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Exploring HPE’s Next-Generation Solutions: A Conversation on ProLiant Servers and GreenLake for Compute – Futurum Tech Webcast

Exploring HPE's Next-Generation Solutions: A Conversation on ProLiant Servers and GreenLake for Compute - Futurum Tech Webcast

In this Futurum Tech Webcast, sponsored by HPE, Steven Dickens and Krista Macomber discuss their collaborative research brief on HPE’s compute resources, specifically focusing on the ProLiant server line. They examine the challenges facing IT teams, such as staffing limitations and growing cybersecurity threats, and discuss how HPE’s solutions, including their 11th generation ProLiant servers and GreenLake for compute, aim to tackle these issues. Steven and Krista highlight the importance of staying current in hardware to maximize operational performance and security, and emphasize the flexibility offered by HPE’s consumption-based models to meet varying needs, such as AI and data-intensive workloads. They conclude by recommending immediate action for updating server infrastructure to benefit from these advancements.

Their discussion covers:

  • Critical challenges like staffing, cyber threats, and infrastructure sprawl faced by IT teams
  • The importance of HPE’s GreenLake for compute and 11th gen ProLiant servers in addressing these challenges
  • The flexibility of HPE’s solutions for varying workload requirements, including AI and data-intensive tasks
  • The necessity for immediate action to update server infrastructure for enhanced security, operational efficiency, and cost management is highlighted

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Steven Dickens: Hello and welcome. My name’s Steven Dickens and you are joining us here on a Futurum Tech webcast, sponsored by HPE. I’m joined by my colleague Krista Macomber. Hey, Krista, welcome to the show.

Krista Macomber: Hi, Steven. Thanks so much.

Steven Dickens: So we’re here to talk about a paper we’ve been working with the team at HPE on around some of their compute resources. I’ve been tracking the ProLiant space for a while. Really fascinating to dig in with that team. We’ll put a link to the paper so that you can read some of the research there, but maybe let’s dive in here. What was your thoughts, Krista? And then maybe I’ll come back and we can go back around here. What were some of your thoughts on the research and the analysis that we did?

Krista Macomber: Yeah, so I think Steven, maybe taking a quick step back and thinking about the key customer perspective and what we see customers really looking for in a compute architecture moving forward. And I always like to think about it in terms of the challenges that we see customers facing. And just a couple things that really come to mind are the issues around staffing and headcount and limitations there and really how IT teams are really trying to do more with less from that perspective.

But at the same time, we see that they’re facing all of these growing cyber threats. We’re seeing that they’re having sprawl in terms of their infrastructure and their data that is limiting their productivity, and also really their ability to innovate and have competitive advantage. When we think about the need to either migrate to new architecture from a server perspective or continue with the status quo, I think this really sets that tone in terms of why the need is there. So again, just thinking in that customer perspective.

Steven Dickens: I’d agree a hundred percent. I mean, the market’s more dynamic. We’re obviously seeing a need for flexibility from an HP perspective that often means GreenLake for compute specifically in this space, addressing that need to change to a more hybrid consumption based model, leveraging some of the power of those cloud type models, but doing that either in your data center or in a co-located data center. And it’s interesting you talk about this point around moving and staying current.

HP’s on its 11th generation of the ProLiant servers, so you would think this is a consistency play. I can put these things in and HP has been doing this for a while. But what came through from the research for me is there’s a cost to that in action. There’s a cost if you’re not refreshing on a regular basis. And I think the key takeaway for me is that’s up and down the stack. As you mentioned, it’s everything from cybersecurity through to operational, right down to the performance and some of the eco characteristics of these servers. So, fascinating for me up and down the entire stack to address some of those more modern workloads and applications that we’re seeing coming through.

Krista Macomber: Yeah, absolutely, Steven. I know we’ve both touched on it, but I think maybe we could spend a minute or two talking the security perspective. I think not only has it been something we both brought up, but I think it’s just a major topic in the industry, and actually both as a component of this research, but also in addition to this research. Working with our Futurum Labs Group, we’ve actually developed what we call a whole security framework to really evaluate infrastructure and servers from the standpoint of different features to make sure that the infrastructure is meeting critical security requirements.

