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HPE GreenLake Is Better Than I Remember

HPE GreenLake Is Better Than I Remember

Introduction

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) GreenLake offers a unified cloud-like consumption model across hybrid cloud and on-premises. Services range from on-premises virtualization and containers to public cloud management and the networks to join everything together.

Other people’s products can evolve and expand even when you are not looking at them. That happened in the 5 years since I last became interested in HPE GreenLake. All those years ago, GreenLake was on-premises infrastructure as a service with a smattering of line-of-business software that seemed more like a consulting engagement than software as a service. While I was not looking, GreenLake became a way to unify cloud-like consumption and management across multiple public clouds, on-premises, and co-location.

I was impressed that GreenLake does not assume that your on-premises infrastructure will be all HPE products, nor even all managed by GreenLake. It appears that customers can start with modest implementations such as a single server machine learning package to solve an immediate problem. HPE expects that most customers will start small and expand their use of GreenLake services over time as the services prove their value.

Cloud-Like with Contracts

Getting started with GreenLake is not quite a cloud-like experience; more enterprise-friendly full-service than cloud-native self-service. There are contract terms of 1 or 3 years mentioned, reflecting that many services are dedicated hardware delivered on-premises rather than shared, multi-tenant hardware in a cloud provider. I would like to know the contract variation process when you expand your initial GreenLake footprint. Hopefully, it will be painless and not impede the gradual increase in the use of services.

Many GreenLake Services

The range of services available in GreenLake is extensive, although it is infrastructure-centric, as you would expect from an infrastructure vendor. There are services for VMware Cloud Foundation, Microsoft Azure Stack, and RedHat OpenShift, as well as traditional HPE storage, data protection, and networking capabilities. These services come together for unified cloud-like consumption in the single GreenLake console. I like that there are services here that embrace the hybrid-cloud and multi-cloud reality in many enterprise organizations. Over time, I want to learn more about the scope and limitations of support for different public and private cloud platforms.

As usual with enterprise vendors, the “cloud-native” application support is more about managing Kubernetes than delivering services developers consume to build applications. I am biased here, from years of teaching Amazon Web Services (AWS) development courses, and I do not think enterprise vendors understand the developer enablement part of cloud-native application services. I am glad there is a developer portal, a well-documented API for GreenLake, and a few SDKs, such as Python and a Terraform provider.

More GreenLake to Learn

I plan to look deeper into the use of GreenLake. One area is as a platform for AI. I want to see and test the infrastructure-as-code options for deployment. I am also interested in the developer experience of building applications that dynamically expand and contract resource consumption for cloud-like elasticity.

Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.

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Author Information

Alastair has made a twenty-year career out of helping people understand complex IT infrastructure and how to build solutions that fulfil business needs. Much of his career has included teaching official training courses for vendors, including HPE, VMware, and AWS. Alastair has written hundreds of analyst articles and papers exploring products and topics around on-premises infrastructure and virtualization and getting the most out of public cloud and hybrid infrastructure. Alastair has also been involved in community-driven, practitioner-led education through the vBrownBag podcast and the vBrownBag TechTalks.

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