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HPE deepens partnership with Veeam for new Flash storage service

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LONDONHewlett Packard Enterprise announced that it is expanding its resale and go-to-market relationship with Veeam as it releases a new all-Flash storage array solution that combines on-premises storage with cloud-style pricing.

A new HPE 3PAR Flash Now initiative is offering pricing on HP’s all-flash storage platform starting at $0.03 per usable gigabyte (GB) per month. That’s “a fraction of the cost of public cloud solutions,” HPE says in a press release issued Monday. It goes on to pitch the on-premises infrastructure as “less than half the cost of public cloud” and providing “the best of on-premises performance, application availability, and control with the convenience and agility of public cloud consumption models.”

HPE will be working with Veeam on an expanded HPE Complete program to deliver the new service, the press release says. This follows a year of federating its 3PAR StoreServe Storage and StoreOnce data protection platforms to ensure customers can shift their applications to the new storage without any disruption.

Storage has been one of the lower hanging clouds to jump onto for firms still hesitant to move from on-premises models, because the lower pricing and scalable flexibility provided by the services has been hard to beat. Typically, hosting similar scales of storage in an owned data centre would require a high upfront cost, and that stiff capital investment is exactly what IT departments want to avoid. With HPE’s Flash Now, firms can have the on-premises storage and pay for it from the operational budget, amortizing the costs of installation.

While the overriding narrative in the IT industry for the last two years has been about designing a hybrid approach that inevitably makes use of the public cloud for some services, HPE may have given its customers another option, says Ray Wang, principal analyst at Constellation Research.

“Price competitiveness has been the main drive to public cloud,” he says. “If HP matches public cloud pricing and provides financing as stated, they have a way for customers to have another option in their overall IT strategy.”

At a few pennies per GB, HPE is at the same rate as storage on public cloud options, Wang says, but will offer lower long-term costs as a result of the extra inbound and outbound fees that public cloud services incur.

A comparison of Amazon S3 Standard, Microsoft Azure Blob ZRS, and Google Cloud Storage by Cloudberry Lab - April 2016.

A comparison of Amazon S3 Standard, Microsoft Azure Blob ZRS, and Google Cloud Storage by Cloudberry Lab – April 2016.

Beyond costs, HPE will be able to target companies with high compliance requirements to keep data stored within their own confines. In many cases, businesses are avoiding cloud storage that will see data go outside of their national jurisdictions voluntarily.

“It comes as no surprise HP is announcing this in Europe, where data privacy and residency concerns are most pronounced,” says Holger Mueller, analyst with Constellation Research. “So for a number of next-gen apps that can stay on-premises, this will be attractive.”

HPE 3PAR Flash Now comes with some other frills beyond an Op-Ex pricing model, in the form of HPE Flexible Capacity and Pre-Provisioning. To help customers support the Flash arrays with appropriate networking infrastructure, HPE has updated its StoreFabric 32GB Fibre Channel portfolio to include a Smart SAN technology to automate orchestration from the 3PAR StorServ arrays.

HPE says its Flash Now service is available worldwide as of today.

It’s also introducing some new high-end tape storage systems that offer long-term storage costs of $0.01 per GB, working with reseller Spectra Logic to deliver that solution.