Certainly the HPE portfolio we see meeting a very large component of these features, but it’s something that even just beyond the hardware itself, one thing is just the ability to make sure that things like firmware updates are being able to be rolled out on a streamlined basis. Make sure that certain verification from a third party supply chain for example, that this is something that’s factored in. So it even goes beyond just the hardware itself. And again, I think that’s something that resonated in the research here that we’ve done with HPE as well.

Steven Dickens: Yeah, I mean they call it the hardware root of trust. It’s been able to ensure that everything from a firmware and bios, right through to the operating system, right through the server and down that to the server itself, making sure that you can track that so that it’s not been tampered with as it comes through the supply chain to your data center, so that you can really start to look at all levels, whether it’s a logistics, whether it’s firmware and bios, whether it’s the server itself from a Tampa perspective, looking at all of that and being able to say, I trust connecting this server to my network and then I can deploy from there, based on a solid foundation of security. I think HP is taking a holistic look at that and all the concerns at the various points throughout that supply chain and has innovated threads and below the stack as well.

Krista Macomber: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Steven Dickens: What were the other things that came out for you, Krista? I mean, I think from a compute point of view, we’re seeing a lot around AI. I think there’s been a lot of focus there from the HPE team. Is that something that came through for you?

Krista Macomber: Yeah, so a couple of things were around, the graphics accelerators, the support for these advanced graphic accelerators and how that can really make these machines a good fit for, as you mentioned, some of these AI/ML workloads and just in general, any application that’s going to be very data intensive, which of course those tend to be a lot of our modern workloads and applications even beyond just AI. I think the other maybe capability if you will, would be that we do see that this next generation from HP can support better bandwidth from an IO perspective, which is going to certainly make these systems a good fit for those workloads too.

Steven Dickens: Yeah, I think as people look at AI, we’re seeing a lot of innovation in the public cloud, but people are starting to think about now moving into deployment and at scale. And some of those private models, they’re going to drive different requirements. I think there’s a space across both public cloud, private cloud and hybrid cloud deployments for some of these AI models. And I think we are going to see organizations look to deploy increasingly in these type of hybrid models, rather than just purely public cloud, because they’re going to need security, they’re going to need privacy, they’re going to need data sovereignty. They’re going to be hooking this up to on-premise or private cloud database infrastructures and that data layer.

So I think there’s a whole space for innovation and being able to control that stack from a cost envelope perspective. We see the opportunity for workloads to escape and create their own momentum from a financial cost perspective. We’ve seen that the whole FinOps space on the public cloud, the ability to constrain that and increasingly from HP with their GreenLake for compute, be able to rightsize that infrastructure to be able to suit your requirements as you start a project, but also bring on capacity and have your Opex match to those requirements.

Krista Macomber: Yeah. It’s very important from a cost efficiency perspective, and I think we have seen that a lot of the allure and appeal of the cloud, has been the potential for greater cost economics compared to on-prem, but I think we all know that unfortunately in reality, that doesn’t always become the case. So I think tools like this certainly help customers to be able to have a stronger sense of what exactly their cost dynamics are, to take steps to utilize the cloud in a more cost-efficient way, which is very important of course.

Steven Dickens: Yeah, I mean we’re seeing repatriation happen. I mean, it’s kind of a dirty word that nobody wants to talk about, because people don’t want to be a cloud denier, but we are seeing it occur. We’re seeing people move workloads initially to the public cloud to get that flexibility and to get some of the adjacencies, but then they’re realizing potentially that cost overruns and they’re then repatriating workloads back onto on-prem to talk about cost containment, or from a data sovereignty point of view, maybe they’ve got some concerns.

I think from a HP perspective, being able to provide servers in that type of consumption based model with HP GreenLake for compute, gives customers that best of both worlds. You can get that flexibility and scale up that you would typically imagine you could only get on the cloud, but you’re able to get that either in your own data center or in a co-location data center, and get all the additional benefits of that security and reduced cost management.

One of the other things that was interesting for me that came out from chatting to the team, was just really the holistic focus from the HPE team and how they’ve thought about this up and down the stack, and putting that in the context of the ability for clients to really act now. Obviously, people are on maybe longer refresh cycles, but what came through for me was just the benefits of moving now, being able to refresh, move to this new Gen 11 environment. Was there anything there that stood out for you, Krista, as reasons why people should be thinking about this now as they think about their on-premises or co-located server infrastructure?

