On this episode of the Futurum Tech Webcast – Interview Series I am joined by Chris Eidler, Vice President and GM of HPE GreenLake Lighthouse and Flynn Maloy, Vice President for HPE GreenLake Cloud Services Marketing for an exciting conversation about some of the announcements made during HPE Discover.
HPE Discover took place June 22-24, featuring three jam-packed days full of insights and announcements from HPE and their partners. If you want to learn more about the event. Check out the website.
Introducing HPE GreenLake Lighthouse
In our conversation we discussed the following:
- A quick recap of HPE Discover
- An exploration of the trends accelerating on-prem cloud adoption
- A look at how the acceleration is impacting HPE GreenLake
- An overview of the new product offering HPE GreenLake Lighthouse
- Where Lighthouse fits into the overall company strategy and some use case examples
Lighthouse is a purpose-built cloud platform that is designed to run cloud-native applications across the organization in the hopes of maximizing performance. If you’d like to learn more about HPE GreenLake Lighthouse, check out HPE’s website. And while you’re at it be sure to hit the subscribe button so you never miss an episode of the podcast.
Watch my interview with Chris and Flynn here:
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Disclaimer: The Futurum Tech Webcast is for information and entertainment purposes only. Over the course of this podcast, we may talk about companies that are publicly traded and we may even reference that fact and their equity share price, but please do not take anything that we say as a recommendation about what you should do with your investment dollars. We are not investment advisors and we do not ask that you treat us as such.
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Daniel Newman: Welcome to the Futurum Tech Podcast. I’m your host, Daniel Newman, Principal Analyst and Founding Partner at Futurum Research. Excited about this interview edition of the Futurum Tech Podcast, coming bright off the shoulders of HPE Discover where I have a couple of guests, you see them, they’re smiling right next to me right now, Mr. Chris Eidler and Mr. Flynn Maloy. We want to talk about some of the news, some of the things we heard, and a big release that took place at this year’s HPE Discover. But before I do that, I want to go ahead and introduce our guests. So first and foremost, Flynn Maloy. Good to see you again. Welcome.
Flynn Maloy: Good to be here. Good to see you again, Daniel.
Daniel Newman: Give everyone a quick intro of yourself and your role at HPE.
Flynn Maloy: So my name is Flynn Maloy. I lead marketing for HPE GreenLake Cloud Services.
Daniel Newman: Nice and quick. I love it. And Chris, first time I think you and I have jumped on together for a show. Great to have you here.
Chris Eidler: Oh, it’s really great to be here. So I’m Chris Eidler and I am responsible for enterprise solutions here at HPE on the engineering side, and for the new Lighthouse platform that we just announced at Discover recently, and that we’ll be spending some time talking about here today.
Daniel Newman: Way to tell our secret. Now I don’t know what to talk about. No, I’m just kidding. I was wondering if you were going to tell me what you do, though. I almost had to prompt you for that. We’re going to jump in here in just a second before we do, though, just typical disclaimer stuff. Just want to let everybody know this show is for information and entertainment purposes only. And while we will be talking to and about publicly traded companies, please do not take anything we say here as investment advice. All right, without further ado, gentlemen, I do have to say what a great show, Discover. I had the pleasure of being backstage, watching Antonio’s keynotes, getting to opine about them on your HPE Discover. So I was on your show. Now you’re on mine. Flynn, get me started. What are a couple of quick… Excited, great show. What are a couple of quick takeaways?
Flynn Maloy: Well, a ton of news. The speakers were amazing. Luminaries from the sports world and the business world. The content was rich and delivered. This is hopefully our last all virtual event. It was live and virtual, it was combination, but we’ll see. As we go forward, we’re hoping to get more into the real world, but we’re expecting over a hundred thousand plus, a million plus views of Antonio’s keynote, so it’s a great way to reach out to everyone, and we really had an action packed agenda with GreenLake and our asset service pivot front and center.
