A few weeks ago, HPE announced its new GreenLake Central offering—a software platform that gives customers an operational console to run, manage and optimize their entire hybrid IT environment and provide customers a consistent cloud experience across all of their applications and data. This announcement comes on the heels of HPE’s annual Financial Analyst Day (see my coverage here), where the company stressed its service-oriented strategy and reiterated its plans to offer its entire portfolio “as-a-Service” by the year 2022. GreenLake Central strikes me another big step down that path and appears to be ahead of the curve, too. Let’s take a closer look at the new offering.
Continuing “as-a-service” push
HPE GreenLake, for the uninitiated, is HPE’s successful hybrid IT as-a-Service offering, which is delivered via a flexible consumption model. The company says it’s one of its fastest growing segments—it boasts 740 customers worldwide, a $3 billion total contract value for HPE, and in Q3 2019 alone experienced 42% YoY growth. Much of its success comes via the channel, with the company’s partner community purportedly generating over 200% order growth for the offering. HPE has made it clear that it sees GreenLake as the key to its future, and GreenLake Central seeks to bolster the offering by giving it a unified management control center.
The offering looks to offer something for everyone in the enterprise value chain. In addition to delivering what looks like a consistent cloud experience across workloads for all users, it looks to provides valuable tools that make life easier for a number of organizational roles. It gives CIOs control and visibility over their hybrid IT environment allowing them, in HPE’s words, to act as “service brokers” for the rest of the organization. They can utilize GreenLake Central to view real-time statistics on CPU, storage, and memory utilization, and make critical, well-informed decisions around capacity, cost, resource utilization, compliance and security. Additionally, HPE says the offering enables the quick provisioning of resources, with custom and pre-loaded workloads. I think this sounds great and certainly the product of insights from its CTP and RedPixie acquisitions.
Meanwhile, the offering provides a workspace for developers to quickly write, release and deploy code without having to stress about the underlying infrastructure. HPE calls it a “point, click, get” pay-per-use developer platform.
CFOs gain real-time visibility into their entire hybrid IT spending, from a high level, on down to business units, teams and individual users Additionally, HPE says they can gain proactive, data-driven insights into where there is room for optimization and cost savings. Instead of having to comb through multiple spreadsheets, all of this data is located in one unified console, in useful forms such as pre-made charts and graphs.
Legal, compliance and security teams also benefit from GreenLake Central, which gives them a KPI dashboard to identify risks, take appropriate action, and ensure compliance. GreenLake Central includes over 1,500 continuous compliance controls. When potential risks or violations are identified, HPE claims its experts will be on hand to help departments mitigate the problem. Another benefit of GreenLake Central is that it delivers comprehensive reports on security and compliance, simplifying audits.
All things considered, there looks to be a lot of value here. My overall takeaway is that GreenLake Central appears on its face to be a useful tool that will make GreenLake an even more appealing offering to IT departments looking to accelerate their hybrid transformation. If it functions as promised, it should simplify and streamline users’ workloads across the hybrid spectrum, and deliver tools and visibility that enables many if not all organizational roles to be more productive and successful. I think this tool has the potential to greatly enhance the value prop of GreenLake, and aid HPE in its drive to offer its entire portfolio “as-a-Service” within the next several years. HPE kicked off the whole “as a service” trend amongst its peers and has amped up the stakes again.