The game-changing possibilities of HPE GreenLake

Over the past 20 years as an Infrastructure team lead and architect, I have been told on more than one occasion to stop focussing on on-premises infrastructure, and fully embrace the inevitable shift to public cloud. A couple of weeks ago, Xylos became HPE GreenLake Partner of the Year in Belgium, marking the crowning achievement after years of claiming our place in today’s hybrid IT landscape. A big part of this journey has been linked to HPE GreenLake. We proved them wrong.

Michael De Bruyn
Business Unit Manager Infrastructure & Managed Services

Hybrid infrastructure in its core

Today’s and tomorrow’s datacentre is a hybrid one. Workloads are shifting back and forth to and from (public) cloud and on-premise datacentre locations. Customers that opted for an all-in big-bang public cloud shift in the past often re-analyse the current situation.

Choosing between on-premises and public cloud deployment for workloads requires a comprehensive analysis of performance, cost, security, compliance, and operational considerations. By thoroughly assessing the characteristics and requirements of each workload and defining a hybrid cloud strategy that aligns with organizational objectives, we support our customers in making informed decisions that optimize efficiency, agility, and innovation across the IT infrastructure.

The blend between on-premises infrastructure and (public) cloud solutions presents our customer with an important question, which often proved impossible to answer: what will the balance between on-premises infrastructure and cloud infrastructure look like today, tomorrow and in the future? More specifically, how should we size our physical infrastructure when the “hybrid mix” rate is unclear and should be dynamic. This blocks many of our customers in fully embracing a hybrid set-up.

In the ideal world, we should be able to deploy a pay-per-use model for both our on-premises infrastructure and our public cloud workloads, and be able to grow and shrink both stacks over time. And that’s where HPE GreenLake comes in…


Understanding HPE GreenLake

HPE GreenLake is a cloud services platform that enables organizations to consume IT resources on-demand, while maintaining control over their infrastructure. Unlike traditional IT procurement models that require upfront investments in hardware and infrastructure, GreenLake follows a pay-per-use model, allowing businesses to scale their IT resources based on actual usage. This flexibility not only helps organizations optimize their IT spending but also ensures they can adapt to changing business requirements.

At its core, HPE GreenLake offers a comprehensive suite of services spanning across infrastructure, applications, and data management. From compute and storage to networking and security, GreenLake provides a holistic solution that addresses the diverse needs of modern businesses. Moreover, with its hybrid cloud capabilities, organizations can seamlessly integrate their on-premises infrastructure with public cloud services, providing greater flexibility and control over their IT environment.

In essence, you get the best of both worlds. Infrastructure is installed in your (local or hosted) datacentre, under your control, but you only pay for what you consume. Based on compute- and storage counters, our GreenLake customers get billed monthly on consumed resources, just like they do for their (public) cloud resources.


Is it really that easy?

Well, yes and no. Unlike for (some) public cloud resources, you should still do some planning-ahead. You still need to design the correct infrastructure footprint for your needs, and if you want to do things right, you need to have a high-level idea of how capacities could vary in the future.

Key questions we ask our customers adopting the HPE GreenLake model:

  • What is the minimum and maximum capacity for both storage, compute and networking components you require?
    Opting for a more narrow “bandwidth” often has a positive impact on pricing.
  • What services on installing and maintaining the infrastructure do you want to handle in-house, and what do you want outsourced?
    Navigating the jungle of GreenLake offerings can be a challenge, and choosing the correct service package up-front is an important one to tackle.
  • How important is it for you to have a single pane of glass approach over your on-premise and cloud resources?
    Sure, we can do it. But avoiding a vendor lock-in, both from the public cloud perspective as from the GreenLake perspective is also an important consideration. Do you really want your on-premise tooling as a cockpit for your public cloud, or the other way around? Both vendors have a different agenda. A “pane” should never become a “pain”.


In my experience, these attention points should in no way influence the way our customers look at the flexibility HPE GreenLake introduces.  Over the last few years we got “down and dirty” in many Greenlake journeys with our customers, and in all of those cases, the solution overdelivers on the promised value. In fact, almost all customers embarking in the GreenLake path continue to do so after the first contract period. “The proof of the pudding….”

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