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Seeking Digital Transformation? 8 Essentials for Successful Hybrid IT

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Today’s businesses are rapidly changing – and that is all part of a wider digital transformation initiative that is sweeping the industry

Yet as businesses move to the public cloud seeking lower costs and greater flexibility, they’re discovering some challenges. These challenges are coming in the form of unexpected costs. Others arise while trying to move traditional workloads off-premises to locations that are sometimes less than ideal.

More and more enterprises are recognizing that a hybrid IT strategy solves many of these challenges. A hybrid IT environment provides a balanced combination of traditional on-premises infrastructure, private cloud, and off-premises public cloud. And through careful analysis, a hybrid IT estate allows IT teams to select the best deployment model for each application. Mission-critical workloads can remain on-prem where employees can confidently retain complete control. Whereas a newly-developed, revenue-generating app can hum along beautifully in the public cloud. And a non-revenue generating app can run extremely well on a private cloud, where it’s available for all to use within the constraints of an existing budget.

So, all is well…right? Actually, not quite.

Bridging the gap between on- and off-premises workloads

Even when each workload is placed where it is best suited, another challenge still needs to be solved. On-premises and off-premises worlds can become very siloed, increasing complexity and slowing digital transformation. IT can’t easily manage them as one because they don’t have the visibility they need across their entire hybrid estate. What IT needs is a single view to easily manage everything at the same time, regardless of where it is being hosted.

In 2017, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) commissioned 451 Research to thoroughly determine why and how companies are digitally transforming their businesses and what challenges they must overcome to provide and manage the ultimate hybrid IT platform. The research, Seeking Digital Transformation? Eight Essentials for Hybrid IT, provides interesting insights into the digital transformation journey, and what is still needed to bridge the gap between on- and off-premises IT infrastructure.

451 Research’s Eight Essentials for Hybrid IT:

  • Hybrid IT requires a unified, software-defined control plane that is simple and quick to deploy across traditional enterprise and private and public cloud infrastructure, and bridges the worlds of public and private clouds seamlessly.
  • Hybrid IT must support the current and emerging OS and virtualization layers that businesses are using to host their applications, such as VMware, OpenStack, and Microsoft AzureStack, as well as bare-metal and container-based applications.
  • Everything should be software-defined and available in multiple packaging formats, but for real efficiency and performance of on-premises deployments, hyperconvergedand composable infrastructure are necessary baselines.
  • Developers should be able to build their applications anywhere and deploy them anywhere as soon as they are ready. They need a hybrid workspace supporting traditional workloads in VMs, modern apps in containers, and flexibility across bare metal and private and public clouds.
  • Developers and IT operations need a ‘no-ops’ hybrid IT management-as-a-service portal and app store. This will enable developers to compose, deploy and scale hybrid clouds that support all applica­tions, and to manage production compliance and lifecycle governance.
  • Integrated, software-defined data services will become more necessary as the data explosion progresses. Data efficiency, resiliency, management, and mobility are all key requirements that should be abstracted away from the underlying storage and made available across the hybrid platform.
  • An analytics-powered business dashboard should provide business and IT operations managers with visibility on costs and utilization across private and public infrastructure, breaking up the data into the separate lines of business to calculate the cost of individual projects.
  • A hybrid IT architecture must have room for emerging and future technologies, such as APIs, microservices, hybrid computing, memory-based computing, and the extension of intelligence to the edge though the Internet of Things.

HPE OneSphere, a hybrid cloud management solution

When HPE announced HPE OneSphere in November of 2017, they delivered a solution that met the 8 essentials for hybrid IT that 451 Research described in its report. Through its software-as-a-service (SaaS) portal, HPE OneSphere provides customers access to pools of IT resources that span the public cloud services they subscribe to, as well as their on-premises environments.

The solution works across virtual machines, containerized workloads, and bare metal applications, so users can compose hybrid clouds capable of supporting both traditional and cloud-native applications.  Delivered as a service, HPE OneSphere provides a single point to access all applications and data across an organization’s hybrid estate.

Digital transformation is here to stay…and the journey just got easier

The digital transformation is here, and it is disruptive. Companies that are willing to embrace change will not only survive, they will flourish. Yet, it’s not an easy journey. Industry experts can help organizations learn about solutions that will make digital transformation simpler. Read 451 Research’s full report here: Seeking Digital Transformation? Eight Essentials for Hybrid IT.