Krista Macomber: Yeah, I think from the standpoint of thinking about it now, I mean, as you mentioned there is the key cost that I would say would be, I think we’ve touched on a couple of them, I think there’s the security component and certainly there’s a very potentially substantial cost associated with a breach of course. Whether that be data loss, downtime, things of that nature. I know we were just having the conversation around the cost economics of the infrastructure itself, and really taking steps to right find or optimize that.

I would say the other area that we haven’t necessarily touched on yet in depth in our conversation is costs associated with day-to-day management, day-to-day management responsibilities. I alluded a few minutes ago to the fact that we see these IT teams are just quite overburdened, they’re dealing with limited headcount. They’re trying to really stretch their people as thin as possible. What that means is, that the more that they can be elevated from some of these day-to-day management capabilities, is going to really be important in terms of allowing them to serve the business in a more strategic way.

I know that as part of this, the Gen 11 launch here with HP, or the portfolio I should say, is the ability to have that cloud driven, really centralized management of all of the compute, the servers and the compute resources there from that single pane of glass approach, and to use capabilities like automation to do things like onboard a large number of servers more quickly, really get a centralized picture more efficiently in terms of the health of the server environment and things of that nature. That was really, I would say, one of the other areas that jumped out to me as the imperative for taking some action and updating the server infrastructure now, as opposed to later.

Steven Dickens: Yeah, it’s that holistic perspective for me. The servers are obviously the crucial part, and that was where the research was, but it’s those adjacencies for ops ramp to some of the other technologies that they’ve got, that take that view broader. Thinking about it from an operational perspective, thinking about it from a security perspective, thinking about it from a service ability and support, being able to wrap that with a holistic view from a support perspective as well. And thinking about day two operations as much as just the physical server infrastructure.

Fascinating discussion there, Krista. Really a lot to pick in and dive into and go through with this Gen 11 ProLiant launch and what HP is doing more broadly with GreenLake for compute. Recommend you read the research and take a look and we’ll see you next time on the next episode. Thank you very much for watching.

Author Information

Regarded as a luminary at the intersection of technology and business transformation, Steven Dickens is the Vice President and Practice Leader for Hybrid Cloud, Infrastructure, and Operations at The Futurum Group. With a distinguished track record as a Forbes contributor and a ranking among the Top 10 Analysts by ARInsights, Steven's unique vantage point enables him to chart the nexus between emergent technologies and disruptive innovation, offering unparalleled insights for global enterprises.

Steven's expertise spans a broad spectrum of technologies that drive modern enterprises. Notable among these are open source, hybrid cloud, mission-critical infrastructure, cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and FinTech innovation. His work is foundational in aligning the strategic imperatives of C-suite executives with the practical needs of end users and technology practitioners, serving as a catalyst for optimizing the return on technology investments.

Over the years, Steven has been an integral part of industry behemoths including Broadcom, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), and IBM. His exceptional ability to pioneer multi-hundred-million-dollar products and to lead global sales teams with revenues in the same echelon has consistently demonstrated his capability for high-impact leadership.

Steven serves as a thought leader in various technology consortiums. He was a founding board member and former Chairperson of the Open Mainframe Project, under the aegis of the Linux Foundation. His role as a Board Advisor continues to shape the advocacy for open source implementations of mainframe technologies.

With a focus on data security, protection, and management, Krista has a particular focus on how these strategies play out in multi-cloud environments. She brings approximately a decade of experience providing research and advisory services and creating thought leadership content, with a focus on IT infrastructure and data management and protection. Her vantage point spans technology and vendor portfolio developments; customer buying behavior trends; and vendor ecosystems, go-to-market positioning, and business models. Her work has appeared in major publications including eWeek, TechTarget and The Register.

Prior to joining The Futurum Group, Krista led the data center practice for Evaluator Group and the data center practice of analyst firm Technology Business Research. She also created articles, product analyses, and blogs on all things storage and data protection and management for analyst firm Storage Switzerland and led market intelligence initiatives for media company TechTarget.

Krista holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Journalism with a minor in Business Administration from the University of New Hampshire.


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