HPE moves into unified analytics and data protection around GreenLake consumption-based services

The two new services, which will be available in the first half of 2022, expand both HPE’s cloud services portfolio and as-a-service opportunities for their channel partners.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise has announced its entry into two new markets for its HPE GreenLake edge-to-cloud platform that provides consumption-based services – unified analytics and data protection. HPE is touting that these new services accelerate their transition to a cloud services company. They also emphasize that while GreenLake is still primarily a direct opportunity, the channel business is growing at a 40% plus rate annually.

The HPE GreenLake platform, which is absolutely fundamental to HPE’s vision of transitioning to a services and consumption-based approach, now has more than 1,200 customers and $5.2 billion in total contract value

“It was first started ten years ago when [HPE CEO] Antonio Neri was running services, and it came out of that services organization,” said Flynn Maloy, VP of HPE GreenLake marketing. Seven years ago, we really invested in it, and three years ago, it gained such momentum that we rebranded it as GreenLake. The overriding strategy has been that 70% of applications are still outside the public cloud, and that GreenLake is invested in bringing that experience to the data that can’t or won’t move to the public cloud.”

The move into the big data and analytics software market with unified analytics services was stimulated by market opportunity. IDC has forecast this market to reach $110 billion by 2023. HPE sees the private cloud market as being a great opportunity in this space.

“To work with today’s most exciting analytics companies like Snowflake and Databricks, you need to go to the public cloud, and run your analytics there,” Maloy said. “Our Ezmeral unified analytics, the first combined modern analytics and data lakehouse platform, uses an Apache Spark engine and covers what you can’t put in the public cloud.”

A related service to the Ezmeral unified analytics is HPE Ezmeral Data Fabric Object Store, a Kubernetes-native object store optimized for analytics performance, providing access to data sets edge to cloud.

“These Ezmeral analytics capabilities are all channel-sellable today,” Maloy indicated. “Machine learning is a great use case. With the public cloud, you take your massive petabytes of data, run the analytics in the cloud and then move the data  back. We bring the analytics to the data instead in an on-prem environment, It’s the perfect use case for giant data sets that are very private, such as medical.”

Even though the percentage of GreenLake business that goes through partners is still small – reflecting the fact that PointNext was a direct business and that GreenLake partners could not sell GreenLake services on their own until 2018 – Maloy said it’s a strong and growing partner opportunity.

“20% of this business flows through channel partners, which is still a small portion of revenue, but partner growth rates are over 40%,” he commented. “HPE is a channel-focused company and we always have been, and we are trying to raise this ratio of indirect to direct business here. Partners do see GreenLake as a fantastic alternative to the public cloud, and they do need to embrace the as-a-service shift in the market.

Maloy indicated that one challenge to the channel selling this immediately  is that advanced analytics isn’t something that an enormous number of partners sell today.

“Over 900 partners are able to sell GreenLake today, and some of those are leaning in heavy, but most of those partners are focused on Infrastructure-as-a-Service,” he said. “Some of our partners would like to be able to offer this, and they do make infrastructure choices based on demand for higher order workloads, so many will think about this as a choice point, and whether this is the right time to go here.”

HPE also entered the rapidly growing data protection-as-a-service market with HPE GreenLake for data protection. HPE Backup and Recovery Service is a BaaS [Backup as a service] offering that provides policy-based orchestration and automation to backup and protect customers’ virtual machines across hybrid cloud. HPE GreenLake for Disaster Recovery leverages the DRaaS {Disaster Recovery as-a-Service] of recently-acquired Zerto, offering the Zerto DRaaS through HPE GreenLake.

Competition in the data protection as-a-service market is ferocious, particularly given the market’s newness, as legacy backup vendors have moved into this space through developing their own services, or through acquisition. Maloy stressed, however, that HPE has a major advantage here in that GreenLake’s ability to provide IaaS enables customers using competitive services to run on GreenLake.

“We offer choice to customers,” he said. “Companies like Veeam, Scality and Commvault, who have competitive offerings, have many customers, and their services need to run on some kind of infrastructure. We provide the IaaS for that. We run it in a hands-off way with our HPE Recovery Manager. They can run their backups on GreenLake, and just pay as they go.”

HPE GreenLake for analytics and HPE GreenLake for data protection will both be available in the first half of 2022.