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HPE CEO Neri: Steer Clear Of Public Cloud, Slash Costs By Up To 50 Percent

One solution provider tells CRN that a customer is looking at that level of savings by moving workloads out of the public cloud and into HPE’s GreenLake platform.

Running workloads on-premises rather than in the public cloud can bring savings as high as 50 percent, said Antonio Neri, president and CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

“We know that at production scale it is cheaper to keep workloads—and most importantly, data—on-prem ... rather than moving to the public cloud,” Neri said Tuesday at the 2021 Best of Breed (BoB) Conference in Atlanta, hosted by CRN parent The Channel Company.

[Related: HPE CEO Antonio Neri: Dell Apex ‘Is VMware—It’s Not Dell’]

“Now, customers are becoming more intelligent about this. And that’s why when you show them the math … it becomes clear that in some cases they can save 20, 30, 40, 50 percent,” Neri said.

HPE’s GreenLake platform offers an as-a-service, pay-per-use model for consumption of on-premises infrastructure, bringing a cloud-like approach to on-premises.

At Advizex, an HPE Platinum partner based in Cleveland, one of the largest deals the solution provider has put together this year is a project to migrate workloads out of the public cloud and back into an on-premises environment for a huge cost savings, Advizex executives told CRN.

The migration deal, which hasn’t closed yet, is expected to cut infrastructure costs by 50 percent for the customer, the Advizex executives said. The project would involve moving workloads out of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and into an on-premises environment that the customer can consume as a service using HPE GreenLake, said Joe VanPatten, vice president of cloud consumption at Advizex.

Overall, “we’re hearing more about [cloud workload] repatriation. And I think that’s what HPE is banking on too,” said C.R. Howdyshell, president of Advizex. “Customers are looking at that. I think they want some options.”

Oracle did not respond to a request for comment.

In his comments Tuesday, Neri said that with the AI and machine-learning capabilities now available for extracting value from data, “it’s cheaper to move [those capabilities] to the data, not the data to where those capabilities are.”

“The cost of ingressing the data back and forth is the massive cost that customers don’t realize,” he said.

And keeping workloads on-premises has more than just cost benefits, Neri said. “It’s about control, it’s about flexibility, it’s about access,” he said, although “obviously cost has to come with it” as well.

VanPatten said that GreenLake has a major advantage thanks to its GreenLake Central platform, which provides “real-time visibility into your utilization in the public cloud and real-time visibility into the utilization of your on-premises infrastructure.”

“And not just the utilization, but also what the cost is, in real time. That’s very, very powerful if I’m trying to follow a cloud strategy and figure out what workload goes on-prem and what workload goes off-prem,” VanPatten said. “I can do a very quick analysis on one pane of glass that shows me how much I’m paying for certain types of workloads in the public cloud versus on-prem—and then make the decision about where the next workload goes. I believe that customers need that sort of a tool to have an effective cloud strategy today.”

For HPE’s fiscal third quarter, ended July 31, the company posted a strong showing for GreenLake with a 46-percent increase in as-a-service orders.

Neri said he believes that GreenLake can grow “way faster,” however. To help accelerate the growth, Neri said he is personally leading an effort to boost the partner and customer experience around GreenLake, including improving the sales process and speeding up deals.

For Advizex, Howdyshell sees the potential for GreenLake to make up 80 percent of the company’s HPE revenue within three years, up from 20 percent last year. GreenLake is truly enabling customers to have a cloud-like environment on-premises, he said—and many customers “are pretty good with that.”

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