Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Google Cloud have expanded their partnership to make it easier to deploy a hybrid cloud for containerized applications.
In April, the two companies announced a partnership to integrate HPE hardware with Google Anthos, an open platform that allows enterprises to run applications in the public cloud or in their own data centers in a Google Kubernetes Engine environment without needing to modify code.
At the time of the original announcement, HPE announced two flavors for on-premises deployments: one running on HPE SimpliVity hyperconverged infrastructure and the other running on HPE ProLiant servers and HPE Nimble Storage. HPE also announced it would offer Anthos as an on-premises, as-a-service offering from HPE GreenLake, its portfolio of on-prem solutions offered on a subscription or pay-as-you-go basis – a key strategic focus for the company going forward.
This week, before HPE kicked off its Discover conference in Las Vegas, it beefed up its Google hybrid cloud offering with three key announcements:
- HPE ProLiant server and Nimble Storage on-premises solution will support HPE Cloud Volumes, a service that enables enterprises to seamlessly move data between on-premises and the public cloud. Cloud Volumes will be available in the third quarter of 2019. HPE will not charge egress costs for moving the data, Paul Miller, VP of marketing for HPE’s Software Defined and Cloud Group told Data Center Knowledge.
- The Anthos-as-a-Service offering on HPE GreenLake now supports both on-premises and public cloud deployments, allowing enterprises to manage their entire environments centrally, through Google’s portal. Initially, in the original April announcement, HPE focused on the on-premises portion, which required a separate HPE tool for managing virtual machines and a separate Google tool for managing Anthos in the public cloud, Miller explained. “We’re taking GreenLake from just on-premise to a fully managed public and on-prem hybrid cloud offering. It’s unified management through Google’s portal. Customers pick where they want to deploy the apps and data. There’s no separate management plane they have to interface with.”
- HPE said that its HPE Pointnext Services will provide consulting to help customers plan and migrate to a modern, containerized application model.
Hybrid Cloud Partnerships
Hardware vendors and public cloud providers are all competing for a piece of the hybrid cloud market. In some cases, as exemplified by HPE and Google, they are collaborating to capture market share.
Other hardware vendors, including Dell EMC and Lenovo, support Anthos, the solution previously named Cloud Services Platform, which gives enterprises an on-prem version of Google Cloud’s Kubernetes Engine.
Meanwhile, HPE – along with Cisco, Dell EMC, Lenovo, and others – have partnered with Microsoft Azure to sell Azure Stack appliances, which provide an on-premises version of the public Azure Cloud.
Not to be outdone, AWS has announced Outposts, fully-managed AWS-designed hardware that will let customers run AWS compute and storage services on-premises and provide full integration with the AWS public cloud. But recent comments by AWS CEO Andy Jassy indicate that Outposts aren’t the kind of on-prem infrastructure he envisions for hybrid clouds in the long term.
“I think that in 10 years, when people talk about the on-premises part of hybrid, they’re not going to be talking about on-premises infrastructure, servers, all those are moving to the cloud,” Jassy said during an interview with journalist Kara Swisher at Vox’s Code conference last week. “The on-premises part is really going to be devices. There are going to be billions of these devices sitting in our homes, in our factories, in oil fields … and those devices are going to need to use the cloud to do large-scale analytics and then push the predictions to the edge, on devices themselves.”
There’s a lot of demand among HPE’s customers for hybrid cloud environments that can support containerized applications, Miller said, citing a Gartner survey which found that application-container adoption globally will grow from less than 30 percent of organizations today to more than 75 percent by 2022.
“There is tremendous excitement and a lot of proof of concepts going on,” he said. “We are doubling down with Google because we are seeing demand from major customers – from financial and retail to manufacturing.”
According to him, the HPE and Google Cloud solutions will enable customers to seamlessly move applications and data between their own data centers and the public cloud based on business requirements, which could be costs, regulations, and so on.
There are also HPE Anthos solutions for disaster recovery. If there is a failure, workloads can migrate to the cloud to keep IT operations running. If enterprises need to increase server and storage capacity during busy times, they can burst capacity in the cloud or colocation facilities, Miller said.
Matthew Kimball, senior analyst of data center technologies at Moor Insights & Strategy, believes customers will find the HPE-Google Cloud solutions attractive because HPE’s GreenLake pay-as-you go services and Pointnext will help reduce the cost and complexity of deploying containers in a hybrid cloud.
According to him, the combination of GreenLake and Pointnext differentiates HPE from competition because it eliminates the biggest barriers to hybrid cloud adoption.
“Moving to a hybrid environment that is driven by a DevOps kind of mindset is a big move,” Kimball told us. “Now add in the deployment of Anthos. This is a big move and a big investment with a lot of moving parts. The ability to leverage an organization like Pointnext that can turn this capability on ‘as a service’ through GreenLake makes life so much easier for an IT organization. Time to value is greatly reduced, and the expertise required to deploy and manage such an environment is eliminated. Ultimately, total cost of ownership can be driven down considerably.”
Patrick Moorhead, president and principal analyst of Moor, agreed.
“The HPE-Google announcement is a proof point that HPE’s hybrid cloud strategy [is] to support customers on any cloud, regardless if it’s public, on-prem data center, or the edge,” he said. “The biggest differentiator is that all of this can be consumed as a service, with one bill and one throat to choke for services.”