Servers & Systems: The Right Compute

Has software eaten the world yet? Not quite

As-a-service delivers key benefits and it’s driving digital transformation. But it can't do it all. Learn why software hasn’t eaten the world yet and how HPE GreenLake is tackling the gaps in the cloud experience.


Ten years ago, Marc Andreessen explained “why software is eating the world”.  He made a strong case that across every industry, software-based internet companies were disrupting legacy businesses and building sustainable, high-margin enterprises. Fast forward to today and digital transformation is reaching almost every corner of every organization.  

This digital transformation is driven by the cloud experience—speed, scalability, pay as you go, simpler IT—which enables organization after organization to transform into one of those internet companies and reap the rewards. By leveraging the “as-a-service” model, organizations gain the benefits that they couldn’t get with traditional technology: better agility, lower cost, simpler operations, and the ability to create innovation and business models that couldn’t be done before the cloud.  

So software and the internet win?

Not entirely, and for two reasons. First, most apps and data still aren’t in the cloud. Analysts tell us that most workloads today run outside the public clouds, and there are good business reasons for this—retaining control over data sovereignty, privacy, and compliance, ensuring top performance for the workloads that run the business, and technical reasons such as data gravity, cost of data egress, and app entanglement.  

In a company-wide transformation driven by this customer need, HPE announced in 2019 that we would offer our entire portfolio “as-a-service” by next year. We are well along the path with HPE GreenLake.

Our mission is to bring the cloud experience to those apps and data that are outside the cloud—in customer data centers, colocations, and edges. By enabling self-service, pay per use, rapid scalability, and simpler IT for those apps where they are, we can help “software” to eat them too. And everybody wins. Independent analysts have shown that HPE GreenLake can deliver speed with:

  • 75% shorter time to deliver digital projects1;
  • less risk with 85% less unplanned downtime2;
  • savings, with 30-40% lower TCO due to eliminating overprovisioning1; and
  • simpler it, increasing IT team productivity by 40% by reducing the support load on IT1

There is a second reason: it turns out that the underlying technology matters. With HPE GreenLake we deliver cloud services for our customers’ top workloads, with workload-optimized stacks for many customer workloads such as VDI, virtual machines, containers, SAP HANA, high performance computing, as well as for basic compute and storage infrastructure. We could choose to use one general purpose technology for all of these and probably make our job simpler, and others in the market do just that.  

But over our years of working with large and small customers we’ve seen that by using the right technology stack, we can deliver better performance, energy efficiency, cost, and flexibility. It turns out to be true that HPC is different from cost-optimized compute, which is different from an effective platform for containers or virtual machines, which is different from SAP HANA infrastructure, different from ML Ops. And so on.

At HPE we have a very broad range of compute technologies to draw on. From industry-standard to composable, from high performance to supercomputing, and from edge optimized to special purpose cartridges, the tools we can work with are unmatched. And we use them all. With HPE GreenLake we design technology solutions optimized for the target workloads, build them out as standard, modular “building blocks” and deliver them as a service with small, medium, and large entry points.  

We deliver cloud services in our customers’ data center or colocation or edges, and it’s true that with cloud services you don’t worry about the technology. Instead, we do the worrying for you because you need the performance, efficiency, and flexibility from optimized technology.  

Ready for more?

Discover more about HPE GreenLake cloud services. And then join technology industry leaders at Accelerating Next on April 21 at 8 am PDT and April 22 at 11 am SGT where they'll be discussing how HPE is transforming compute systems and solutions to become your new foundation for digital transformation.

Register for Accelerating Next, April 21, 8 am PDT

Register for Accelerating Next, April 22, 11 am SGT

Don Randall
Hewlett Packard Enterprise

[1] A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting, The Total Economic ImpactTM of HPE GreenLake , May 2020

[2] IDC Technical Paper, sponsored by HPE, The Business Value of HPE GreenLake Management Services, January 2020

About the Author


WW HPE Pointnext Marketing. Reach me at @donrrandall on Twitter.