One Cloud Platform to Rule Them All

Once any size enterprise engages with any cloud provider, it quickly sees the cloud’s incredible potential. It also begins to grasp the escalating cost and growing complexity that can result if not carefully managed. Adding to this challenge, many enterprises anticipate using multiple clouds which further exacerbates these concerns. In response to them, HPE unveiled the latest updates to its GreenLake Central that grants enterprises access to a single software platform to rule all their clouds.

Four Universal Cloud Management Challenges

No matter the size of the enterprise or the vertical in which it competes, they all currently struggle with the following four cloud management challenges.

  1. Cloud operations. Each cloud presents its own set of challenges to manage and optimize. Hosting applications and data in multiple clouds only compounds these concerns.
  2. Cloud visibility. Each cloud’s multi-faceted nature makes it difficult for organizations to track its applications and data once placed in them. The inability to monitor and track usage of cloud resources leads to increased costs without a clear understanding of how to remedy them.
  3. IT cloud management skills. The difficulty of managing the cloud holds true whether an enterprise started in the cloud or moved there. IT staff often lack familiarity with each cloud and its available services which leads to cost overruns and unneeded complexity.
  4. Compliance and security. The clouds from major providers offer multiple ways to secure the applications and data they host. However, those compliance and security measures only work if adopted and properly implemented. Enterprises still lack the confidence they are taking the proper steps to put these measures in place.

The magnitude of these universal cloud management issues only becomes compounded as enterprises adopt multiple clouds. Each cloud requires separate skill sets and managements policies that differ from the other clouds. To effectively manage them, enterprises need a common management overlay.

HPE GreenLake Central: A Common Cloud Management Platform

HPE GreenLake Central represents one of the first offerings that gives enterprises access to a single, common cloud management platform. It provides enterprises with the framework to monitor and manage their various private and public clouds.
hpe greenlake2While HPE GreenLake Central is still in its early phases, it already offers two key benefits that should bring immediate value to any enterprise using the cloud.

  1. HPE Insights. This feature looks across the various clouds to which it has access. It analyzes the spend in each cloud and identifies areas for cost savings and optimization.
  2. HPE Right Mix Advisor. Using this feature, enterprises can identify the right place to run different types of workloads. In configuring this feature, enterprises enter parameters that Right Mix Advisor uses to determine where to place specific workloads. For instance, some workloads want the lowest cost and are willing to sacrifice performance. Other workloads will need the best performance with cost a lower priority. Right Mix Advisor will take these inputs and make recommendations on which cloud and resources to use to best deliver on these requirements.

These features will likely capture the attention of any enterprises looking to get their arms around monitoring, managing, and optimizing the clouds they use. Statements made by HPE’s CEO Antonio Neri in the recent Q4 2019 HPE bear evidence of this.
HPE continues to see strong growth in orders for GreenLake with it being one of HPE’s fastest growing businesses. GreenLake features such as Insight and Right Mix Advisor certainly help explain enterprise interest in this offering.

Keep Expectations in Check

That said, enterprises need to keep their expectations for GreenLake Central in check as to what it can deliver right now. GreenLake only currently identifies opportunities for optimization and savings. It does not automatically perform them, at least not based upon anything I have seen.
Enterprises must still have their IT staff make these changes based upon the recommendations provided by GreenLake. While these current GreenLake features certainly help enterprises identify these changes, the task of performing them and prioritizing which ones to make ma still fall to them. While it does offer some means to automate provisioning of new resources, the effectiveness of this feature will vary by deployment.
For now, GreenLake’s cloud monitoring and optimization recommendation capabilities represent its immediate value proposition to enterprises. It already addresses, at some level, all four of the cloud management challenges enterprises face. Expect that as HPE continues to invest in GreenLake both its automation capabilities and breadth of cloud support will grow.

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