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“We were the first to recognize the need to deliver a unified and consistent cloud experience” – HPE

Today, while every organization understands the need for digital transformation, the sweet spot for meaningful change is at the intersection of data, cloud, and AI. Unified DataOps is HPE’s vision for a new data experience that integrates data-centric policies, cloud-native control, and AI-driven insights”

-Kamal Kashyap, Director of Storage Business Unit, HPE India

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) recently unveiled a data services platform (available through HPE GreenLake) that embodies its Unified DataOps vision for a new data experience by bringing a cloud operations model to wherever data resides and unifying data operations. We talked to Mr. Kamal Kashyap, Director of Storage Business Unit, HPE India on his perspective on data storage industry and how HPE is redefining it through its new data services platform

What is your sense of market sentiment now?

In addition to dealing with the global health crisis, there were many ways that society has had to act in response to the challenge of Covid-19. Examples include: Rapid vaccine development, better awareness of infectious disease mitigation, and in the case of business, product targeting and streamlining transactions that will forever change how we go-to-market. This also meant that most organizations were looking at digital transformation to react quickly to meet opportunities to support and grow their businesses. And so across the board, every organization has recognized the need for digital transformation – including government, large corporations across different verticals, growing enterprises and start-up businesses.

Today, while every organization understands the need for digital transformation, the sweet spot for meaningful change is at the intersection of data, cloud, and AI. However, as the volume of data increases, so does the threat to that data. It also leads to an increase in demands to utilize data, and greater requirement for more data infrastructure everywhere. As a result, IT organizations have reached the point where the complexity to manage it all creates risk and comes at a cost to innovation and time-to-market.

To transform, enterprises need to fundamentally change how they manage their data and infrastructure. This can be achieved through autonomous operations, self-service, policy-based automation, and mobilization from edge-to-cloud across the lifecycle of data. While, this changes everything for storage, the storage complexity continues which is the roadblock to innovation. Hence, there is a need to bring the cloud operational experience to on-premises environments.

Which are the technologies driving market growth and why?

Data helps drive better and faster decisions, which are required to empower any organization. However, more data means more complexity. By offering on-demand access, resource elasticity, and charges for services based on actual usage, cloud has set the standard for agility. Hence, enterprises look for the cloud experience for all their applications and all their data wherever it resides. And this is where AI comes in, as it also holds the potential to put data infrastructure on auto-pilot and make IT invisible. Additionally, AI can predict and prevent problems before they occur.

As data, cloud, and AI are creating a paradigm shift in data infrastructure, our new paradigm for data infrastructure should include an approach that is cloud-native by design, purpose-built for cloud operations and consumption from edge to cloud.

Which are the vertical markets driving growth?

The growth of data and its usage is universally witnessed across all vertical markets. However, the key driver is how is data used and harnessed, and this is where we see some variations across verticals.

For instance, in the public sector space, the focus on digital agenda means that many public services are now becoming data- and digital-enabled. We are seeing this translate to an increase in data creation and utilization. It is also empowering data innovations and bringing in outcomes that help the citizens of the country.

Driven by the pandemic, there has been an unprecedented growth of digital payments and banking services. These are driving the creation of more data and the need to simplify data infrastructure and integrate data management. Additionally, an important aspect for this segment is the need to secure and protect data. We are also witnessing a significant demand for storage solutions from the manufacturing and telecom sectors.

Briefly tell us about HPE’s leadership in enterprise data storage industry including its innovations.

In the enterprise storage space, HPE has always been an innovation leader. We have helped organizations across all major verticals to power their mission-critical applications. In India, the majority of organizations in verticals such as manufacturing, automotive, oil & gas, banking, and telecom use HPE compute and storage infrastructure for their mission critical and business critical environments.

We have continuously raised the bar and have set the standard for performance, reliability and we have set the pace in customer experience with the industry-leading AIOps (HPE InfoSight). We have also set the standard for reliability and a market-leading dHCI solution. Moreover, we have led the way with storage as a service with several customers across the country choosing to adopt the HPE GreenLake consumption model for HPE solutions.

Last year, we announced advancements to HPE Primera and HPE Nimble Storage, including an AI-driven, self-healing and self-optimized system that delivers real-time autonomous operations. These advancements are part of a comprehensive update to the Intelligent Data Platform that provides customers with an AI-driven, built for cloud, as-a-service offering that results in unmatched application availability and performance, agility, and automation

We recognise the changing needs of our customers and are making a transformative pivot from being a leader in enterprise storage to becoming the leader in data management. Recently, HPE unveiled a data services platform that delivers on our Unified DataOps vision for a new data experience that brings a cloud operations model to wherever data resides and unifies data operations.

Elaborate on the data services platform of HPE Unified DataOps vision?

