What You Missed: HPE Discover 2022
When I say Green you say Lake… GREEN! LAKE!
The constant theme of the Discover conference was GreenLake and it’s for good reason. With GreenLake, it covers almost anything from full solutions as a service to just hardware. As HPE would like to say, it covers everything from Edge to Cloud.
This was my first time at an HPE conference, and I was looking forward to accelerating my understanding of HPE. HPE has released a lot of great products and services over the last few years. As a leader at CDI, I need to stay up on what to offer clients, to stay agnostic, and provide the best options.
Attendance was high at this year’s conference with over 97 countries and over 8,000 people in attendance. I joked about how many times GreenLake and “Edge to Cloud” was said during the Keynote and the conference but – I get it.
During the Keynote, CEO Antonio Neri shared why this is their direction. He stated this service has and is allowing HPE to focus on data. By doing so, HPE can focus on outcomes versus product. We live in a world that loves to throw around the term “transformation” and, more than half the time, it is only a marketing term. HPE is actually changing their business model, forcing them to transform so they can help clients do the same. The end goal is to build a full SaaS based marketplace for clients to consume all these services at the click of a button.
“What is included in GreenLake?”, you ask. I will joke and say anything and everything as there are over 70 services: AI/ML, Compute, K8s, Database, HCI, Hybrid Cloud, Networking, Storage, VDI to name a few.
The remaining HPE C-suite also made it very clear that they will only succeed with support from their partnerships. This means the vendors through which they deliver solutions and the channel which extends their team. Selfishly, I agree, but I do honestly believe this.
There were several NDA meetings I was in where I was excited to learn of new services they will be delivering via their partnerships with other vendors. This is a perfect example of working smarter, not harder. HPE has historically been good with this by acquiring companies that show value.
As for channel partners, like CDI, they have rolled out a whole new program for us (Vantage) to now participate in “Everything as a Service” (XaaS). This is important because we now have a new stake in these outcomes, instead of only being a bystander.
One of the first major announcements was around their effort to fully extend the cloud operating model to on-premises.
So, what does HPE GreenLake for Private Cloud Enterprise mean? It comes down to a fully hosted managed private cloud. Need a VM? Need a bare metal Oracle server? Need a Kubernetes pod? You can get it all with this new service which is quite unique. Since this service must be hosted in a major colocation, there are not any ingress/egress fees, but this does mean there is a connection to that colocation.
I will be watching to see how this service unfolds. I think this service will be key for many clients looking for more customization and to divest of owning datacenters. The end state being one of true hybridity where the clientonly has an edge on-premises and nothing more.
GreenLake for Disaster Recovery was another major announcement. This has been something coming from the Zerto acquisition which I also attended sessions on. I, like many in the sessions, were curious if HPE was changing anything about Zerto’s product or go-to-market.
I was very surprised to see that Ziv Kedem, the Co-Founder and previous CEO, was giving the presentation. He was very excited it was kept on to push the product further and has already been able to integrate it for self service via the GreenLake portal. He reviewed that even multitenancy will be coming to this portal for large Customers or MSP’s such as CDI.
If you are not familiar with it, Zerto is unique because it is Virtual Machine (VM) based. It does not care about the hardware it sits on nor if it is in the public cloud. This allows you to go from on-premises to on-premises, on-premises to cloud, cloud to cloud, or cross cloud for multi-cloud users, in one service.
Network as a Service (Naas) has been around for a little while, but HPE introduced their roadmap where Aruba networking/wireless dashboards will be the platform.
This platform will have Clearpass and Silverpeak rolled into it.
Clearpass is fantastic software that has many abilities, but most companies would use it as an alternative to Cisco ISE product.
Silverpeak is more relevant than ever before, being a Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN) product. SD-WAN should be a huge topic for all clients as they move more services to cloud (public or private). How can you depend on services if you cannot connect to them? Reliable, intelligent connections are how you ensure uptime and that is what SD-WAN gives you.
One of the things I was honestly disappointed about was the new GreenLake Backup and Recovery product. It was released as of this Discover conference and the product managers were overly excited to tell us about it. Sadly, I am here to report that it is an evolved form of the Catalyst backup product focusing only on VMware and now AWS.
I have to question the why. HPE has a strong partnership with Cohesity, Commvault, and Veeam. Why would they not pick one and throw time, money, and development into one of those? Now, instead of making one vendor angry, that you picked one over the other, HPE has decided to compete against all of them.
As you may have noticed, there were not any major hardware product announcements, though there were updates. With this new refocusing on data and services, GreenLake was the be=all end-all. One of the major things I learned is the importance of GreenLake when it comes to lead times. The priority of shipments unfolds as such; current GreenLake Customers to meet/beat their SLA, new GreenLake Customers, normal CAPEX customers.
The conference had a lot of value for me that I will bring back to my team and the greater company.
I hope to work on how these aspects can benefit our clients. I also must give credit to Janet Jackson. She put on a fantastic show – her first time on stage in over 3 years! She did not miss a beat.
As usual there is only so much information I can put into a blog, so please reach out to myself and my team for more information.