HPE gets whimsical with Ezmeral software and expands GreenLake platform

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is following through on its promise to enhance its cloud platform GreenLake into a full-scale cloud services market, and at its virtual Discover event this week also unveiled a new hybrid cloud, pay-as-you-go option for deploying Kubernetes anywhere.

HPE Ezmeral spans a portfolio featuring container orchestration management, AI and ML, data analytics, cost control, and security. HPE says Ezmeral can be offered to enterprise customers in “building blocks” through its HPE GreenLake cloud services in small, medium and large configurations. The new product is HPE’s response to VMware’s – owned by Dell – Kubernetes platform Tanzu and Red Hat’s OpenShift platform.

HPE Ezmeral Container Platform and HPE Ezmeral ML Ops are available now in beta as cloud services through HPE GreenLake, and accepting customers for the beta program, with general availability scheduled for HPE Q4.

It’s a crucial part of HPE’s platform-as-a-service strategy, according to the company’s chief executive officer, Antonio Neri, who hinted at some of this week’s announcements during a Q2 earnings call last month*.

“We have taken a deliberate set of actions to protect our financial foundation, become a more agile organization and align our sources to critical core businesses in areas of growth that accelerate our edge-to-cloud platform-as-a-service strategy,” Neri said during the call. He also reminded everyone that in Q2, HPE made its container platform general available.

“As part of the new organizational model, we created a GreenLake Cloud Services group to accelerate our other service capabilities. We also added a new software team that will architect our software strategy and portfolio that power our as-a-service platform. This new structure will provide fuller accountability and improve our execution and transformation.”

Neri made a brief appearance at Discover this week after testing positive for COVID-19 a week prior. 

“The good news is, that I’m feeling much better,” he told the virtual attendees.

Partner friendly

HPE’s pay-per-use channel model GreenLake received a significant upgrade as well. What was once a multicloud evaluation system for customers, GreenLake has become a full-scale cloud services market. And while it has its crosshairs lined up on Microsoft and Amazon, GreenLake also plays nice with Azure and AWS as its deployable services.

HPE has experienced a 47 per cent year-over-year increase in HPE GreenLake orders via partners, according to Paul Hunter, the company’s channel chief. More than 700 partners are selling the platform, he added. In a previous interview, HPE Canada president Paula Hodgins said that channel partners helped grow GreenLake by 275 per cent year-over-year, fueling the company’s confidence in its ability to make everything as a service by 2022. Consumption-based IT is being met with open arms by businesses grappling with IT sprawl and remote work challenges, Hodgins told CDN before Discover this week.

“It’s important for businesses to focus on what’s next and get to a point where they can accelerate to that point faster,” she said. GreenLake’s consumption-based IT program Flex Capacity, she pointed out, covers a broad range of needs, is easy to quote and deliver. Once a customer’s current needs are met, the active capacity planning takes over, planning ahead of demand, ensuring there is a “buffer” of ready capacity in the data centre to handle growth. This eliminates downtime and performance issues that result from a lack of capacity and cuts the cost of overprovisioning, Hodgins explained.

Mike Hilton. VP and GM of Hybrid IT Canada at HPE, said Canada is a burgeoning cloud market. But businesses are better understanding what belongs in the public cloud environments like Azure and AWS, and what’s appropriate for the local data centre. Maybe storing that 100TB file the public cloud isn’t the greatest idea all the time, Hilton explained. But even on-premises, customers want to work with an interface and other services that are as flexible as public cloud offerings. Partners that have deployed GreenLake services for customers have also helped usher in minor culture shifts towards agile development.

“This big cultural and procedural discussion is one I have weekly,” Hilton told CDN.

Hodgins and Hilton hail from Microsoft, where the relevance of the public cloud was fully realized. At HPE, the focus isn’t to stop businesses from moving to the public cloud, the two executives noted, but provisioning services that help make that shift easier.


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Alex Coop
Alex Coophttp://www.itwc.ca
Former Editorial Director for IT World Canada and its sister publications.

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