The Cloud Experience Everywhere

HPE GreenLake hugely simplifies capacity planning – here’s how companies are leveraging it now

One of the biggest attractions of HPE GreenLake’s pay-as-you-go, consumption-based IT model is that it enables companies to align capacity very accurately with their business needs. Here’s an inside view of how it works.

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By Peter Shipman, HPE GreenLake Utility Delivery Manager, UK and Ireland

Consumption-based IT is one of the hottest trends in the industry, and things are moving at a blistering pace in the sector. As a Delivery Manager for HPE GreenLake, I’m right there on the coalface, as it were, working with about 10 customers to make sure they’re getting the most from our pay-per-use, highly scalable cloud services platform.

One of the biggest attractions of HPE GreenLake for the companies I work with is its ability to take a lot of the complexity and inefficiency out of capacity management. And at the heart of that capability is our advanced metering technology. It starts with our scripts, running on HPE infrastructure installed at your location, which collect usage data from the software and hardware covered by HPE GreenLake. HPE retains ownership of the equipment; we manage the solution for you, and we charge based on your usage (above an agreed reserved capacity).

We’re constantly adding to our metering capabilities. The information we collect varies according to the particular HPE GreenLake solution – it can be based on number of VMs, core CPUs, or gigabytes of storage space, for example – and it’s very granular. It's my job to sit down with the customers – virtually, when necessary – at least once a month and present the information in a way that's customized to their specific needs and preferences. It's all about studying the historic usage and predicting the future based on that data, and making sure that capacity is always right-sized.

These meetings give me important insights into how companies are leveraging HPE GreenLake’s as-a-service model right now to meet their capacity needs. Here are four big trends that I’m seeing:

1. Customers are changing their behavior – and saving money – based on the information that HPE GreenLake provides. The monthly presentations are key, but companies don’t have to wait for those meetings to see the data that they’re generating. It’s available to them anytime, because we pull it into HPE GreenLake Central, our intuitive self-service portal and operations console. You can see all of the metering data – whether it’s how much data is on a physical disk drive or how much memory is allocated to virtual machines on a given day – at the portal, and you can use it to generate your own reports.

Now, it’s true that when companies start out with HPE GreenLake, they’re probably not looking at the portal data unless something goes wrong. But I always encourage them to look in there often, and those that do often find opportunities to deploy resources more efficiently. If they can see, for example, that they were using x number of VMs this month and how much it cost, they may be able to find VMs that they don’t need and they can spin those down so that they don’t count as consumption. It pays to spin virtual machines up and down as you need them, rather than just leaving them on all the time.

I also find that customers realize they were over-provisioning under the normal capital expenditure model, buying maybe twice as many servers as they needed to so they’d be able to meet spikes in demand. But with HPE GreenLake, you start off with the right capacity and do incremental change management cycles to match your needs.

2. Companies love the reassurance that comes with the ability to scale capacity quickly – either up or down. It’s reassuring for customers to know that they have a buffer of capacity always available, and they don’t pay for it unless they use it. If there is a sudden spike in demand, the equipment's already there, on-site – you don't have to do a rush change management cycle. That eliminates a lot of the typical procurement and supply chain issues.

Interestingly, prospective customers often ask me – What if we don't want to grow? What happens if we want to shrink capacity? And the answer is – that’s fine. I have a couple of customers that have never grown, over the course of two years or so. But I don’t have any that have actually shrunk. And that’s just in line, I think, with the general tendency in IT of always needing more capacity, not less. But, for sure, you can always stay at, or pull back to, the baseline level of your initial reserved capacity.

3. Businesses are increasingly interested in using HPE GreenLake to create chargeback mechanisms. This is another topic that comes up all the time when I do presentations to prospective customers. HPE GreenLake is a great way to do this. I recently worked with a services provider that has a VMware cluster running under HPE GreenLake and wanted to introduce a chargeback structure for customers who are using that platform. HPE can provide a report at the per-VM level: ‘This virtual machine was consuming this much memory on average for this month, and here’s how much it cost.’ This services provider can then take that information to their customers and say ‘We're going to charge you this amount plus our margin.’

And it’s not just service providers. I work with another big client that has around 4,000 physical servers under HPE GreenLake for an internal cloud platform. They’ve created thousands of virtual machines for their internal users. Different business units are using that platform. HPE is providing a show-back capability so that IT can share a view of consumption with the internal businesses and improve cost allocation.

4. Companies want a comprehensive view of their hybrid IT estate, including public cloud as well as on-prem. The need to ensure data sovereignty is a big reason why companies want to keep data and applications on-premises, and one of many reasons why they turn to HPE GreenLake. But companies are increasingly aware that a hybrid IT estate calls for an overall view of consumption spend – off-prem as well as on-prem.

HPE GreenLake Central can bring in data about your public cloud usage and let you compare that to your on-premises consumption. It’s a single pane of glass where you can see costs and usage across the entire hybrid estate. And then we take that a step further with optimization reports and recommendations on where your workloads should be located. Should they be in the public cloud or your private cloud? Can you achieve cost savings by moving workloads to a different venue? HPE GreenLake can help you answer those questions.

Consumption-based IT is evolving at a rapid clip, and companies are constantly finding new ways to generate value from it. HPE will continue to lead in the space, with HPE GreenLake at the core of our positioning as the edge-to-cloud platform-as-a-service company.

If you’re interested in learning more about HPE GreenLake and our latest innovations, don’t miss HPE GreenLake Day, our online event coming up December 9, starting 8:00 am PST.

Learn more about HPE GreenLake cloud services.

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Hewlett Packard Enterprise

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