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Acer America
Acer America Corp. is a computer manufacturer of business and consumer PCs, notebooks, ultrabooks, projectors, servers, and storage products.


333 West San Carlos Street
San Jose, California 95110
United States


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March 10, 2021 |

HPE Adds Bare Metal and SMB-Friendly Purchasing Options to GreenLake Platform-as-a-Service Offering

The vendor expects bare metal deployment, along with smaller virtual machine and container configurations unveiled today, to make adopting GreenLake easier and more attractive for SMBs, which account for a rapidly growing portion of channel-led sales.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise has expanded its GreenLake as-a-service physical infrastructure offering to give resellers a wider range of solutions to sell and easier, more flexible options for placing orders.

The added options arrive at a time of rapid growth for GreenLake, as well as accelerating adoption by partners generally and SMB partners in particular, according to George Hope, HPE’s worldwide head of partner sales.

“We’re building a bigger base of partners to sell with, and then we’re selling obviously more as well,” he says.

Coming to GreenLake later this year for the first time will be the ability to run compute and storage directly on bare metal resources. That new option joins previous support for virtual machines and containers, both of which will soon be available in a wider range of sizes. Users will have access to standardized blocks of virtual machines, for example, with 4, 8, 12, or 16 compute nodes, as well as a new backup service for VMs. Containers will be available at an expanded range of scales stretching from small to medium to large and extra-large capacity sizes.

The new virtual machine and container solutions will roll out during the first half of HPE’s fiscal year, which began last November. Support for bare metal infrastructure will arrive early in the second half of fiscal 2021.

According to Hope, adding bare metal to virtual machine and containerized infrastructure gives partners and their clients more flexibility in how they utilize GreenLake. “Regardless of how you want to run your applications, it’s available in that way,” he says.

The smaller VM and container configurations unveiled today also make adopting GreenLake easier for SMB and mid-market businesses, Hope continues. “It gives a lower entry point for the partners and the customers,” he says. “We’re trying to make it more channel friendly and scalable.”

Effective today, meanwhile, resellers can research and size GreenLake environments through cloud marketplaces operated by leading distributors, including Arrow Electronics, Ingram Micro, SYNNEX, and Tech Data. Those and other distributors offered GreenLake capacity before, but only through their partner account teams.

Hope expects listing GreenLake in marketplaces alongside public cloud services from hyperscalers like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft to raise interest in the platform among channel pros not currently familiar with it.

“A lot of partners don’t know what GreenLake is,” he says. “When people go to this marketplace and see something that they hadn’t been aware of before, it creates a conversation.”

For now, partners can configure GreenLake environments in cloud marketplaces, but must complete the sale by phone with help from the relevant distributor’s GreenLake specialists. The longer-term plan, Hope adds, is to provide complete self-serve ordering through marketplaces.

At present, HPE says, some 830 partners offer GreenLake to their clients, versus roughly 700 nine months ago. According to Hope, the GreenLake partner base grows 60% on a year-over-year basis every quarter, and enjoys a 95% retention rate. 

“Once people start using this and move workloads to it, they just keep moving workloads to it,” he says.

Partner-led orders, which soared 116% on an annualized basis in HPE’s fiscal Q1, now account for 29% of all GreenLake revenue, up from 18% a year ago. SMB partners, moreover, now generate 30% of through-channel sales. “That’s up 20 points year over year,” Hope says. The company is staffing up to sustain that momentum.

“We’re adding specialists on the channel side to be able to go on sales calls with partners to have those conversations,” Hope notes.

HPE first made GreenLake available through the channel in June 2018 and launched a down market push beyond enterprise buyers into midsize businesses one year later.

GreenLake is designed to make consuming and managing private cloud resources as simple as buying and operating public cloud resources. Though global sales of public cloud infrastructure climbed a projected 16.7% last year to $52.7 billion, according to IDC, HPE and many others expect hybrid environments to dominate the cloud landscape for the foreseeable future.

“Some workloads just can’t move to the [public] cloud,” Hope says, due to compliance requirements, latency concerns, and other issues. Businesses all want the public cloud purchasing and management experience just the same, he continues.

Hope gives COVID-19 partial credit for fueling GreenLake’s recent growth, especially among SMBs. “The whole work from home thing caught everybody by surprise,” he says. “I’m certainly speculating, but we’re coming down market faster because the SMB and mid-market customers have had to adapt as quick if not quicker than the big customers. They didn’t have the luxury of already having a lot of this infrastructure in place.” 

HPE also announced updates to GreenLake-based offerings from its Aruba unit today. GreenLake for Aruba, as it’s formally known, now offers higher rebate levels and incremental revenue opportunities across the ownership lifecycle. Partners will also have access to Aruba customer success managers tasked with helping customers deploy and use Aruba systems.

Demand for as-a-service hardware is spiking at present beyond HPE’s customers. Dell Technologies recently said it will introduce a “substantial increase” in referral incentives for deals involving its Flex On Demand pay-per-use program in the fiscal year that began last month, and suggested that more offerings like the storage-as-a-service program it unveiled last October are on the way. Dell will also officially launch Project APEX, a long-term effort to unify its technology-as-a-service and consumption-based cloud computing programs under a common ordering and management experience, later this year.

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