Daniel Newman: Absolutely. And you know me, I’ve been opining about that for quite some time. I’ve been very optimistic about Antonio’s approach, and quickly 2022 is coming upon us, so this is going to come due, his promise, very soon. And we’ll talk about that here in a minute, but Chris, before we do, any quick takeaways, anything that really you walked away being excited about from Discover?
Chris Eidler: I really loved the fact that the transformation’s already happening conversationally. So when we’re working with customers, there’s a lot of phone calls and a lot of conversations both before and after Discover with customers, clients, folks like yourself, analysts, and I think that people are really understanding now that there’s a different conversation to have with HPE. And while we still build the world’s finest infrastructure and can make things happen for you that nobody else could, the conversation’s shifting to how do our services help you achieve your outcomes, and that really excited me. So the buzz is there. Our customers love us, we love our customers, and I think the wind’s at our back.
Daniel Newman: Absolutely. I think the last quarter’s results were an indicator of this, some very positive results. There was a general consensus in the market that the on-prem investments are back as a number of the providers in that space did well. And HPE did particularly well and particularly in a few categories. And GreenLake, by the way, one of the really strong ones. What was it, 30% growth?
Flynn Maloy: No, 41% growth.
Daniel Newman: That’s what I said, right?
Flynn Maloy: Yeah. You totally said it.
Daniel Newman: I still remember Antonio saying 30 to 40 compounded over, I think it was like several quarters…
Flynn Maloy: If you’re looking at what the macro growth rate is for GreenLake on average, our just quarter ended was 41%, doubling the number of new locos. Lots of momentum with that business and we’re really excited.
Daniel Newman: So you’re almost answering, Flynn. I got a couple for you, and then Chris, I got a couple for you specifically about Lighthouse. So Flynn, the GreenLake business as a whole, how is it going? I mean, obviously those numbers are very good, but reiterate some of that. New locos. This is an indicator of what? Acceleration of on-prem… I call it on-prem cloud. Weird. But on-prem consumption adoption.
Flynn Maloy: Well yes, on all of the above. 41% growth. The number’s over 4.8 billion in total contract value now. So very clearly a level of momentum and scale that is leading the industry. I think that over the last year… It’s been a rough year, obviously, for everybody, but GreenLake has had its biggest year, and it’s just accelerating the movement to as a service. And I think what it’s showcasing us… There’s a number of things that are driving it, but what it’s showing is that the industry and the market is really understanding that there is… It’s not a binary equation, the old way or public cloud. That there is a set of choices, and all of these are tools in your toolbox and the world is hybrid now and that’s kind of the macro understanding.
And across the board, the common knowledge is let’s decide what is the right mix of what should go where, and these things are really helping drive GreenLake’s growth over the last year. And we’ve been continuing to invest big in engineering teams with Chris, in new services that we’re putting out into the market at the IS layer, at the platform layer, new ecosystem partners. So for us, it’s just bigger and bigger roll down the hill.
Daniel Newman: Yeah, I think those trends we identified and we’ve spoken about in the past, Flynn. I mean, consumption is popular. The transition from CapEx to OpEx. Doesn’t mean all CapEx spending is over, but it just means public cloud made a lot of sense to people the way it could be consumed, but public didn’t always make a lot of sense to people in terms of the placement of workloads in someone else’s cloud.
So the whole idea of this migration, it’s been really why hybrid has really become, I think, overwhelmingly the accepted iteration of cloud in the current stature. And by the way, even public cloud CEOs are talking more about hybrid and multi. So we’re hearing it now from both sides. The prem folks had kind of… For a while, they were like, “No, no, no, it’s not all going to the public cloud,” but cloud people were like, “Yeah, it is.” And now you’re actually kind of hearing that narrative change a little bit. I don’t know if you’ve noticed that, but I-
Flynn Maloy: And the pragmatic reality, though, is these are all tools in the toolbox. There are workloads that are perfect for the public cloud, for what you need, the homogeny you need, the speed that you need, the scalability, the burstability. Absolutely it’s a super important tool in your toolbox. For other workloads, though, data intensive workloads with large, Jupiter planet size gravities, the round trip latency that some of these applications have, when you think of these kinds of large scale, enterprise, data intensive applications that are in production today, they haven’t moved. That’s where the ability to bring the cloud to that data instead of the data to the cloud is what’s really driving that adoption. I mean, think about… The services we heard launched from GreenLake onstage. We’ve got a whole host of infrastructure and platform services that can offer that for your single tenant environment out at the edge or in a private data center.
