HPE GreenLake vs Dell APEX: Which Solution is Right for You?

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    Cloud adoption has exploded in recent years, with its promise to provide a perfect blend of scalability, speed, and security. A recent survey by Google revealed that 93% of technology leaders said they were ‘mostly cloud’ based, an increase of 10% from 2020.1

    But going all-in on cloud solutions was never going to suit every business. In 2023, an increasing number of organisations are looking for solutions that allow them to blend the benefits of cloud and on-prem, synthesising their data in a single place.

    In this article, we’ll look at two of the best hybrid cloud solutions on the market: HPE GreenLake and Dell APEX. 

    These two platforms share many similarities. Both are large platforms comprising multiple different products and services, aiming to offer a streamlined hybrid experience. But there are a few key differentiators between them as well.

    We’ll compare the core features and benefits of HPE GreenLake and Dell APEX, helping you to understand which platform might be best suited to your business. 

    What is HPE GreenLake?

    HPE GreenLake is a hybrid cloud computing service from Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). It’s designed to provide organisations with flexible and scalable infrastructure that can be purchased and managed from a single, secure location. HPE GreenLake can be charged as it’s consumed, or as a CapEx. 

    First launched in 2018, GreenLake has been at the centre of HPE’s hybrid cloud innovation. Today, it serves as a portal to all of HPE’s key offerings and services, allowing customers to purchase and use a wide range of HPE tools from a single pane of glass. 

    As HPE’s CEO Antonio Neri says:

    ‘This will be our leading product, our leading offer, our leading experience, where everything else underneath [you know] is part of that experience […] That’s why we call GreenLake the edge-to-cloud platform’.2

    GreenLake aims to transform data management by making it a platform for all HPE products.

    What is Dell APEX?

    Dell APEX is a cloud services platform from Dell Technologies. At its core, it’s an on-prem solution that connects data into a single cloud console. Similarly to HPE GreenLake, Dell APEX offers its users a range of as-a-service products, including server storage, infrastructure, data protection, and high performance computing (HPC). 

    Initially announced as Project APEX in late 2020, Dell officially launched its as-a-service offerings in 2021. Although slightly behind GreenLake in terms of development, it is already showing itself to be a core competitor.

    Dell’s marketing SVP, Sam Grocott, claims that:

    ‘Apex is Dell Technologies’ portfolio as-a-service offering [that] will simplify digital transformation, and increase agility and control’.3

    Both Dell APEX and HPE GreenLake seem to approach cloud-based data storage and management with the same goal — but how do they compare in practice? 

    Feature comparison

    Please note: Both HPE GreenLake and Dell APEX are complex offerings featuring multiple products and services. This table is only a general overview of their key services.

    Feature Type Dell APEX  HPE GreenLake
    Storage Block storage
    File storage
    Object storage x
    Cloud Private cloud
    Hybrid cloud
    Backup and data protection Managed backup x
    Managed DR
    Built-in protection
    Data analytics Analytics consulting x
    AI analytics tools x
    Data management Management console
    Managed service x
    Pricing Pay-per-use model
    Subscription model

    Benefits of HPE GreenLake vs Dell APEX

    Now we’ve explored some of the basic features that both platforms offer, let’s take a look at the benefits HPE GreenLake and Dell APEX can bring to your business. As you’ll see, both platforms provide similar outcomes, but they deliver these in different ways. 

    Data visibility

    Both platforms aim to improve data visibility, allowing you to easily see, access, and gain insights from data across your organisation. This includes data that is held in cloud disaster recovery networks, backup and archiving systems, as well as more readily accessible primary data.

    HPE GreenLake improves data visibility by synthesising information from across hybrid networks into the HPE GreenLake platform and cloud portal. HPE GreenLake allows you to: 

    • View your data in a single place.
    • Easily control user access based on roles.
    • Manage data via a central console and deploy new solutions.
    • Integrate HPE analytics solutions to gain insights about your whole data network.

    Similarly, Dell APEX aims to improve data visibility by streamlining data into a cloud platform known as Dell APEX Console. Here, you can:

    • Track key performance metrics to get a complete picture of your network.
    • Configure service options to suit your specific needs.
    • Easily deploy and provision new as-a-service solutions.

    Reduced costs

    Rising cloud costs are just one of the many big data challenges facing IT professionals in 2023. 

    Dell and HPE tackle this challenge through innovative consumption-based pricing, which allows you only pay for what you use. This makes them a good choice for fast-growing businesses that want their costs to scale in line with growth and demand. 

    With HPE GreenLake, you can:

    • Avoid over-provisioning by paying only for what you use.
    • Get continual monitoring from the HPE team to ensure you always have capacity available.
    • Cut operational costs by 65% thanks to GreenLake’s improved efficiency and consumption-based pricing.4

    Like GreenLake, APEX takes an affordable and highly scalable SaaS approach. While it does offer a pay-per-user model via its Dell APEX Flex on Demand solution, its primary model is subscription-based.

