Many organizations are structuring their workloads to support new hybrid working environments. This can mean making available critical applications and data to remote locations. While your infrastructure may already provide some support for remote offices or branch locations, hybrid work is now the rule rather than the exception. Supporting the edge of your infrastructure environment is about moving processing and data closer to the hybrid workload and consumer who needs that data. As more activity takes place at the edge of the network – where your customers and employees work – it has become more expensive and challenging to manage using legacy tools designed for the core or on-premises.
For example, in the on-premises data center it was easy to monitor, manage and secure your data. But for mobile users, whose phones are the edge, you must secure mobile data just as you had on-premises. As you continue to push data out closer to your end users – mobile and remote workers – the edge increasingly includes employees’ and customers’ homes where they need to access and crunch data using a client app on their phones or a web-based app from their desktops.
Hybrid Work Brings Data Integrity Questions
Now you need to consider many questions including:
- What’s the retention policy associated to data when it’s at the edge?
- How should it be encrypted?
- Who should have access to it?
- Should we overlay identity management to that infrastructure?
- How long can the user keep it?
- When should data be removed from their device?
These are the types of questions our customers are challenged with right now. And this is where we can help with the implementation of HPE GreenLake which provides a comprehensive edge-to-cloud or edge-to-core experience.
HPE GreenLake – Edge-to-Cloud Infrastructure On-Demand
What’s interesting is that HPE GreenLake has evolved as our customers’ needs and usage has evolved. It originally provided a platform for consumption-based compute and storage – an on-demand, monthly service that stressed operational expense (OpEx) over capital expense (CapEx) and made sense for certain users. However, as users’ requirements have matured, GreenLake has evolved to become a platform for multiple services, technologies, hypervisors, and even public and private cloud environments – all centrally provisioned, secured, and managed. Customers have more access – and control – at their fingertips, like the experience of on-premises computing, but with far more capabilities and services now available.
Customer Concerns about HPE GreenLake
One of the most frequent questions I’m asked by customers about GreenLake migration and implementation is, “Does it integrate with my existing infrastructure?” Followed by, “And how does that work exactly?” This is because, just like with your own organization, our customers typically are running legacy hardware and applications with associated sunk costs and internal reasons for keeping hardware and apps alive. In fact, it’s rare that we are asked to conduct a ‘rip and replace’ and more common that we are tasked with conducting some sort of phased implementation to help customers integrate GreenLake with their existing platforms and infrastructure – something that HPE GreenLake does very well.
Some customers have businesses with changing needs for data storage and compute requirements – based on seasonal demand, supply chain needs or even during data duplication and migration. In those cases, they ask about utilization and flexibility. This one is easy, GreenLake allows you to have excess capacity that you’re not paying for until you use it. You can utilize excess capacity at the point when it’s required for sustained workloads that need that burst capability.
And finally, a big concern is about security. “Can I extend my existing security posture into the Green Lake environment?” This is a valid concern, and we collaborate with customers to create data policies and procedures that protect the collection, storage, and dissemination of their data to ensure it is safe and secure on-premises as well as in HPE GreenLake.
While CFOs who have structured their IT spend and accounting around CapEx and depreciating assets on the books may prefer a more traditional CapEx spending model, we have helped them see how GreenLake can provide burst, expansion, and sandbox capabilities that would tax most CapEx-focused budgets. For most customers, we see HPE GreenLake as a natural evolution for their current infrastructure.