Today I am excited about our announcement of HPE GreenLake Hybrid Cloud. There is a lot of information streaming out of HPE Discover in Las Vegas, but I thought it would be good to provide you with a bit more depth.
HPE GreenLake Hybrid Cloud is a comprehensive offering to help simplify your hybrid cloud environment. When we talk about hybrid cloud in this solution, we are specifically referencing AWS, Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Azure Stack. We will look to add more cloud options going forward, but for now HPE GreenLake Hybrid Cloud involves those three.
As background to this announcement, Cloud Technology Partners (CTP) was acquired by Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) in 2017 and continues to be a leading provider of cloud advisory and professional services. But other than offering the cost and compliance capabilities described below, CTP never pursued the cloud managed services business–until now. Many clients asked us to manage the cloud environments we helped them build, but we had to turn them away. As an independent, providing operational services for public and on-premise clouds was not something we could drive to scale. However, with the global reach and operational capabilities of HPE Pointnext services, we are now in a position to roll out market-leading capabilities in this space. Enter HPE GreenLake Hybrid Cloud.
The best way to look at HPE GreenLake Hybrid Cloud is as a set of leading edge operational and management services that span and unify public and on-premise cloud models. By adding the HPE GreenLake consumption model to Azure Stack, you are able to pay on an “as used” basis for edge, disconnected and private cloud use cases. Given that there are often some minimum commitments, this is not quite as elastic as adding it to Azure or AWS. But it is innovative in that you are not purchasing data center hardware–you are merely “consuming” it based on metered usage. We manage the hardware, capacity planning, provisioning and more. And since this is on Azure Stack, you get a consistent, integrated experience with Azure public cloud.
What are the operational and management services we provide with HPE GreenLake Hybrid Cloud? It starts with HPE Adaptive Management Services (AMS), which delivers a full range of operational capabilities, including monitoring, logging, incident management and more. See the diagram below for more on AMS.
We have re-imagined how we deliver AMS to provide a cloud-native experience through and through. This starts with our Minimum Viable Cloud (MVC) approach to delivering your cloud environment (i.e., a landing zone).
Analogous to the idea of a minimum viable product, MVC methodology focuses on the shortest route to value for our clients. This means putting the cloud in their hands with a cloud operating environment that meets a minimum threshold for enterprise-grade security, operations, agility and more.
Here is an extract from a recent article on utilizing our MVC approach in an AWS context.
Our MVC methodology is an agile approach to developing cloud infrastructure, which accelerates time to value by ensuring that components and processes are built into the environment iteratively as needed. Using the MVC approach, we work collaboratively with customers to build an efficient and secure infrastructure foundation. This joint effort focuses on how and on what to build a cloud infrastructure that meets each client’s specific needs.
Components of an MVC-Built Environment
This is where we start to tie the hybrid cloud environments together. And by taking a unified approach across public and private clouds, risk, operating costs, and time to value are all reduced.
The common elements of an MVC-based cloud environment include:
- Account Structure
- Virtual Network
- Network Routing
- High Availability/Disaster Recovery
- Backup and Restore
- Identity and Access Management
- Security Groups
- Key Management
- Continuous Delivery Pipeline
A key concept here is to apply the same model across the hybrid cloud landscape.
The diagram below represents the elements of an environment built using our MVC methodology. We start by defining the account structure, then deploy central services components and make sure that all this is fully automated and implemented in an “infrastructure-as-code” framework.
Once you have the model built for one cloud, the next step is to apply it across other clouds in your hybrid cloud landscape.
There may be some differences – such as the tooling, and which automation frameworks you use. However, as long as the way you build your cloud environments is consistent, it is a lot easier to achieve secure and efficient operations.
Our MVC methodology is also agile and follows “lean” principles to deliver an environment you can start using as quickly as possible. As your cloud usage expands, the MVC approach evolves and expands the operational characteristics of your cloud environment – becoming more and more capable, secure and scalable as your needs grow.
Through our automation tooling, we are able to often build and deploy your cloud environment from our standard library of components and artifacts, saving you significant time and money. Should you need capabilities that we have not already automated, the HPE team can quickly integrate new components, tooling and processes into the solution. From then on, your fully automated environments, deployed via a cloud-native “infrastructure-as-code” approach, can be created and deployed in minutes. And because they are fully automated, any new environments you deploy will be fully secured, compliant and scalable.
To tie this together, HPE GreenLake Hybrid Cloud applies the global capabilities of HPE Adaptive Management Services in a fully cloud-native model upon the foundation defined through our Minimum Viable Cloud approach. And of course, we are able to deliver this on-premise with Azure Stack, in a consumption-based, pay-as-you-go model.
There are two other critical components to HPE GreenLake Hybrid Cloud that need to be explained. The first relates to cost, the other to compliance.
While the cloud operating model can be truly a game changer in terms of agility, security and delivering innovation to your enterprise, it is possible for unchecked costs to detract from the value. At scale, with many applications and teams using the hybrid cloud environments, it is easy for costs to get out of control. It can also be hard to understand how to best optimize the costs of what you really do need to be running. Options such as reserved instances, spot instances, contracting discounts and more can have a huge impact on the total cost of a hybrid cloud program.
That is why we have integrated the spend management capability created by CTP into HPE GreenLake Hybrid Cloud. We call this Continuous Cost Control, and it is a technology-driven managed service that provides the following capabilities:
- Aligns cloud costs with business groups, for financial accountability
- Provides a single view of all cloud program costs
- Maps actual spend, for owner accountability
- Reconciles actual costs back to the business case
- Monitors costs, with alerts and recommendations for cost optimization
- Provides expertise to find and implement cost savings
That last bullet – the expertise to leverage the data – is core to why we are able to optimize and reduce our customers’ hybrid cloud costs. We look at your usage and use our analytics and data to find cost saving opportunities to help you keep your hybrid cloud spending under control.
We know that security and compliance are big issues for IT leaders. That is why we have integrated another CTP capability – Continuous Compliance – into HPE GreenLake Hybrid Cloud. This is another technology-driven managed service, providing the following capabilities:
- Continuous monitoring of over 1,000 controls
- IT compliance
- Corporate governance
- Regulatory compliance
- Real-time monitoring and alerting for remediation
- Up-to-date regulatory policies
- Continuous synchronization with regulatory organizations
- Reduced time, cost and complexity of audit preparation
- Ongoing expert recommendations for remediation and cloud compliance
Continuous Compliance leverages industry-standard compliance frameworks, such as Cloud Security Alliance Cloud Controls Matrix, HIPAA, PCI and more. With over 1,000 standard compliance checks and the ability to create and manage your specific compliance rules, this capability is a key part of why HPE GreenLake Hybrid Cloud is the right solution for our clients.
Bringing all these capabilities together in a model that spans public and on-premise cloud, a true hybrid approach, is what our clients have been asking for.
We believe that the benefits of HPE GreenLake Hybrid Cloud to our clients are many, including:
- Accelerated time to value for cloud programs – so you can focus on delivering applications and business value, and let HPE deliver and run your cloud environments
- Reduced costs in the cloud through our Continuous Cost Control capability
- Improved security and compliance through our MVC approach and Continuous Compliance capability
We are very excited to be announcing these capabilities and cannot wait to deliver these solutions to our clients.