The Cloud Experience Everywhere

Consumption-Based IT Just Got Even Better

By Paul Zinn

Product Management Team Lead, HPE Consumption Analytics

It’s an idea whose time has definitely come – an infrastructure solution that combines all the security and performance advantages of on-prem and all the flexibility of a cloud-like, pay-as-you-go model. HPE GreenLake Flex Capacity’s success in the marketplace is evidence that companies are hungry for a new approach to digital transformation, one that tightly aligns expenditures to capacity usage.

One of the ways we do that is by utilizing innovative metering technology to transform granular usage and cost data into meaningful business intelligence.  And here’s some great news – in the last couple of months we’ve started transitioning HPE GreenLake Flex Capacity customers to a brand new platform: the HPE Consumption Analytics Portal. It adds an impressive array of new capabilities that give customers increased visibility into their usage and costs, more control over their spend, and enhanced capacity planning capabilities.Consumption analytics blog 1.jpg

 Let’s look at each of those:

Deeper visibility into usage. Just like the original Flex Capacity portal, the new platform provides pre-defined reports that you can use out of the box. But it goes beyond that, giving you the ability to configure the exact analytics that you need. You can quickly create your own ad-hoc tabular reports simply by selecting whichever data fields are important to you. It's a live query interface; you can see the report building in front of your eyes. It includes grouping functionality, so you can easily drill down to the data you need. For example, you can summarize all of the data for the servers in a particular data center, and you can click to expand the table and scroll down to see the numbers for the individual servers.Consumption analytics blog 2.jpg

 A big advantage of that is you can create reports and dashboards targeted at particular audiences in your company. You might want to show your CFO a high-level set of charts and metrics focusing on cost savings. Or your operations team might want to see detailed usage numbers and capacities to help them with day-to-day management of the infrastructure. You can present the data in ways that help each audience focus on what's important to them and filter out all the stuff that's not.

Tighter control over costs. HPE GreenLake Flex Capacity billing is based on your monthly average usage. The HPE Consumption Analytics Portal breaks that down for you on a daily basis so you can see an effective cost per day for a given resource. Or it can be any period you want it to be: “What is my cost for this particular year for storage? Or for this active location? What are we paying for compute resources at a given data center?” You can take these individual fields in the data and roll them up in the way that’s important to how you manage your business.

That’s a huge help when it comes to optimizing costs and managing budgets. Maybe there's a particular project that you're targeting at a given level of usage, and the project team is trending towards exceeding budget. The portal can automatically email them a heads-up so they can modify their usage in a timely way and bring their consumption back into line with the finances.

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 The HPE Consumption Analytics Portal includes a feature we call Insights. It's a recommendation engine that searches thresholds that you configure to your needs and alerts you when those thresholds are exceeded. For example, let’s say your daily cost for a particular storage array has spiked. The portal can alert you that that's it’s something you might want to go take a look at. Or all your costs at a particular location have risen. Or free capacity on a storage disk has dropped below a certain percentage. These are things that Insights can point out so you can take action early.

More accurate capacity planning. In addition to showing you usage over time, HPE Consumption Analytics helps you forecast capacity needs. Essentially, the system can say, "If you keep going at this rate, you're going to run out of Fibre Channel storage three months from now.” Or “if you continue to expand storage usage, you’re going to max out your installed amounts on this date.” That enables you to take action before problems arise, for example by moving some workloads around or working with your HPE account service manager (ASM) to order some additional capacity for your data center.Consumption analytics blog 4.jpg

The relationship with the ASM is key to the successful use of HPE GreenLake Flex Capacity. Customers have regular meetings with their ASM, typically on a monthly basis. The new portal gives customers more control of the dynamic. You don’t have to wait for that monthly meeting to know how well Flex Capacity is working; you can see on the portal any day of the week. You can proactively reach out to the ASM and say "I think we're going to want some additional compute pretty soon.”

Bonus feature – public cloud usage in the same pane

The HPE Consumption Analytics Portal offers a lot of other benefits, more than I can cover here. But I do want to mention one important new capability: you will be able to manage your costs for public cloud right alongside Flex Capacity in a single pane of glass. A side-by-side view of your consumption-based IT and your cloud initiatives eliminates a lot of swiveling between them. We also give public cloud users some extra analytics to help them optimize costs.

Over the coming months we'll be adding more functionality to this new portal to enable it to support more customers. If you’re already an HPE GreenLake Flex Capacity customer, we'll migrate you as soon as we can. Your ASM will contact you when it's time to migrate.

If you’re not currently an HPE GreenLake Flex Capacity customer but you’re interested in becoming one, availability of the new portal depends on which of our HPE GreenLake services you sign up for – check with your HPE account team. You may start out with the HPE GreenLake Flex Capacity Portal, but we’ll certainly migrate you later.

For a great overview of the new portal, complete with plenty of live action, check out this short video: HPE Consumption Analytics Portal: Visibility and Control for Consumption-Based IT.

 Related Resources

 About the AuthorPaul Zinn.jpg

Paul Zinn leads the product management team for HPE Consumption Analytics, formerly Cloud Cruiser. He strives to help customers optimize their cost in a hybrid IT world.





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