Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Wednesday, February 8, 2023

HPE Widens the Net for Public Cloud Services in GreenLake  

HPE is expanding the tentacles of its private cloud offering called GreenLake by adding more connections to the public cloud offerings from Amazon, Google and Microsoft Azure. 

The company is adding hooks that will make it easier for customers to deploy public cloud instances on on-prem cloud hardware. While that's not a new concept, it fills a gap for those who want to take advantage of a vast number of databases, and streaming and development tools in the public cloud. 

HPE announced GreenLake's support for Amazon EKS Anywhere, which is the public cloud provider’s version of a Kubernetes deployment for application management. Kubernetes is an important tool in configuring and managing workloads in the cloud infrastructure, which is driven more by software as opposed to hardware.  

HPE has its own version of a Kubernetes deployment in GreenLake, but "now we are also enabling Amazon EKS Anywhere to that environment, and then adding infrastructure to code and cloud-native tool chains, " said Vishal Lall, senior vice president and general manager of GreenLake cloud services, in a call with press and analysts. 

The development toolchains support a collaborative software development lifecycle, which is a critical component of DevOps and the CI/CD pipeline. 

Amazon EKS (Elastic Kubernetes Service) Anywhere is as its name states -- the company's Kubernetes deployment that can run on AWS or on HPE's infrastructure. Bringing on Amazon's EKS Anywhere will provide an alleyway to popular services for databases, machine-learning, development and streaming on AWS. 

At the same time, customers who have standardized on AWS EKS Anywhere can use the tooling, orchestration and user experience in a private cloud setting. 

HPE also announced optimized workloads for storage, compute and memory, which link up to public cloud services from Amazon, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure. One example is SAP S/4 HANA and memory-optimized healthcare applications in private cloud settings which can be linked up to resources in the public cloud. 

HPE is making the GreenLake announcements at the company's Discover summit, which is being held this week in Frankfurt. The summit is focused on partners, who will be able to bundle these new tools into their offerings. 

The GreenLake cloud platform started off more than a decade ago focusing on computing capacity and server availability, just like with traditional data centers that HPE equipped with its own hardware. 

"Overtime, we have kind of added a lot more software value, added a lot more ... configurations that make it more and more of a cloud offering," Lall said. 

The company has 65,000 customers for its cloud offering, and about 900 partners. 

HPE has talked extensively about its idea of a "data fabric" which connects data and computing resources in hybrid cloud environments for real-time analytics and insights. The expansion into public cloud creates a unified interface "of pulling in data streams from other components together and giving you that one experience around that," said Bryan Thompson, vice president of product management for GreenLake at HPE. 

The closer integration of public cloud services into GreenLake also allows companies to take stock of cloud expenses and budgeting, which is becoming important as companies look at tightening IT budgets in an uncertain economic environment. HPE provides a cost analysis tool in its GreenLake management portal. 

"I can have very rich and robust reporting, and enable a show back type of experience if I want to allocate costs against a given project, or cost center or department," Thompson said. 

For example, GreenLake establishes a meter to report the cost of services consumed from public cloud services. 

The cost of computing in the cloud is also a focus for AWS, which is working with customers to lower their bills. 

A valuable point of cloud "is that it's turning fixed cost into variable for many of our customers, and we help them save money either through alternative services or Graviton3 chips. There's many ways that we have to help them lower their spending and still get great cost performance ratios," said Brian Olsavsky, Amazon's chief financial officer, according to a transcript of the most recent earnings quarter posted by The Motley Fool. 

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