If you were talking to someone whose organization is considering HPE GreenLake Flex Capacity, what would you say?
How would you rate it and why? Any other tips or advice?
If your management is pushing you to go all-cloud, then really look at this service as an alternative, because you're getting all of the OpEx savings that you would in the cloud play, but at a much lower price. We were comparing this to the cloud, to Azure, and the price for Azure would have been four times the price of this, and without the level of performance that we're getting out of this platform. The service hasn't affected our organization's capacity management efforts and it hasn't eliminated the need for over-provisioning. The biggest lesson we have learned from using the solution, the biggest thing, is that you have to make sure that you get it fully implemented before you let your DevOps guys touch it. If they touch it during the implementation process, they will mess it up. I would rate GreenLake at eight out of ten. It is giving us a lot of what we need. The only issue I have is with the lack of some reporting features. If they were to get those reporting features in the portal, I would give it a ten.
Look carefully and understand with this model you can buy just what you need right now, and not overprovision.
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.
Understand what your compute workloads will be and be really clear on that. Otherwise, you will procure starting up with too much or little. Just make sure you understand what your compute will be so you can get your contract set up the right way. It is doing what we need it to now, over and above what we had before. While provisioning is quicker, we are not provisioning much new infrastructure into the kit at this stage. We expect our capacity will actually go down over time, not up. Though, if we change direction or had an acquisition, it provides flexibility without having to go back for a CAPEX spend to get more infrastructure. I don't think it has eliminated corporate provisioning. We can provision what we need and get more if we need it. Our intention would be to use less, not more. I don't think we have had to over buy. If we hadn't had gone down the pathway of a traditional SAN, we probably wouldn't have purchased what we are running with the GreenLake kit now, since our stacks would disappear over the next few years due to business transformation.
Give it a real good look. I was skeptical until I sat down and thought about what HPE was offering and delivering. It truly is pay for what you use. HPE has delivered on all their promises for this service. If you talk to anybody in healthcare who knows Epic, that is where your complications come in because their requirements can pretty much change quarterly. So, you have to be ready to move very quickly because it can make the process complex. However, I don't think that is in HPE's control.
Something that burned us upfront was underestimating some of the work involved. Once, we got some of the hardware in, then there was some other back-end stuff that had to happen. We buried a couple of people in a backlog because we were moving so fast. We had to slow ourselves down a little to allow that backlog to catch up. In terms of refreshing the gear, we are able to do it a lot faster. With the four-year cycle that we are doing on GreenLake, and at end of this year, we are starting the second cycle, which has always been the goal, but we have never really been able to hit it. Even now, I still have some hardware out there which is seven to eight years old that I would love to get rid of. Some are easier than others, but we have done quite well over the last four years with shuffling a lot of the older stuff out.
I'd give this product a ten out of ten. The ease of use, scalability, customer satisfaction and the great service department have combined to make our experience with them outstanding. HP and IAS as our service providers have been great as a team. The fact that we can now add storage on the fly without any downtime means better productivity and scalability on demand. We're never waiting on a vendor to come in and add more storage, we can just add it and keep working. That gives us more flexibility to do other things and we're not waiting for somebody else to configure it for us. We never have to worry about if we're going to have enough space or if we're going to be able to expand. The only areas we did have a problem with was when we reached a certain plateau. It makes sense that as you grow, you pay more. Well, at one point, according to HP, we were at that plateau. We got charged extra for going over the storage allowance. We thought we didn't deserve that extra charge because, by our understanding, we hadn't reached the plateau yet. So we had to contact the company. They had to reevaluate and check out the claim. It turns out that they had set the usage plateaus incorrectly. I think they should handle that part of the billing differently and make it clear to the customer when they are reaching the limit of their usage in the contracted range. As far as people considering the solution, I would tell them this is probably the best way for them to go. They don't have to worry about growing their storage when needed. They can just do it on the fly and be done with it. It's flexible and it's a time saver.