    Dell APEX is estimated to deliver operational cost savings of 39% over three years.5

    Speed to data

    ‘Cloud experience’ platforms like APEX and GreenLake process data close to its source rather than in a distant data centre, promising users greater efficiency and reduced access times. 

    HPE GreenLake positions itself specifically as an ‘edge-to-cloud platform’, bringing the speed of on-prem to the scalability of the cloud. 

    HPE GreenLake for high performance computing (HPC) is specially designed to boost performance, enabling AI and ML-driven data processing while also integrating with HPE Slingshot interconnect. GreenLake’s exceptional reliability and high-speeds enable it to achieve a significant reduction of up to 85% in unplanned downtime, delivering cost savings and enhanced operational efficiency.6

    While not positioned as an edge-to-cloud solution, Dell also offers Dell APEX for HPC. This:

    • Delivers a 4x increase in compute power.7
    • Allows users to get more insights from their data through analytics.
    • Provides a 65% reduction in unplanned downtime.8

    Key use cases

    HPE GreenLake and Dell APEX are both broad solutions and will therefore be suited to a  wide range of use cases. Below, we’ve identified some of the top use cases for businesses in 2023:

    Analysing data across the hybrid cloud

    Despite the relentless adoption of cloud services, hybrid cloud is the future. Joe Pemberton, Cloud and Data Partner Lead at HPE, explains this further in his recent interview on why HPE GreenLake is a good solution for today’s businesses:

    ‘There will be applications that are right for the cloud, and there will be applications and workloads which will have to stay on-premise for reasons of security or transportability. We saw a long time ago that the hybrid cloud would be where most people end up — and that seems to have panned out.’

    One issue with hybrid cloud networks is that you inevitably end up with data being siloed. Both HPE and Dell Technologies understand and mitigate this issue by delivering solutions that synthesise data onto one platform.

    Simplifying data management through enhanced scalability

    Data management is often a heavy burden on the shoulders of IT professionals. It can be incredibly complex, and small errors could lead to significant breaches or security threats further down the line.

    Both HPE GreenLake and Dell APEX offer great management flexibility, allowing you to increase or decrease your storage or compute needs in line with demand. 

    HPE provides further support in terms of their monthly reporting and continuous system monitoring, so it won’t come as a surprise when you need more storage or tech.  However, both HPE and Dell offer additional management and support services, allowing you to request additional support on demand.

    Improving security and control

    The cloud brings many benefits, but it’s not perfect. For all its scalability and accessibility, the cloud isn’t suitable for all workloads and can become very expensive if your provider charges for egress. 

    Security remains an issue too, with 57% of respondents naming it as their primary concern in our recent cloud disaster recovery survey.

    Hybrid solutions like GreenLake and APEX offer the flexibility of the cloud while allowing you to keep your sensitive data on-site. You can improve your cyber security as well as get more control over your whole data network.

    A new kind of hybrid cloud network

    As the tide turns towards hybrid cloud solutions, HPE and Dell have already positioned themselves as industry leaders. Dell APEX and HPE GreenLake each have numerous unique benefits, but which solution is best for you will ultimately depend on your business’s:

    • Expected growth: If you are expecting to scale fast, HPE Greenlake might be a better option due to its rapid deployment options.
    • Data locations: If you already store most of your data in one place (whether that’s the cloud or on-prem), and have not struggled with data siloes, you might be best sticking with your existing solution.
    • Data management plan: If you have a strong in-house team, a self-managed GreenLake or APEX solution will likely be best for you.
    • Technical requirements: Dell APEX and HPE GreenLake have a number of technical product intricacies. Explore each of their product pages to learn which one suits your business best.

    Helping you find your best-fit solution

    As a trusted HPE partner and Gold Hybrid Cloud Solution Provider, Nexstor is here to help you find your best-fit data storage and management solution. We work with a range of different vendors to ensure you find the right solution for your needs, helping you to build a culture of security and efficiency within your organisation.

    If you think HPE GreenLake is the right solution for you, try our quote calculator now to get an idea of which GreenLake products or services you might need.

    But if you’re still looking for guidance on which solution is the best fit for you, contact one of our IT experts today.

    1  40 cloud computing stats and trends to know in 2023 | Google Cloud Blog 

    2  HPE CEO: In the Future, It’s Just GreenLake | Data Center Knowledge 

    3  Dell Apex is a first look at the company’s as-a-service future | TechRadar 

    4  HPE GreenLake by the numbers: Forrester study quantifies the savings and business benefits 

    5  Build your Business Case for APEX – Cloud Services | Dell UK 

    6  Managed services | HPE United Kingdom 

    7  The Total Economic Impact™ Of Dell EMC Ready Solutions For HPC 

    8  Build your Business Case for APEX – Cloud Services | Dell UK 

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    Rob Townsend

    Rob is a co-founder at Nexstor and has dedicated his career to helping a range of organisations from SME to Enterprise to get ahead of the game when it comes to their compute, storage and data needs.

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