll out IT-as-a-service offerings of their own. Most recently, Dell unveiled Dell Technologies on Demand, a consumption-based procurement option covering nearly every client and data center product the company makes.
Data from Gartner cited by Dell when that program launched predicts that 15% of new on-premises IT deployments will involve pay-per-use pricing by 2022, versus 1% this year.