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June 18, 2019

HPE: The Everything-as-a-Service Company

Alex Woodie

All of Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s products and services — including servers, storage, and software offerings — will be available as a service by 2022, the company announced today. New partnerships for HPE’s GreenLake offering running in Google and Equinx also bolster the company’s hybrid computing story, while on-prem customers benefit from new HPE capabilities for composable infrastructure.

The rise of public cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and software as a service (SaaS) business models have put tremendous pressure on traditional IT providers and the multi-trillion-dollar IT business as a whole. The success of companies like Salesforce, not to mention the rise of public clouds like AWS, are proof that show customers really like the speed and agility that SaaS and IaaS cloud services afford.

However, we’re not about to see all of IT just move to the cloud. Large enterprises have decades worth of investments in hardware and software, and they’re not about to give up control of their IT environment. Just the same, IaaS and SaaS provide compelling value, and so these enterprises must chart out a future where some of their applications sit on premise, some reside in the cloud, some straddle the line as hybrid apps, and still others reside on the edge.

HPE CEO and president Antonio Neri delivers the keynote address today at HPE Discover

But most importantly, all of these applications and the underling infrastructure they all must be managed as a cohesive whole, with flexibility to move as customers see fit. This is the challenging technical and business backdrop that Hewlett Packard Enterprise finds itself, and is the main driving force behind a series of announcements HPE made today at Discover, its annual user conference, which is taking place this week in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Step one in that journey is the company’s decision to make all of its offerings available as some type of service, including subscriptions, pay-per-use, or true cloud-based as-a-service offerings. HPE executives repeated the “everything as a service” mantra repeatedly throughout the course of the event, no matter whether they were talking about additions to GreenLake, its new enterprise-level storage array (see today’s story about the launch of Primera), or enhancements to the company’s edge solutions.

Much of the “as a service” message revolves around GreenLake, the company’s new “consumption-based IT model” that it launched a year ago. GreenLake is currently the fastest growing business inside of HPE, the company says. It has more than 600 customers, who have committed to spending $2.8 billion on GreenLake subscriptions over the course of several years.

“GreenLake really is more about buying experience,” said Pradeep Kumar, HPE’s senior vice president and general manager for HPE Pointnext. “It’s very similar what you would get out of the public cloud. They’re buying an experience. They’re not buying a product or a service anymore. And the difference. GreenLake…. really gives you choice.”

HPE unveiled several new GreenLake offerings today, including new partnerships with data center operators Equinx and CyrusOne. HPE also unveiled a new midmarket solution for GreenLake that includes five pre-configured as a service workloads.

HPE also unveiled an expansion of its existing partnerships with Google Cloud that will see GreenLake customers being able to take advantage of “true” hybrid cloud for containers experience. That offering will blend Google Cloud Anthos with HPE on-premise infrastructure, including ProLiant and Nimble storage.

“We are at an inflection point in the market,” said HPE CEO and president Antonio Neri in a press release. “Everyone recognizes that customers want technology delivers as service, but they also want it on their terms. HPE’s unique approach to as a service, which empowers customers with choice, flexibility, and control, is driving HPE GreenLake’s tremendous success.”

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