HPE adds block storage to GreenLake

HPE is adding block storage to its GreenLake cloud-style IT subscription service along with backup and recovery, an existing parallel file system in a new GreenLake for High Performance Computing service, and supplying GreenLake through Digital Realty’s worldwide colocation sites.

Update: HPE added details about underlying Block Storage hardware and the backup and Recovery Service. 23 March 2022.

GreenLake is HPE’s branded services and subscription business model – hardware and software products supplied as public cloud-style services in on-premises and hybrid cloud data centres, colocation centres, remote offices, and other edge locations. HPE is bringing its Aruba networking products into GreenLake and making GreenLake available in the online marketplaces of ALSO Group, Arrow Electronics, Ingram Micro, and TD Synnex to reach over 100,000 partners. Getting partners to sign up has been a chore.

Antonio Neri, HPE president and CEO, said: “In the hybrid cloud market, HPE GreenLake is unique in its simplicity, unification, depth of cloud services, and partner network. Today, we are furthering our differentiation, boldly setting HPE GreenLake even further apart as the ideal platform for customers to drive data-first modernization.” 

GreenLake for Block Storage features self-service provisioning and comes with a 100 percent data availability guarantee. HPE claims it is the industry’s first block-storage-as-a-service product with self-service provisioning on a cloud operational mode with such a guarantee.  As is usual with such service announcements, the company did not explicitly say which of its storage array products were used to provide the service but it did say that IT resources are freed to work on strategic, higher-value initiatives with 98 percent operational time savings using intent-based provisioning. 

This percentage saving is based on a comparison of infrastructure lifecycle management of HPE’s Alletra arrays by ESG Market Research in April 2021. That implies the GreenLake Block Storage is based on Alletra arrays and is not available as software running in public clouds. We have asked if this is actually the case and if both the Alletra 9000 and 6000 arrays are included.

An HPE spokesperson told us: “When customers provision HPE GreenLake for Block Storage, the underlying hardware is determined based on the SLA and specific customer requirements. HPE GreenLake for Block Storage abstracts the underlying infrastructure for the customer who now only needs to select their desired outcome- SLA, performance, capacity, term, and HPE delivers these outcomes through the period of the contract by matching the best suited backend storage array. In the backend, the Mission Critical tier is delivered through HPE Alletra 9000 and the Business Critical tier is delivered through HPE Alletra 6000.”

There is no public cloud or software-only version of GreenLake for Block Storage.  

IBM offers a block storage service with flash drive speed and various performance level pricing tiers.

Pure Storage has a Pure-as-a-Service offering, a single pay-per-use subscription supporting block, file, and object storage both on-premises and in the public cloud. It is actually based on Pure’s Cloud Block Store running in AWS and Azure, and on-premises FlashArray (block) and FlashBlade (file + object) elements. The service comes with the Pure1 management facility for managing this hybrid-cloud environment from a single dashboard.

Zadara also has a block storage service with its managed virtual private arrays. Neither Zadara, Pure nor IBM offer a 100 percent data availability guarantee.

However, Hitachi Vantara’s VSP E990 does and also has its EverFlex consumption-based options ranging from basic utility pricing through custom outcome-based services to storage-as-a-service. It also has a self-service feature. That makes it a fairly close competitor to GreenLake Block Storage.

Dell’s APEX project includes Storage-as-a-Service and is a work in progress. It includes Multi-Cloud Data Services delivering storage and data protection as-a-service and inside this is Project Alpine, which offers Dell’s block and file storage software on the main public cloud. There is no 100 percent Dell availability guarantee. Dell also has APEX Backup Services for SaaS applications, endpoints, and hybrid workloads in the public cloud.

The HPE Backup and Recovery Service is a backup-as-a-service offering for hybrid cloud use, protecting virtual machines deployed on heterogeneous infrastructure. Backups are stored on-premises for rapid recovery and in the cloud for long-term retention. The Backup and Recovery Service is getting immutable data copies both on-premises and in AWS to aid ransomware attack recovery.

We asked if this Backup and Recovery Service was based on Zerto. The spokesperson said: “HPE Backup and Recovery Service is separate from Zerto. This service is focused on data backup and recovery, while Zerto offer application level disaster recovery and cloud mobility. 

“HPE Backup and Recovery Service enables users to protect VMware workloads with the simplicity and flexibility of the software delivered as a service. Policy-based orchestration and automation lets users set up the protection of their virtual machines (VMs) in a few simple steps, in less than 5 minutes. Managed through the single cloud native console, it automatically retains local snapshots for instant data restores, performs local on-premises backups for rapid data recovery, and utilizes cloud backups for cost-effective, long term data retention.

GreenLake for High Performance Computing (HPC) includes HPE Parallel File System Storage, which is actually IBM’s Spectrum Scale Erasure Code Edition running on HPE’s Apollo and ProLiant DL servers with InfiniBand HDR/Ethernet 100/200 Gbit/s adapters. The Spectrum Scale licensing is included in the product. It ships as a fully integrated system from HPE’s factory with support from HPE’s PointNext operation. The system is meant for use in general HPC environments, artificial intelligence, and high-end data analytics.