HPE and AWS say they’re stepping up to the edge

via Flickr © pedro_cerqueira (CC BY 2.0)

via Flickr © pedro_cerqueira (CC BY 2.0)

  • HPE has announced a management system and console for its GreenLake ‘capacity as a service’ offering
  • Amazon Web Services has joined with 5G operators to enable millisecond latencies via its AWS Wavelength service
  • The moves illustrate that the network edge is still very much under construction

The ‘edge’ is a complicated proposition. On the one hand it’s easy to grasp the basic concept: data marshalled at the edge of the network and close to the user can be accessed faster because it doesn’t have to make an extensive multi-hop journey into or out of the hyperscale cloud. This is all good and will prove a valuable idea for a host of reasons.

But arranging the elements and relationships required to sustain a coherent edge environment  gets much harder as things progress - there are a multiplicity of schemes and frameworks which could technically be applied but no single model for the edge is likely to emerge. Competition here will be fierce.

Two major competitors have laid claims this week

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has announced what it describes as the next major milestone in its strategy to deliver its entire edge-to-cloud portfolio as-a-Service. 

GreenLake Central is a management tool that sits on top of GreenLake, HPE’s ‘capacity as a service’ offering. It provides a console view of an organisation’s cloud estate - what workloads are sitting where, what they’re doing and how their performance might be optimized. 

Such a management view is going to be important as HPE customers are expected to convert to more HPE ‘as a service’ applications and to that end HPE is committed to offering its entire portfolio of ‘as a service by’ 2022.

Meanwhile, the edge is also being tackled from the cloud end of the equation by Amazon Web Services (AWS) which has announced that it’s partnering with leading mobile operators - Verizon and Vodafone - to deliver its AWS Wavelength service which can be designed to plant compute services at the edge of their 5G networks. 

The idea is that only the ‘latency sensitive’ parts of a cloud application need be deployed at the edge, the rest of the application - maybe the data and background processing parts - can take place in the core of Amazon’s cloud.  The result is single-digit millisecond latencies when they’re needed. 

We’ll take a closer look at AWS wavelength tomorrow. 

HPE’s ambitions for the edge

HPE  launched the GreenLake service about two years ago and claims it has done very well as a flexible ‘on demand’ capacity as a service offering. So well that its customers are demanding that HPE do more to make it better and more manageable. It says it wants to engineer the on-premises experience so that it has the same general feel as the public cloud and therefore provides a consistent cloud experience for all a corporate customer's applications.

It will appear as an operational console that runs manages and optimizes both sides of a hybrid arrangement 

In fact HPE implies that GreenLake Central is more than just a nice to have. It characterises the current situation at the edge as chaotic and claims that despite the promise of cloud to speed delivery of new applications, organizations’ digital transformation efforts have become more complex, costly, and slow-moving. 

“To add to these challenges, the vast majority of today’s applications and data remain in the data center, and are growing exponentially at the edge. As a result, organizations have been dealing with a siloed, inconsistent experience across their hybrid estate, and lack control and visibility into the costs and risks across their enterprise.”

So by offering a single view integrated management control plane customers will be able to better manage their transformation initiatives – all delivered as-a-Service. The platform gives customers the freedom to choose which tools they want to use to build applications, where and how to place their workloads and data, and only pay for what they consume.

This all delivers specific wins for various corporate cloud stakeholders, it claims:

  • The CIO – regains control of their organization’s hybrid IT estate through the unified dashboard and operational console.

  • Developers – gain access to a simple “point, click, get” pay-per-use platform that allows them to write, release, and deploy code quickly, without having to worry about underlying infrastructure.  

  • The CFO gets a real-time view of technology spend across the hybrid IT estate.

  • The legal department can get on top of compliance and security by winning a single integrated view into an organisation’s governance and security status.

HPE GreenLake Central is in trials with customers now, and will be generally available to HPE GreenLake clients by the end of HPE Q1 2020. For more information, please visit www.hpe.com/greenlake.

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