September 21, 2021

HPE GreenLake use cases: Making sense of economical and operational drivers

Paula Fountain
National Practice Manager - HP and HPE, Data#3 Limited
Once upon a time it was an organisation’s responsibility to purchase and maintain the entirety of their infrastructure on-premises, and foot all the related costs themselves. Then, a cloud-based model emerged. Rather than outlaying capital to ‘buy the DVD’, organisations could choose to “stream the movie” in return for a recurring monthly payment.

This consumption-based or ‘as a Service (aaS) purchase method has progressively transitioned organisations away from Capital Expenditure (CapEx) to one where the Operating Expenditure (OpEx) pays for many of the ‘tools’ that power a business. It’s now an option for everything from software and hardware, to services.

Infrastructure driving a paradigm shift in ‘as a Service

The latest generation of ‘aaS solutions is resulting in organisations no longer owning and maintaining some, or all of, their physical data centre and networking infrastructure; they simply access and utilise it, paying only for what they use.

With Software as a Service (SaaS) now commonplace, businesses are starting to see the benefits of having ever-maintained solutions. So, surely it must make sense for infrastructure too… or does it? In this article, we look specifically at the drivers leading businesses to move their infrastructure to a consumption-based purchase – and whether you have to go all-in or can opt for a mix of consumption and traditional.

HPE GreenLake IT consumption offering

HPE GreenLake – first unveiled in December 2019 and expanded in March 2021 – delivers infrastructure within an elastic, pay-per-use ‘as a Service model – either on-premises, at the edge, or in a colocation facility – for all workloads.

HPE GreenLake is forecast to compound annual growth rates by 30-40% in 20231. This is because it uniquely shapes to each businesses’ needs by allowing them to tap into exactly the right amount of capacity today, while rapidly scaling up and down as the business, its customers or market forces dictate. This ensures they get the capacity needed in minutes, with no upfront payments, no risk of overprovisioning, and complete control.

Choose what you need and run whilst paying for only what you use, in your own environment.

HPE GreenLake use cases

It’s probably important to note at this point that no two businesses have the exact same approach to HPE GreenLake adoption. This is for reasons that stretch from incumbent and legacy technology, to compliance and security demands, to resources, budget and fiscal models. It’s why cloud transformation is far from complete, with as many as 70% of apps and data remaining on-premises2.

So, what’s driving the increased interest in HPE GreenLake and what does it look like in action? Let’s take a look at how Data#3’s customers have managed to achieve cost predictability, capacity planning and flexibility with HPE GreenLake.

1. Cost predictability: Counteracting uncertainty

HPE GreenLake uses the consumption-based IT model to align cost to actual usage. For the customer this means they pay only for the capacity – servers, storage, compute, networking – used (above a minimum commitment) which avoids up-front capital outlay and enables capacity to be scaled up or down on-demand. This is in contrast to the traditional CapEx model – where predicting and planning capacity for infrastructure investments is difficult (particularly when IT teams have a preference to be future-proofed and over provisioning is common). For organisations with variable demands caused by either volatile markets, or uncertain growth plans, the benefits of ‘aaS models are economically advantageous. When budgets are tight, a ‘pay as you scale’ and ‘save while you scale down’ system can provide the flexibility needed to ride out uncertainty and unpredictability.

When a tertiary education institution engaged Data#3 to deploy HPE GreenLake in late 2019, they had predicted significant growth in storage demands over the coming years and were attracted to the ability to purchase future capacity at a known upfront cost, whilst only paying when they used it. When the pandemic caused the collapse of the international student market their forecast growth was severely affected. If they had purchased on a traditional cycle, they would have paid for storage they didn’t need. However, because HPE GreenLake flexes with customers, this University avoided the associated costs of over provisioning.

2. Capacity planning: Preparing for future growth

Capacity planning used to mean accepting that you’d have idle hardware for a period of time. It made sense to buy more early on, at a better price, and hope suitable calculations had been right in predicting future needs. What is great about on consumption models, is that provisions can be built into contracts around growth stages and pricing can be locked-in for an agreed number of years. Any margins of error are removed by allowing organisations to start with the capacity they need today while preparing them to proactively scale ahead of demand.

This is exactly why a financial services organisation partnered with Data#3 to deploy HPE GreenLake. Knowing that capacity would need to scale up following planned acquisitions over several years, they were able to lock in pricing for future growth. This allowed them to factor in known costs going forward – as far as 5 years – as they scaled.

3. Resource needs: Avoiding the challenges of finding and keeping certified talent

The A/NZ technology sector has been called out by recruitment company, Hays, as one of the top industries currently suffering a skills shortage3. With more tech and less available expertise, it’s been a growing challenge for companies to keep pace with technology change, vendor certifications and skillsets to run, manage and support an ever-changing tech landscape. It’s a constant battle to find the time to strategise, plan and deliver the business value-add that is demanded.

Data#3 has been working with a Law firm for many years, supporting aspects of the business for hardware, software and managed services. After feeling the effects of the labour market, they made the decision to move to highly flexible and scalable purchasing models that required little from them operationally on a day-to-day basis. Starting with their backup and recovery, they shifted to HPE GreenLake and have plans to shift further workloads across in the coming months. The allocation of a dedicated GreenLake support contact who is familiar with their environment gave them the confidence they needed to move maintenance away from their in-house team.  The ability to combine multiple licensing and third-party vendors into one monthly fee, that can be charged back to the practices or departments that are using the IT, was very attractive to the firm as a way of fairly allocating cost and driving less wastage of IT resources.

In summary

Decisions around how you purchase are just as important as what.

As organisations continue to seek out new ways to be more agile, adaptable to change, and better able to deal with the types of uncertainty that can cause industries to pivot almost instantaneously, HPE GreenLake – with its innately flexible adoption approach and on-demand consumption model – will continue to play a critical role in business transformation.

It is a carefully weighted decision about control, cost and capacity – and if shifting, ensuring the partner you work with has the same commitment and focus on your success. At Data#3, we’re continuing to see that this is not an either/or proposition – organisations are staying aligned to a hybrid model with some apps and resources remaining on-premises, and others managed in the cloud. Even then, HPE GreenLake does not demand a static, one-time decision. With no lock in, organisations can gradually evolve their solutions over time, rather than instantaneously.

Find out how HPE GreenLake can benefit your IT

Every HPE GreenLake environment is bespoke. Partner with Data#3, one of HPE’s largest Platinum Partners in Asia Pacific, to unlock the power of HPE GreenLake in your data centre environment. Our highly skilled and trained team are ready to answer your questions about how HPE GreenLake’s on-premises, consumption-based IT service can boost your business. Contact us today to book an assessment workshop or request a quick quote from one of our GreenLake experts today.