But to be able to bring Cloud Services to electronic medical records or to financial payment systems. I mean, these are really large data sets. I mean, I think a CT scan set is over 30 gigs for just one. How many of those are they hosting? Huge data, very private. So the ability to bring the cloud experience, which you said, self-service automated experience, it scales up and down, and yes, there’s consumption in it and that’s important, the OpEx to CapEx, but the macro, what we hear is really more about, “Can you manage it for me?” All of the updates and the firmwearing and the capacity management and those sorts of things, freeing that for me, is what you get when you put it in the public cloud.
Being able to do that, where it is in a single tenant environment with the self service experience, with the security of the enterprise class data center that you put in place, that’s really attractive for a lot of these workloads and that realization that this is an option, that there is a third way to do it and it’s not just a binary equation, traditional or public cloud, I think that’s what’s really helping fuel the hybrid growth and the common knowledge now that is these are all choice points for you depending on what your apps need, what your workloads need.
Daniel Newman: Absolutely. Let’s talk a little bit about how HPE specifically is addressing this. And Chris you’ve been quiet because I haven’t given you a chance to talk. [crosstalk] is that cloud native doesn’t mean only public cloud. So HPE, talk a little bit about how you guys are addressing this.
Chris Eidler: We think customers are being presented a false choice, just totally aligning with what you and Flynn were just discussing. And that is that are your choices really just do it the same old way, except maybe a little bit more cloudy, or do it on the public cloud? Those aren’t your only two options. We think there’s a place right in between that says take the best of your enterprise experience that you’ve had traditionally, mix it with the best of the experience you expect from a public cloud and use that as the way to host those workloads that have an affinity for on-prem, but need to play in the overall system. So we recognize that place and we are fully focused with our GreenLake Cloud Services on that space. And what we announced at Discover was HPE GreenLake Lighthouse.
What you need to think of Lighthouse as is it’s a receptacle for really all of HPE’s infrastructure hardware and infrastructure software awesomeness. The entire portfolio is available to Lighthouse. And what we do is we engineer that into a platform. Cloud services needs a platform to run on. It’s not an option that you add to individual pieces of infrastructure. Can I run some cloud on that server? Can I run some cloud on that storage device? So we take that and we carefully engineer to be a system that is exceptionally module, exceptionally configurable, not customizable, and entirely API driven. And this Lighthouse system is now able to host GreenLake Cloud Services.
So that’s what we’re up to. And we think it allows for that perfect combination. Because for example, Lighthouse doesn’t have to optimize… We don’t optimize our infrastructure for hyperscale. We optimize our infrastructure for enterprise specific workloads. The way that the enterprise teams expect us to. So we tremendously respect the work that public cloud has done, but we think that there’s a place, and I don’t know if multicloud’s really a word that’s allowed to be used these days. You guys will have to tell me, but certainly a hybrid multi world, there’s a place for a cloud platform it’s tuned to the enterprise. Daniel, I could go on and on and on, but I’m going to stop there for a minute just to make sure that you guys can keep me on track.
Daniel Newman: Yeah, I’m going to hold you there. And actually I like that you can get inside my head and start answering questions I haven’t asked you yet. That’s good. That means we’re thinking down the same path. To quickly reiterate, yes, multicloud is a thing. It has been defined and determined by both prem and cloud companies that this is happening. Right workload, right destination. In some cases it’s going to be hybrid as in one public and one prem, in some cases it’s going to be edge prem and public cloud, in some cases it might be five public clouds, but consistency and experience is what everybody’s yearning for, meaning not having to know five control planes because you’re doing public cloud.
I think that’s where a lot of the opportunity lies right there in saying, “Hey, who’s going to solve this problem when I deploy?” and we know with virtualization a lot of people were using that as the bridge, but as we go to more bare metal and more micro services, things like Kubernetes, there’s got to be a different alternative because things like latency and real-time data and stuff like that, we need to take advantage of what infrastructure is enabling us to with data. And I know that’s a big part. So Chris, I don’t want you to gloss over this. I want you to say it again, because a big part of why I wanted you to come on the show was I wanted to talk about GreenLake Lighthouse. You started talking about it, but I was going to make you stop and say you announced GreenLake Lighthouse, big announcement, one of the biggest announcements for the GreenLake business. Tell us again, what is it and why is this offering going to be such a big deal for HPE?
Chris Eidler: To build on what we had said before, it’s the on-prem platform for hosting GreenLake Cloud Services. It is a system that is procured through the purchase and assembly of GreenLake Lighthouse modules. So we offer certain types of modules that can be sized and configured based on the workload or workloads that you want to run on your Lighthouse. So there’ll be multiple types of… Or there are multiple types of Lighthouse modules. There are storage Lighthouse modules, network Lighthouse modules, and of course there’s a standardized rack environment for it. These modules are ingested by the element control plane, and connected to one another in a way such that they’re ready to host workloads and be provisioned by GreenLake Cloud Services on top of the Lighthouse. So Lighthouse is a self-contained system that starts taking these modules and converting them into workload optimized surfaces that can then be deployed by GreenLake cloud software for the purposes of our customers to use it.
So for example, suppose a customer comes in and says, “I would like to deploy,” I don’t know, I’ll just pick a work, let’s say Splunk. “I would like to deploy Splunk.” The Lighthouse’s API would be asked, “We want to deploy Splunk. Do you speak Splunk?” Now, if we didn’t speak Splunk, we do speak VMaaS, container as a service, bare metal as a service. And we would go ahead and orchestrate and manage the deployment of your workload as you would with any cloud. But in this case, we would respond, “We speak Splunk,” and now we can have an interaction with the customer all through GreenLake central. There’s lots of control planes in a cloud system, but there’s one customer access point, and there’s one way a customer engages with us, and that’s GreenLake Cloud Services.
But we’re now able to take our enterprise experience that says we know what each component in a Splunk or a VDI engagement or an SAP engagement, we know the nature of the roles that are deployed on the infrastructure, and we have infrastructure built to suit for that, and we’re able to put it together using the same types of workload optimizations as you would in an old style bespoke configuration, except using it in this cloud native way. So this system, coming back up for air, sorry, I get kind of into it and I dive into it. So then coming back up for air, all of this gets put back together in a way that looks to the world as, “I just had a cloud interaction with an infrastructure platform that allowed GreenLake Cloud Services to give the customer the workload surface area that they needed in a way they’re comfortable with.” So it sits right between those two spectrums. Enterprise sensibilities and public cloud experience.
Daniel Newman: Sounds like the deployment, and Flynn, I want to get ya, because I’m going to have to let you build on this, but it sounds like the deployment orchestration layer, it’s really about identifying common use cases, getting out a full customization, but knowing what those use cases are and making it very easy, think API, think connector, and being able to get workloads up and running, and like you said, get those workloads in the right destination, whether that is on-prem or in a public cloud and giving all that flexibility to the user so they can spend more time deploying the workloads and less time configuring them. And you gave a lot of good examples, Chris. And Flynn, whatever you’re going to say, go ahead and say it, but I want you to add to this really quickly, though. This seems to fit really well with the whole end-to-end XaaS, everything as a service strategy in terms of bringing it all together.
Flynn Maloy: A we’ve talked often about, and you’ve been helping us all along the journey since the day we launched GreenLake years ago. We’ve built a multi-billion dollar business using traditional technology, with the engineering we’ve done, with the services we’ve developed, with the platform we’ve got, but it’s run, to date, on traditional technology. What Chris and the team have been hard at work back in the engine room doing is taking the best of the scale-out cloud native concepts around security, around architecture, around and these various component, and then bringing the best of scale-out with the best of on-prem and building something new that is hybrid technology optimized for the way we’re doing hybrid cloud. And that’s what it is.
So for us, you think about the speed, and for our customers, think about the speed that they’re going to gain from this. Push down new services. You don’t need a new set of tech, reconfigure the tech, the tech reconfigures itself. It federates together. This ability to get increased speed, deployment speed, response speed, better capacity management, better capacity utilization, better automation, this is all how GreenLake matures, how the market further scales. And once you have a platform at that level, that’s when you can really start bringing everyone else’s APIs into it. And we’re seeing that again and again. We heard several examples in Discover of the industry building their roadmaps on GreenLake. So service providers, managed cloud providers, the SIs, all kinds of companies are recognizing this platform and its future capabilities and potential is bringing something new to the market and they’re building on it.
All together, this is a business maturing. That’s what you’re seeing, in the technology that HPE is famous for. HPE invent. What Chris’s team has done, it’s going to be game changing and light years ahead of anyone else in the market, we think.
Chris Eidler: Is it okay if I jump in here for a second, Daniel?
Daniel Newman: Yeah, I’ve got about two minutes left, so go ahead and…
Chris Eidler: Two minutes? Okay, I’ll do the quick version of it. I’ll do a real quick point, and then I’m going to pass it back to you, is that the one thing… And we didn’t really talk about it too much here yet, but one of the side effects of this approach is velocity. Because what we’ve done is we’ve taken the innovation that happens in our company that is manifested in a cloud environment behind the scenes and given it a place to live. And we’re able to perform and adopt all of the innovations that are coming in the compute space, and there are a lot of changes coming in the way computer systems are architected.
Now I imagine that’s a topic for another cast, but all of this can be incorporated in our HPE GreenLake Lighthouses behind the API. So the services layer from GreenLake Cloud Services, and the applications, workloads, and platforms that are being run on top of that can continue to move and just get the benefit without having to be slowed down by the drag of the innovation that’s happening because we’re doing it behind that API. So I think this ends up with a real positive side effect for our customers of speed, baby, speed.
Daniel Newman: So Flynn, bring us home. Where can any IT architects, financial and operational leaders that want to learn more about this as they’re continuing to consider their cloud strategy, where do you want them to go? Where should they learn more?
Flynn Maloy: Well, first they they got to watch all of your stuff. So no doubt. Futurum. Go consume, consume.
Daniel Newman: Marketer, I love it.
Flynn Maloy: Of course come to hpe.com. There’s plenty of thought leadership, information, videos, chalk talks to get you up and educated on what it is. Reach out to us. We’ve got workshops. You can sit down with our team, with a team of experts, see what’s right for you. What we often do is start with the right mix. that is what CIO after CIO, company after company, let’s start there. What should go where. Let’s have a right mix workshop, let’s have a right mix discussion and then move into, “Okay, these are the possibilities, these are what should go where.
Let’s sit down and unpack what’s possible for me.” And we’ve got trials, we’ve got pilots, there’s all kinds of ways to start out with GreenLake or our partners as we start to scale.
Daniel Newman: Chris, Flynn, I love it. I’ll be sure to throw a few of those links into the show notes, so if you liked what you heard, you’re interested in learning more, I’ll give you a few links to learn more specifically about HPE GreenLake Lighthouse. Chris and Flynn, you’ve been great. It was great to hear from you about this. We probably need another pod at some point when this gets a little further along, maybe talk even more about some of the use cases, applications, customer stories. But we’re out of time for this particular show, so thank you both for joining me today.
Flynn Maloy: Thank you.
Daniel Newman: All right, everybody. Thanks for tuning into this episode of the Futurum Tech Podcast interview series. Thanks HPE for your partnership and for bringing these great executives on to give their points of view. Click subscribe, join us for some more, share the podcast if you learn something from it. Tune in and watch and listen to all of our others, as Flynn so kindly suggested, but for this episode it’s time to say goodbye. We’ll see you later. Thank you for joining us on this week’s Futurum Tech Podcast, the interview series. Please be sure to subscribe to us on iTunes and stay with us each and every week as we bring more interviews and more shows from our weekly Futurum Tech Podcast.