About Paul Miller

Paul Miller is Vice President of Marketing for the Software-defined and Cloud Group at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). HPE has assembled an array of resources that are helping businesses succeed in a hybrid IT world. To learn more about composable infrastructure, download the Composable Infrastructure For Dummies guide. And to find out how HPE can help you determine a workload placement strategy that meets your service level agreements, visit HPE Pointnext. Learn about HPE’s approach to managing hybrid cloud by checking out the HPE website, HPE OneSphere.

To read more articles from Paul Miller, check out the HPE Converged Data Center Infrastructure blog.


Fortune 1000 IT Experts Share Hybrid IT and Digital Transformation Strategies

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Digital transformation is affecting businesses of all sizes and across all industries

Many, including media, entertainment, and retail, have already made the transformation, while others, such as healthcare, government, and manufacturing, are on the cusp of major changes.

In a world where IT is embedded everywhere and data is becoming more readily available, businesses must embrace digital transformation in order to keep up with the competition. Those that are maximizing this opportunity are treating IT not just as another function but as a core competency that drives competitive differentiation while also supporting typical business processes and outcomes.

Embarking on digital transformation can seem daunting for some IT professionals. While they understand the need for innovation, they’re responsible for keeping typical business functions running smoothly without hiccups or downtime – threats that could mean major revenue loss for an organization. They must transform their businesses while offering the best of both worlds – the same security, quality, and user experience of an on-premises solution, plus the scalability, agility, and efficiency of a public cloud.

To that end, digital transformation is ushering in the era of hybrid IT. But don’t be mistaken – the term hybrid IT does not necessarily refer to a mashed up version of public and private cloud. It’s much more than that. It’s a sophisticated combination of multiple, different forms of IT that allow businesses to innovate while meeting their own unique organizational needs.

So how are businesses implementing hybrid IT models, and what have been their experiences? Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) commissioned IDC to find out through complex, in-depth interviews with IT operations staff and line of business individuals at Fortune 1000 enterprises. The results can be found in a comprehensive research report – The Future of Hybrid IT Made Simple. The interviews sought to understand hybrid IT strategies and the opportunities associated with them.

Here are some key takeaways:

  1. Hybrid IT optimizes cost and application performance across on-premises and public clouds. A dashboard designed specifically for line-of-business executives provides full visibility into IT operations, so businesses can keep track of metrics and measure cloud providers by performance. By having insight into these areas, businesses ultimately save money and reduce risk.
  2. Hybrid IT serves as a continuous DevOps platform, offering a single, secure, and curated platform with integrated developer tools. This enables DevOps teams to focus on application delivery instead of infrastructure management.
  3. Hybrid IT enables IT operations to become a virtual cloud service provider as part of its core competency. In doing this, a hybrid IT model becomes a self-service portal that provides a single view across the entire estate and is designed to be used by line-of-business executives, developers, and IT executives.
  4. Hybrid IT enables provisioning (and rapid deprovisioning) of autonomous compute, storage, and fabric instances from fluid resources pools. By championing a low opsmodel in which the entire infrastructure is software defined and treated as code via a unified API, hybrid IT works with composable infrastructure to provision tasks within minutes. Traditional IT provisioning, on the other hand, can take days – and even months in many cases.

The research pointed to a strong conclusion: Businesses are investing in hybrid IT strategies and will continue to do so because it is a crucial vehicle for them to transform digitally. Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) enables digital transformation by making it possible to develop and deploy workloads where they best fit based on business needs. At the same time, HPE makes hybrid IT simple to manage and control across on-premises and off-premises estates.

In an era where change is the only constant, digital transformation is the only way forward. And one approach to tackle that effectively is to implement a robust hybrid IT strategy.

About Paul Miller

Paul Miller is Vice President of Marketing for the Software-defined and Cloud Group at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). HPE has assembled an array of resources that are helping businesses succeed in a hybrid IT world. To learn more about composable infrastructure, download the Composable Infrastructure For Dummies guide. And to find out how HPE can help you determine a workload placement strategy that meets your service level agreements, visit HPE Pointnext. Learn about HPE’s approach to managing hybrid cloud by checking out the HPE website, HPE OneSphere.

To read more articles from Paul Miller, check out the HPE Converged Data Center Infrastructure blog.


Ransomware Response: 6 Steps to Limit Data Loss

digital cyber security system concept 3d illustration

Ransomware is a dominant threat to businesses everywhere — and it’s not going away anytime soon.

Although ransomware is a reality for IT teams to acknowledge, they are not always prepared for it. Of course, no one thinks that their datacenter will be the next one to fall victim to a ransomware attack, but the statistics are alarming.