For organizations, the new imperative needs to shift from managing storage to unleashing data. They need to unlock their data by streamlining access to the data innovators, developers, and analysts. These can create value from data, protect the data from threats and disruptions, and mobilize the data by accelerating the data and freeing it across every cloud. To make this happen, requires a new vision, which is to break down the silos and complexity to accelerate data-driven transformation. We call this vision Unified DataOps. 

Unified DataOps is HPE’s vision for a new data experience that integrates data-centric policies, cloud-native control, and AI-driven insights. It eliminates the silos and complexity of data management and infrastructure. It also drives operational agility across edge-to-cloud, minimizes business risk, and accelerates data-driven innovation.

The data services platform delivers on HPE’s Unified DataOps vision, and is available through HPE GreenLake. It consists of three new innovations that simplify data operations from edge to cloud. These include:

  • Data Services Cloud Console – A cloud console that delivers cloud operational agility and unified data operations as a service. It is designed to deliver a broad collection of cloud data services, and is based on proven, secure, cloud-native technology that underpins Aruba Central.
  • Cloud data services – A suite of software subscription services that radically simplify and automate global infrastructure management at scale.
  • HPE Alletra – A new portfolio of cloud-native data infrastructure that powers data edge-to-cloud. It is managed natively by the Data Services Cloud Console, and features a portfolio of workload-optimized systems consisting of All-NVMe HPE Alletra 9000 and 6000 systems to deliver architectural flexibility to run any application without compromise.

What is your value proposition of data services platform through HPE GreenLake?

HPE’s vision is to be edge-to-cloud platform as-a-service company with HPE GreenLake being the key to delivering cloud experience. We were the first to recognize the need to deliver a unified and consistent cloud experience, from edge to cloud, with HPE GreenLake.

Our recent announcement builds on this strategy, and enables organisations to break down silos and leverage data, wherever it resides, with unified data operations. With this announcement we are advancing HPE GreenLake with the as a services transformation of the HPE storage business to a software-defined cloud date services business overall. For our customers this translates to cloud operational and ownership experience that unleashes their agility their data and their innovation.

Please explain kind of typical challenges you want to mitigate of the CIOs.

As I mentioned earlier, organizations today are struggling with complexity. As reported by data management research survey of IT decision makers conducted by ESG for HPE, 93% of IT decision makers see storage and data management complexity impeding digital transformation and 67% of surveyed organizations see fragmented data visibility across hybrid cloud creating business risk.

The data services platform is designed to address the data explosion edge-to-cloud, collapse the silos and complexity that affect data environments, maximize agility and innovation, and reduce business risk. Moreover, the Data Services Cloud Console, cloud data services, and HPE Alletra will collectively bring cloud operational agility and streamline data management for customers.

Now what does cloud operations for data infrastructure mean for our customers? It means:

  • Simplified deployment, a simplified and streamlined device deployment process that can be completed in minutes. Moreover, new systems are automatically discovered and on-boarded.
  • Intent-based provisioning, which enables to automate and optimize app deployment. It also ensures workloads are always deployed on the right resource.
  • Manage from anywhere, Data Services Cloud Console provides 100% cloud-managed infrastructure. This means businesses can globally control and monitor storage from anywhere, and on any device.
  • Automate at scale, the cloud-native control plane is also highly extensible, with a fully programmable, unified API across edge-to-cloud infrastructure. This allows businesses to automate self-service operations at cloud speed and scale without worrying about API versions, feature compatibility, or multiple scripting.

By bringing a full cloud operational model to the customers’ on-premises environments, HPE is changing the storage game. Moreover, we are helping our customers innovate faster than ever before by bringing the cloud operational model to where data lives, which also accelerates digital transformation and streamlines data management.

What are the differentiation of your data services platform through HPE GreenLake vis a vis the competition?

The data services platform, available through HPE GreenLake, connects applications to infrastructure, innovators to data, and automation to policies in a unified cloud experience wherever data lives. The suite of innovations it features fundamentally changes the landscape for storage and data management. It also shifts HPE from a storage business to a software-defined, cloud-native services business.

With HPE Alletra, we have removed away all the complexity by eliminating up to 99% of the customer’s operational time, which enables businesses to drive cloud speed and agility. Moreover, by abstracting the data infrastructure control plane from the data plane and moving it to the cloud, it gives a single, consistent operational experience. Now instead of managing numerous on-prem storage devices from various consoles, Data Services Cloud Console offers one consistent experience for HPE Alletra. Moreover, by delivering HPE Alletra as a service, it allows customers to free up cash flow and increase financial agility.

Please name few of your customers who are using this service.

HPE Alletra and Data Services Cloud Console were recently launched on May 4, 2021.

Please provide some broad level pricing of the services.

Just like HPE Primera and HPE Nimble Storage, HPE Alletra is engineered to eliminate forklift upgrades with a non-disruptive process. We’re excited to extend the Timeless Storage Program to HPE Alletra to transform the entire ownership experience. No more forklift upgrades. Flat support pricing with direct access to experts. Everything you could think of to make sure your investments get better with age.

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