HPE GreenLake Flex Capacity Review

We could have implemented what we have now at a third of the cost


What is our primary use case?

We're working in a new data center in Virginia and are using it for our primary storage and compute. We're a cloud services provider and we provide co-location and disaster recovery. We're using it on the cloud services and the disaster recovery sides of the business.

How has it helped my organization?

We haven't had great success with it. Both times that we've had to increase the hardware, the deployment took way longer than expected. In addition, we haven't yet gotten to a use point where the cost is below what it would cost us to provision the same set of services on HPE hardware outside of the GreenLake service.

In terms of our capacity management efforts, it's actually provided us too much capacity at this point in time, and we're working to try to fill that capacity. We're currently over-provisioned in that service.

It hasn't increased the flexibility of our IT operations because in that platform, on that set of racks, we're not able to add in different solutions that we would normally buy internally and deploy on that set of gear. So we have to create a separate set of gear for anything extra that we want to add into the environment.

I think the solution has cost us money. It hasn't decreased the time it takes to deploy IT projects.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the ability to grow into a lower price point at some point in time.

Also, there's more visibility into the solution than we have in some of the other areas, but not significantly so.

What needs improvement?

I feel like I'm paying for 20 percent that I'm not using, because it's always over-provisioned by at least 20 percent or a minimum commit of 80 percent. Once you get up above that, you're looking at provisioning more and then that increases it again. I would like some flexibility on pricing at those lower bands, and not having such a high commit-percentage, if that's economically feasible.

There is room for improvement in the ability to scale down without a significant increase in cost. Fulfillment of the hardware in a more timely manner is also an issue.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We solely use HPE hardware across our organization, so I don't know that its stability is different than any of the others. We have more experience with some of the other hardware - 3PAR, c7000, the blades, etc. - so we're more familiar with them. We've had some issues with trying to configure the Nimble correctly for a few of our applications that we're working on, but support has been pretty good in working with us to get through those.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

In terms of scalability it's tough for us. Right now, it's actually counterproductive for our scalability. I'm hoping that once we reach the upper band in our contract that it will provide us some scalability there.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support has been really good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We had heard about GreenLake at conferences and thought it might be an opportunity for us to use more HPE resources. We chose to try it at this particular deployment, versus our normal, self-provisioning of the equipment. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was pretty straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

We deployed it ourselves.

What was our ROI?

We have not seen ROI.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Right now we're paying about $180,000 per year.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

HPE is our shortlist.

What other advice do I have?

My advice would depend on what the application is. In our particular application, it hasn't been helpful thus far. If you have an application where you're going to be at a price point, right out of the gate, which makes it cost-effective and you're only going to continue to grow at a steady pace, then I think this solution makes sense. But if you're starting at the very bottom of the scale, where the price point is high and you're not going to use the services that come bundled with the products, then it might not be as cost-effective as it could be.

I would rate the service at three out of ten, simply because of the costs associated with it. I could implement what we have now at a third of the cost.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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