According to an FBI report, one ransomware variant in early 2016 compromised as many as 100,000 computers a day. And those statistics are not subsiding. Hackers are constantly inventing new ways to gain access to sensitive information and critical files. According to Verizon’s 2017 Data Breach Investigations Report, ransomware is now the 5th most common type of malware – up from 22nd in the same report just 3 years earlier.

Businesses that have a response strategy will be able to better identify the signs of an attack and recover from it more quickly. Your ransomware response strategy should include six critical steps your business can take to respond better to a cyber attack and avoid data loss and company downtime.

Ransomware Response Strategy

  1. Educate the company.

Your IT teams should make sure that everyone knows what is at stake and what steps to take both before and after a ransomware attack occurs. Education is key to not only preventing ransomware from entering the systems but also to stopping it quickly once inside. Ransomware often infiltrates the system by an employee clicking on a link in a seemingly harmless email from an unknown source. With proper education, your staff can identify the most common types of ransomware and the typical ways by which it enters the system. They should also be educated on how prevalent these types of viruses are becoming. Equally important, educate staff on what to do after an attack – who to report issues to and what steps to take to minimize the damage.

  1. Know the signs of an attack.

A ransomware attack is most often characterized by the locking of files, folders, and applications until a price is paid in bitcoins to attackers. Attacks will often masquerade as government or police agencies accusing the computer owner of criminal activity and demanding that payment be made within a certain timeframe or else the user will be arrested. It’s important to recognize attacks quickly so the restoring processes can begin as soon as possible. And it’s important to note: many companies never get their data back, even if they pay the ransom.

  1. Correctly define how long your business can be offline and how much data you can afford to lose.

The next step in your ransomware recovery plan is to correctly define the recovery time objectives (RTOs) and recovery point objectives (RPOs) for your company. This is imperative in order to get operations back online without paying attackers. To define your RTOs and RPOs, you must first ask yourself two questions: How long can the business shut down while waiting for the restore to take place, and how many hours of business-critical data can the company afford to lose?

  1. Decide on a solution that can meet your defined RTOs and RPOs.

Once you’ve defined your RTOs and RPOs, you have to find a solution that can meet those requirements to get your infrastructure back up and running. According to Ponemon Institute, the average cost of IT downtime is $8,850 per minute. Therefore, a business will be bleeding money for every second spent waiting on requirements to be met. You should make sure to choose a data protection strategy that is not only best for the business, but one that can get the infrastructure running again in the time provisioned.

  1. Assess integrated solutions to protect remote and branch offices.

Having multiple backup and disaster recovery solutions only serves to intensify complexity. Simplify your data protection scheme by picking only the solutions that are right for your environment. This is particularly important if you have multiple remote offices (ROBO) to support with small or nonexistent staff at each site. Solutions that offer integrated functions, such as built-in data protection, will help to ease the burden at remote offices and provide better protection to ROBO sites.

  1. Ensure your solution is simple enough to allow systems to get back online quickly.

In addition to reducing the complexity of your data protection and backup solutions, seek a datacenter solution that stresses ease of use. Simplicity is most critical when recovering from a ransomware attack. When IT downtime incurs as much as $8,850 per minute, every second counts and reducing the restore process by a few clicks may make a significant difference.

Peace of mind – built in and guaranteed

Some businesses have turned to HPE SimpliVity because it makes ransomware protection simple with its built-in data protection. When using HPE SimpliVity’s built-in backup capability, it takes less than one minute, on average, to complete a local backup or local restore of a 1TB VM, guaranteed. In fact, one HPE SimpliVity customer fell victim to a ransomware attack when transferring data from the previous infrastructure to the new hyperconverged solution. Yet, they were able recover data quickly and avoided any downtime and expenses. Had the attack occurred during a period when they were still backing up to tape, the business would have lost almost 12 hours of data. Thankfully, they only lost less than an hour of data using HPE SimpliVity’s hyperconverged solution.

Ransomware is a threat to every business. IT teams need to recognize this fact and adjust their data protection strategies accordingly. Organizations should work under the assumption that they will eventually become infected and should focus on minimizing downtime once infected, as well as have a data protection strategy in place that supports their defined RTOs and RPOs. Using the six steps listed above, the damage done by ransomware can be minimized.

About Jesse St. Laurent

Jesse St. Laurent is the Chief Technologist for HPE Hyperconverged and SimpliVity. He uses his 20 years of experience to engage channel partners, evaluate emerging technologies, and shape innovative technology solutions involving data center modernization. For more information on how hyperconverged infrastructure can elevate your hybrid IT environment, download the free HPE SimpliVity edition of Hyperconverged Infrastructure for Dummies ebook.

To read more articles from Jesse St. Laurent, check out the HPE Converged Data Center Infrastructure blog.

The Complex State of Hybrid IT: How to Make It Simple

young woman holding smart phone and modern architecture interior, wireless communication network concept. smart home, smart house.

Usually in January, the President of the United States delivers the annual State of the Union address – a speech mandated by the U.S. Constitution

Other countries have similar addresses, such as the UK’s Speech from the Throne. The purpose of all such speeches is to give an account of past accomplishments and detail future goals.

During HPE Discover Madrid at the end of November 2017, Ric Lewis, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Software-Defined and Cloud Group addressed the audience. As he gave his thoughts on the HPE landscape, I couldn’t help but draw a comparison. The format of the content he presented was strikingly similar to that of a State of the Union address. He presented the accomplishments of the previous months, then followed it with a bold vision for the future.

Judging by the reactions of those in attendance, Lewis presented one of the boldest visions HPE has announced for some time. After a year of talking about making hybrid IT simple, Lewis showed how HPE is delivering on that promise.

Hybrid IT here to stay, but complexity is slowing digital transformation

Addressing a standing room only crowd of close to 500 (with many more conference attendees watching via a live stream), Lewis set the stage. He described the state of business today – a mix of hybrid IT resources that includes on-premises infrastructure, private cloud, and public cloud. Using a hybrid IT strategy, businesses are able to deliver a new variety of services to their customers and can expand the capabilities they need to provide them.

Yet in this new era of hybrid IT deployments, complexity reigns. Different deployment models make it nearly impossible to easily share information or move applications from one model to another. Although speed and agility are vital for today’s digital business, hybrid IT complexity is slowing innovation. More agility, visibility, optimization, and automation are needed.

Simplicity through a multi-cloud management platform

To solve this growing challenge, Lewis presented the world’s first multi-cloud, management solution — HPE OneSphere. This software-as-a service (SaaS) solution is definitely a big move for HPE, a company known for delivering hardware platforms.

“This is a complete game changer for your on-premises and public cloud environment – designed for the way businesses work,” Lewis explained. “Enterprises are now able to build clouds, deploy apps, and gain insights faster and easier than they ever could across a hybrid IT estate.”

Using this new solution, IT can dramatically simplify operations. Visibility and automation are provided for a variety of public clouds, on premises IT, containers, and VMs. Shadow IT activities that were previously unaccounted for are now easily and quickly tracked.

A multi-cloud management solution gives developers the power to access exactly what they need, when they need it — both in the public cloud or on premises. Using the SaaS web portal or through APIs, developers have instant access to a pool of IT resources.

Business executives are also beneficiaries of this new multi-cloud management solution. Real-time, cross-cloud insights enable CIOs and lines of business to increase resource utilization and reduce costs, improving efficiency across the board.

Hybrid cloud users reveal real world experiences

To demonstrate what a multi-cloud management solution can achieve in a real world hybrid IT environment, Lewis introduced two beta customers. Both told compelling stories.

Katreena Mullican, Senior Architect at HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, explained, “Life in the era of hybrid IT is not quite as simple as it sounds. Our collaboration with researchers worldwide creates a complex and ever-growing hybrid IT environment that needs to be managed.”

A multi-cloud management platform helps HudsonAlpha solve this challenge. “To enable rapid innovation for the researchers, IT doesn’t want to be a bottleneck in the provisioning of resources,” continued Mullican. “We embrace the idea of putting tools in their hands to provision the infrastructure that they need to get the research done.”

Next up was Kate Swanborg, Senior Vice President of Technology and Strategic Alliance, DreamWorks Animation. She began by explaining the computational challenges of making a computer-generated animated film. “By the time we’re done making one of our movies, we’ve crafted half a billion digital files and used 80 million computational hours – for just one movie.” She went on to say that they can have as many as 10 active films in production simultaneously. In addition, they produce innovation-driven short programs and entertainment for location-based theme parks.

“Something like HPE OneSphere enables our creatively by simplifying all of the different fit-for-purpose infrastructures that we need for all of these different creative outlets,” explained Swanborg. DreamWorks has both on-premises and off-premises solutions, which adds a fair amount of complexity. Yet, they must be able to act on ideas quickly. “We need to be able to utilize the right cloud for the right purpose,” continued Swanborg. “We look to HPE OneSphere to simplify that for us – it’s absolutely critical.”

A simpler hybrid IT is here, accelerating digital transformation

Both speakers vividly demonstrated that hybrid IT is a necessity in their organizations, but it also brings complexity that could easily slow innovation. HPE OneSphere solves this problem by transforming the state of hybrid IT from complex to simple.

HPE OneSphere, the industry’s first multi-cloud management SaaS solution, will be available in late January 2018. To learn more about HPE OneSphere, register for the upcoming webinars: HPE OneSphere: Simplify multi-cloud management to build clouds, deploy apps, and gain insights faster.

Chris Purcell drives analyst relations for the Software-Defined and Cloud Group at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. The Software-Defined and Cloud Group organization is responsible for marketing for composable infrastructure, HPE OneView, HPE SimpliVity hyperconverged solutions and HPE OneSphere. HPE has assembled an array of resources that are helping businesses succeed in a hybrid IT world. Learn about HPE’s approach to managing hybrid IT by checking out the HPE website, HPE OneSphere.

To read more articles from Chris Purcell, check out the HPE Converged Data Center Infrastructure blog.


Software-Defined Intelligence and a Unified API would make Iron Man proud

The Birth of Artificial Intelligence

J. A. R. V. I. S. (Just A Rather Very Intelligent System) is Tony Stark’s computer system in the movie Iron Man

J. A. R. V. I. S. automatically takes care of everything for the fictional superhero—from heating and cooling his house to alerting him when security protocols have been overridden.

Although today’s IT management systems aren’t nearly as sophisticated as J.A.R.V.I.S., they can automate many processes to help businesses move faster and compete more effectively. As I described in a previous article, Life in the fast lane…automation with software-defined intelligence, physical infrastructure can be automated using software-defined intelligence and a unified API. Hundreds to thousands of lines of code can be reduced to a single line of code, saving countless hours and making IT infrastructure management easier.

Can software-defined intelligence and a unified API also help businesses deliver new applications and services faster — innovations that are often the lifeblood of many businesses? Yes, and here’s how.

Continuous delivery of applications and services requires fast, policy-based automation of applications and infrastructure across development, testing and production environments. A unified API for infrastructure can do just that by letting developers and ISVs integrate with automation tool chains. For instance, a unified infrastructure API can simplify control of compute, storage and networking resources, so developers can code without needing a detailed understanding of the underlying physical elements.

HPE simplifies bare metal infrastructure automation by using software-defined templates to fully define the infrastructure and then provides a unified API, native in HPE OneView, to eliminate time-consuming coordination across servers, storage, and networking. Customers can use this toolset directly, or they can use pre-built integrations created by an HPE partner.

For example, customers using an automation tool like Chef can easily automate the provisioning of an entire stack from HPE bare metal through their application in minutes. This partner integration can also help keep the customer’s environment up to date. By combining an HPE partner’s automation with HPE OneView’s ability to stage, schedule, and install firmware updates, entire stacks can be updated with no downtime – from infrastructure to application.

A growing list of ISV partners are taking advantage of the unified API in HPE OneView to automate solutions for customers. These partners range from large software suites like VMware® vCenter, Microsoft® System Center, and Red Hat, to focused solution providers such as Chef, Docker,  Mesophere, CANCOM, and others. By integrating with the unified API in HPE OneView, ISVs can provide solutions that reduce the time their customers spend managing their environments.

Just like J. A. R. V. I. S., these integrations built by HPE partners take care of the housekeeping issues involved with moving apps and services from the cloud to your datacenter. And because it is so simple, you can concentrate on the superhero tasks of developing apps that create value for your business.


About Frances Guida

Frances Guida leads HPE OneView Automation and Ecosystem. Building on her years of experience with virtualization and cloud computing, she is passionate about helping enterprises use emerging technologies to create business value.  To learn how to migrate with ease to HPE OneView, watch this webinar replay. To learn more about HPE OneView, download the free ebook, HPE OneView for Dummies.

To read more articles from Frances, check out the HPE Converged Data Center Infrastructure blog.


HudsonAlpha simplifies hybrid IT with HPE OneSphere


From the discovery of DNA over a century ago to the sequencing of the entire human genome, the study of genomic research has come a long way

Due to recent advances in technology, researchers now have the capability to sequence a genome faster and more cost-effectively than ever before. And the information they gather from understanding a person’s unique genetic profile can be used to find and administer better medical treatments that can save lives.

One of the leaders in genomic research is HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology. The computational work done at HudsonAlpha is data-intensive – and constantly growing. HudsonAlpha generates more than 6 petabytes of data a year that must be managed, stored, manipulated, and analyzed. To continue to advance in their research goals, they needed to digitally transform, which meant rethinking how they implement IT across their organization. 

Strengthen on-premises infrastructure and embrace multi-cloud

The first step in HudsonAlpha’s digital transformation was to deploy a private cloud on premises, which would serve as the IT foundation of all their research projects. They implemented hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) because it provided a cost-effective and easy-to-use infrastructure that removed many of their production bottlenecks. They also selected composable infrastructure because it gave them more power, agility, and ease of use.

“We can now quickly adjust our compute, storage, and fabric resources to meet rapidly changing needs — reducing re-provisioning time from four days to less than two hours,” revealed Peyton McNully CIO at HudsonAlpha. “We’ve also increased storage capacity and lowered their costs.”

HudsonAlpha’s digital transformation doesn’t stop at their datacenter walls — it also includes public clouds. As part of HudsonAlpha’s nonprofit research mission, they are encouraging more and more researchers to collaborate with them and use their IT infrastructure. Many of these researchers have been given government grant money to test novel, new treatment theories. Because of these grants, researchers can quickly test creative ideas in a public cloud without taking resources away from the more accepted research methodologies in use on HudsonAlpha’s private cloud.

More researchers means more complexity 

“We are excited about the new research we are able to conduct due to the government grants. Recent awards include research in biofuels, novel antibiotics, personalized medicine, and immunotherapy,” explained Katreena Mullican, Senior Architect at HudsonAlpha. “Yet life in the era of hybrid IT is not quite as simple as it sounds. Our collaboration with researchers worldwide creates a complex and ever-growing hybrid IT environment that needs to be managed.”

HudsonAlpha’s relatively small IT department needs a better way to proactively support the increased demands of such a large number of additional researchers accessing their infrastructure via multi-cloud environments. Researchers must be able to not only share data across public cloud, private cloud and on-premises IT, they need to be able to seamlessly move applications from one IT model to another.

“This surge of new researchers pursuing groundbreaking discoveries is a great opportunity. But it also means that HudsonAlpha must invest more time, money, and experts to ensure everything works together seamlessly,” continued Mullican. “Tracking, managing, and analyzing data in a multi-cloud environment is challenging to say the least.”

Enter HPE OneSphere, a multi-cloud management solution

In the fall of 2017, HudsonAlpha began working with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) to overcome this challenge. They implemented an innovative technology called HPE OneSphere, a newly announced multi-cloud management solution that lets customers deploy, operate, and optimize public cloud, private cloud, and on-premises environments through a simple and unified experience.

By streamlining management of hybrid IT resources, HPE OneSphere enables users to dynamically adjust workloads, easily transfer data, and rapidly develop apps. Users also benefit from a self-service design and unified experience, which minimizes the internal operations an enterprise needs to employ.

From a business perspective, HPE OneSphere provides better flexibility, higher productivity, and stronger control of utilization and spend across clouds — all while giving a user their tools of choice: clouds, containers, VMs, and bare metal.

Take control of hybrid IT

And that’s where HPE OneSphere has provided HudsonAlpha with significant improvements. Using this new cloud management and analytics platform, researchers can use unified workspaces to rapidly access needed services from private or public clouds. And more importantly, HudsonAlpha can track and analyze usage of these workloads wherever they are located — on or off premises in whatever cloud they are using around the world.

“Through the HPE OneSphere analytics dashboard, we can now get a very clear view on how infrastructure is being used across our entire hybrid estate,” McNully explained.  “With this improved insight, we can allocate resources more effectively.”

For HudsonAlpha, HPE OneSphere is an essential solution to a growing challenge: how to manage and gain control of the escalating complexity of constantly expanding hybrid IT environments.

“HudsonAlpha is excited to be working with HPE to test drive this breakthrough multi-cloud management solution,” concluded McNully. “As a growing number of researchers use our infrastructure to collaborate more effectively, we will be better able to find answers to our most troubling health and science questions.”

HPE OneSphere is playing an important part in facilitating the collaborative research at HudsonAlpha. With better access to important data and applications across a multi-cloud environment, researchers can complete projects faster. And HudsonAlpha is able to take better control of an extremely complex hybrid IT environment, which saves them time and money.

HudsonAlpha’s Katreena Mullican talks about her experience with HPE OneSphere below.

Digital transformation: Simplifying the complex for better collaboration

HudsonAlpha is just one example of how enterprises are digitally transforming to better succeed in today’s complicated hybrid IT world.  As enterprises worldwide seek to move faster, increase productivity and control costs, they are embracing a variety of technologies in a multi-cloud environment. While a myriad of options such as clouds, containers, VMs, and bare metal provide flexibility and choice, they also deliver complexity. HPE OneSphere provides the flexibility, choice, and control an enterprise needs to stay a step ahead of the competition.

About Chris Purcell

Chris Purcell drives analyst relations for the Software-Defined and Cloud Group at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. The Software-Defined and Cloud Group organization is responsible for marketing for composable infrastructure, HPE OneView, HPE SimpliVity hyperconverged solutions and Project New Hybrid IT Stack.  HPE has assembled an array of resources that are helping businesses succeed in a hybrid IT world. Learn about HPE’s approach to managing hybrid IT by checking out the HPE website, HPE OneSphere. And to find out how HPE can help you determine a workload placement strategy that meets your service level agreements, visit HPE Pointnext. HudsonAlpha has established an open source user community for sharing lessons learned with Synergy Image Streamer and Hybrid IT at:

Life in the Fast Lane…Automation with Software-Defined Intelligence

Daten Kreuzung Infrastruktur

“Life in the fast lane
Surely make you lose your mind
Life in the fast lane
Everything all the time.”
— Eagles, 1976

Businesses are constantly looking for a competitive advantage – anything that will allow them to move faster. In the past, it was all about adopting technology that would make systems move faster – faster CPUs, faster memory, solid state drives – but these are simply components that everyone can access. An alternative way to move into the fast lane of innovation is by automating IT processes. By removing or streamlining time-consuming processes in the datacenter and replacing them with software-defined intelligence, businesses can move faster, become more efficient, and most importantly be more competitive.

The challenge is that hardware is physical infrastructure, which is difficult to automate. That’s where software-defined intelligence can help, allowing you to encapsulate everything about your physical infrastructure and turn it into software that you can manage like code. You can then program it and add it to your repeatable automation flow, delivering end services faster.

A single, unified API changes everything

In order to transform a datacenter with software-defined automation, many things have to be taken into consideration – configurations, infrastructure platforms, applications and management. In the past, in order to automate physical infrastructure, you had to automate each part (compute, storage, and fabric) individually. Then you had to take time and stitch them all together, which created a heavy set of complex code.

Keep in mind that all of the different systems have their own individual API’s to manage system updates, BIOS setting, operating system installations, network connectivity configuration, storage array configuration, and more. And once set up, the slightest change in the infrastructure meant that you had to go back and readjust to ensure everything was still working properly. This process generates 1,000s of lines of automation code, all of which can be extremely challenging to keep current, even with advanced configuration management software. (Borrowing a line from the Eagles song, it will “…surely make you lose your mind!”)

What if you could bring multiple technology elements into a single, unified API? Today’s technology lets you do just that. Instead of 100s or 1,000s of lines of code to automate all of that physical infrastructure, you can now collapse that down to a single line of code – reducing provisioning time down from hours to minutes.

How is this possible and what’s changed that now allows you to do this? One answer is the development of a RESTful API, which is easy to interface with and very developer-friendly. A RESTful API is now considered the industry standard and is preferred by a vast majority of web-based developers. These APIs are useful for developers and end users trying to integrate applications, because a developer doesn’t need to understand the implementation details of the app they are trying to integrate with.

Transform to a datacenter life in the fast lane

Wondering what this change looks like in real life? Hewlett Packard Enterprise customer wanted to configure local RAID on 250 servers, automating everything possible. With their previous vendor, this process would have taken them 1 hour per server – or 6 weeks. Because they are in a high-growth business, they routinely deploy servers; therefore, this delay was unacceptable. Instead, using the unified API, they deployed 250 HPE servers and the entire process took just one hour total!

This amazing transformation is because a unified API in HPE OneView provides a single interface to discover, search, inventory, configure, provision, update, and diagnose the physical infrastructure.  A single line of code fully describes and can provision the infrastructure required for an application. This eliminates time-consuming scripting of more than 500 calls to low-level tools and interfaces required by competitive offerings.

In the video below, Chris Powell, Hybrid IT Marketing Manager at HPE talks about the problems HPE OneView solves.

Using software-defined intelligence, HPE OneView brings a new level of automation to infrastructure management. Designed with a unified API and supported by a large and growing partner ecosystem (Docker, Chef, Red Hat, Mesosphere, CANCOM and many others), HPE OneView makes it easy to integrate powerful infrastructure automation into existing IT tools and processes.

About Frances Guida

Frances Guida leads HPE OneView Automation and Ecosystem. Building on her years of experience with virtualization and cloud computing, she is passionate about helping enterprises use emerging technologies to create business value.  To learn how to migrate with ease to HPE OneView, watch this webinar replay. To learn more about HPE OneView, download the free ebook, HPE OneView for Dummies.

How Hyperconvergence Can Transform Your Data Center into a Lean, Green, Efficiency Machine


Everyone seems to be looking for ways to be more green these days ­– hybrid cars, reusable grocery bags, etc

And those in IT are no exception. Traditional IT environments consume an incredible amount of energy resources, such as power and cooling. The key for organizations focused on moving towards a greener data center is to emphasize efficiency in energy consumption and efficiency in IT processes and systems. In other words, green IT needs to align to efficient IT.

The road to a greener data center is paved both by small, incremental changes as well as monumental technology shifts. Advancements in software often naturally lead to more energy efficient data centers. For example, hard drives are now built to consume less power than in the past, new server features help reduce superfluous cooling costs, and data optimization techniques, such as inline and at inception deduplication and compression, lead to efficiencies in processing, storage, and backup.

Hyperconvergence represents a major technology development capable of transforming the data center into a lean, green, efficiency machine. By converging all IT below the hypervisor, hyperconverged infrastructure immediately makes the data center more efficient and environmentally sound. The data center goes from as many as 12 disparate IT components to a single solution, so there is no longer a need to utilize storage space, power resources, or cooling functions on these IT components.

In fact, an IDC whitepaper found 75% of respondents realized an average of a 65% improvement in utilization of storage resources as a result of hyperconverged infrastructure. In addition, nearly half of surveyed customers realized a 47% reduction in cost of data center power and cooling expenses.

Though revolutionary, hyperconverged infrastructure is not a rip-and-replace technology, it can be introduced into existing environments as part of normal refresh cycles. For example, a hyperconverged solution can first be deployed in place of traditional data storage as a first step to modernizing a data center and can later replace additional IT components over time. This approach offers an opportunity to simplify the existing infrastructure and the complicated process of updating that infrastructure. Once standardized on a hyperconverged solution like HPE SimpliVity, IT teams would only have a single product to refresh instead of a variety of separate IT components – which helps explain why 26% of customers in that same IDC study cited the need for fewer tech refresh cycles.

Hyperconvergence has always been focused on simplifying and consolidating the data center. It’s no surprise that organizations looking to reduce their environmental footprint have discovered significant green opportunity in hyperconvergence. The benefits in space utilization and operational efficiency make it more than worthwhile to implement a hyperconverged solution and transform your data center into a lean, green, efficiency machine.

About Jesse St. Laurent

Jesse St. Laurent is the Chief Technologist for HPE Hyperconverged and SimpliVity. He uses his 20 years of experience to engage channel partners, evaluate emerging technologies, and shape innovative technology solutions involving data center modernization. For more information on how hyperconverged infrastructure can elevate your hybrid IT environment, download the free HPE SimpliVity edition of Hyperconverged Infrastructure for Dummies ebook.


Creative Freedom through Digital Transformation

Colorful Paint Splash Isolated on White Background. Abstract Col

What happens when you take a company overflowing with artistic talent and combine it with technology that doesn’t hold them back?

You get a digital transformation most businesses can only dream of. For a leading animation studio, digital transformation is certainly not a dream; it’s an everyday reality. Using today’s most innovative technologies, this film studio is able to unleash the creative genius of their storytellers, artists, and innovators—and produce better films on time and on budget.

Realizing a vision in the most cost-effective way

Making a computer-generated feature film is extremely computer intensive because everything has to be digitally created from nothing. A 90-minute animated film could easily consist of more than 100,000 individual frames and more than 500 million digital files. And depending on the film, image-rendering operations can reach almost 100,000 transactions per second.

The challenge for most studios is to support their artist’s creativity—yet stay within their budget. To achieve that goal, this particular animation studio actively pursued a digital transformation strategy that would ensure speed, power, flexibility, and automation.

Industry experts and technology make the dream a reality

Tackling a digital transformation is difficult because it involves planning a strategic vision for the business and then determining the best IT to support that vision. