HPE GreenLake Explained: Features, Use Cases and FAQs

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    The last decade has been defined by a surge in cloud services adoption. Despite this, many businesses continue to use on-prem focused data storage and backup solutions. According to a 2022 study, some 82% of businesses are adopting a hybrid cloud model, in which some data is held on-prem and some is held in the cloud.1

    While the hybrid model is hugely beneficial for businesses that cannot move all of their data for privacy or security reasons, it can lead to damaging data silos. With data split across a number of locations and devices, organisations may struggle to unify and manage their data effectively. This is where a hybrid cloud platform like HPE GreenLake provides value.

    Since its launch in 2017, there has been a lot of hype around HPE GreenLake.2 Amidst all the articles, social media posts, and marketing, it can be hard to understand what it is, how it works and what benefits it could bring your business.

    In this article, we aim to cut through the noise of Greenlake and get to the core of what it is, how it works, and what value it can bring to an organisation’s secure hybrid cloud strategy.

    What is HPE GreenLake?

    HPE GreenLake is Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s pioneering edge-to-cloud solution. One of the reasons it’s notoriously hard to define is because it’s a multifaceted solution, comprising a broad range of services and products. Services provided under GreenLake include:

    • Cloud-based data storage, management, and protection
    • AI, machine learning (ML), and analytics
    • Security and compliance
    • Hybrid, on-prem, and cloud services

    And as you’ll see in the next section, that’s just scratching the surface.

    In the simplest terms possible, HPE GreenLake is a purchasing platform that allows you to view and manage all your IT infrastructure, from on-prem storage to cloud backup, in a single place. It enables you to purchase and manage almost all HPE products and solutions.

    HPE GreenLake is also a highly flexible platform. You can choose how much of your infrastructure or processes you want to manage yourself and how much you want to be managed for you, whether that’s by HPE or a third-party IT service provider.

    HPE GreenLake’s consumption model

    HPE Greenlake typically follows a consumption-based model. That means users can pay for what is used, when it’s used, just as with the public cloud. HPE Greenlake is also able to offer a capital expenditure model, delivering true financial and technical flexibility for its users.

    Thanks to its flexible pricing, GreenLake is a useful platform for fast-growing businesses that are keen to eliminate overprovisioning costs.

    Features and services

    These are all of the core services covered by HPE GreenLake:

    AI, ML and Analytics Business applications Compute
    Containers Data protection Database
    Edge HPC Hybrid and multicloud
    Hyperconverged Migration Networking
    Private cloud SAP Security, risk and compliance
    Storage VDI Virtualization

    It would be impossible to cover all these areas in depth in one article, so next we’ll focus on some of the most popular solutions that HPE GreenLake gives you access to:

    GreenLake Block Storage

    HPE GreenLake Block Storage provides an easy-to-access and cost-effective alternative to traditional storage solution acquisition. It supports customary Fibre Channel and ISCSI connectivity along with public cloud integration, making it suitable for general-purpose, business-critical and mission-critical workloads.

    In simple terms, GreenLake Block Storage can be described as SAN as-a-Service. Its key features include:

    • Snapshots for data protection
    • VMWare integration
    • Advanced AI analytics
    • Encryption

    These empower businesses to deploy any workload on the platform of their choice, with confidence. Hardware, deployment, support and management are all included with the service — which can be purchased according to a flexible monthly subscription plan.

    GreenLake File Storage

    Built on the HPE Alletra Storage MPs and Vast Software, GreenLake File Storage delivers high-density storage with super fast performance. It’s an ideal solution for businesses that want a simplified buying experience or those who are struggling to cope with unstructured and big data challenges.

    GreenLake’s File Storage delivers:

    • An intuitive cloud experience
    • Comprehensive data services
    • Fast and predictable performance

    GreenLake for Infrastructure

    GreenLake for Infrastructure is a full-stack solution suited to businesses that require some level of data management and monitoring assistance. As with almost all other GreenLake solutions, it allows organisations to flexibly scale according to demand — without any hefty overprovisioning costs.

    GreenLake Custom

    Available on any HPE product at any scale, GreenLake Custom allows you to leverage customised products or solutions designed to meet your specific needs. It’s not a set product, but rather a host of different products that can be selected according to individual workload requirements.

    GreenLake Custom is well-suited to businesses that have highly specific workload requirements, as well as those that want to:

    What makes HPE GreenLake different?

    By this point, you may be wondering what makes HPE GreenLake different from its high-profile competitors such as Dell APEX, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Microsoft Azure? Here are four fundamental ways that GreenLake differentiates itself:

    1. A unified cloud platform

    HPE GreenLake focuses on unifying a broad range of information and processes in one place. You can buy new products and services, monitor performance, and adjust your infrastructure all through the main GreenLake Central console. While Dell APEX and AWS can both perform some of these functions, neither of them is as comprehensive as GreenLake.

    Pro tip: We explore more differences between GreenLake and APEX in our article, ‘HPE GreenLake vs Dell APEX’.

    2. Consumption-based model

    Unlike some service providers that leverage flat-rate models, HPE GreenLake allows businesses to pay for IT resources and capacity as and when they need them. As a result, businesses are only charged for what they use, which all but eliminates the issue of overspending or over-provisioning. 

    Where other competitors such as Lenovo Truscale offer pricing based on power usage,  GreenLake offers pricing based on your chosen unit of measurement. This provides an unparalleled level of flexibility and choice. 

    As Joe Pemberton, HPE’s Cloud and Data Partners Lead, commented in a recent interview with Nexstor: 

    ‘We have buffers included, which customers don’t pay for. So it’s not like they need to be waiting for a supply chain to catch up on any incremental changes to disk capacity or server capacity — that buffer is included. As customers burst into it, we charge whatever they use.’

    Read the interview transcript now to learn just why HPE GreenLake is so innovative, and to gain insight into upcoming HPE developments.

    3. Consistent monitoring

    As a globally established company, HPE is able to deliver high-quality, 24/7 system monitoring. Their technicians will be able to identify when you may require additional capacity and can spot security issues and breaches before they develop.

    This ensures that your infrastructure is always strong and ready to meet growing capacity requirements.

    Joe Pemberton calls this process ‘a constant conversation’, in which ‘HPE are always on hand, available, to assist with customer needs’.3

    4. Expert partner relationships

    HPE GreenLake is purchased through HPE’s network of trusted partners. These are third-party vendors that have been vetted and approved by HPE to sell, manage, and deliver HPE solutions. 

    With HPE GreenLake you can always guarantee the expertise of the vendor you are working with, providing greater confidence in the security of your data. And, as Nexstor’s cloud disaster recovery survey showed, high-quality support and cloud security are both paramount to business leaders in 2023.

    These four key characteristics make HPE GreenLake an ideal solution for businesses that: 

    • Are fast-growing.
    • Have complex or wide-ranging data needs.
    • Are looking to simplify their data management.

    Use cases

    As we’ve already discussed, HPE GreenLake is a broad offering that covers a range of different areas. In this section, we’ll focus on some of its top use cases. Could it be a good fit for your business?

    1. Simplifying data management

    HPE GreenLake simplifies data management by allowing businesses to manage everything from a single source. HPE’s self-service management portal provides users with a detailed overview of how their systems are being used and what changes might be required. 

    Plus, users are able to choose between fully managed services, partially managed services, and business-led management. 

    Like their GreenLake solutions, all HPE management services follow a simple, as-a-service pricing model.

    2. Connecting siloed hybrid systems

    While hybrid clouds remain a sensible choice for most businesses, having data spread across public clouds, private clouds, VPCs and on-prem devices can lead to data becoming siloed. This, in turn, can be detrimental to effective data analysis and protection, causing all manner of problems down the line. 

    By connecting data from across multiple disparate systems in one place, HPE GreenLake helps to prevent data silos and boost operational efficiency. You get all the benefits of the hybrid cloud, but with a more unified approach. 

    3. Optimising IT procurement

    Building an IT environment with products from multiple different vendors can quickly get complicated. Each vendor might have a different pricing policy and support options. And then there’s the issue of whether the systems you want to use are even compatible with each other. 

    HPE GreenLake simplifies this whole process. You can procure all of your infrastructure from a single pane of glass, and have the security of knowing each piece of software and hardware is compatible with your other HPE solutions. Whether you’re looking for cloud disaster recovery software or on-prem storage servers, you can purchase them all on the GreenLake platform.

    Leading edge-to-cloud innovation with HPE GreenLake

    HPE GreenLake is the standout edge-to-cloud platform for fast-growing businesses looking for an efficient data management and storage solution. 

    As an HPE partner and GreenLake provider, Nexstor can help you maximise the potential of your HPE solution. We can help you to: 

    • Choose and tailor your HPE GreenLake solution.
    • Manage HPE GreenLake in the long term.
    • Secure your data against cyber threats.

    To learn more about what GreenLake is and how it works, visit our HPE GreenLake homepage. 

    If you’re ready to explore what your solution could look like, request a quote now through our GreenLake quote calculator.

    FAQs

    What does ‘edge-to-cloud’ mean?

    ‘Edge-to-cloud’ refers to the action of connecting data held in on-prem networks to the cloud. Data held on-prem can be processed ‘at the edge’, or close to the source, ensuring maximum speed and efficiency, before being uploaded to the cloud for additional security and accessibility.

    HPE is a pioneer in edge-to-cloud innovation, followed closely by other global organisations such as IBM and Oracle. HPE is the first to combine its edge-to-cloud technology with a consumption-based pricing model.

    How can I implement GreenLake?

    GreenLake is normally procured and implemented via an HPE partner. The exact processes involved in implementation will depend on which specific HPE services you need. 

    Try our free quote calculator today to discover your best-fit solution.

    Will it require additional management? 

    Once up and running, HPE GreenLake should reduce your management needs in the long run. It includes 24/7 monitoring by HPE to ensure you have constant visibility over your whole network.

    That being said, choosing the exact GreenLake solution to suit your needs and setting it up can be a relatively complex task, and often requires additional support. 

    Nexstor offers wraparound support for the entire setup process, and can provide additional long-term management if required.

    1  Report: 82% of IT leaders are adopting the hybrid cloud.

    2  HPE Expands Pay-Per-Use IT to Key Business Workloads 

    3  Why Choose HPE GreenLake? – Nexstor 

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    Steve Hinns

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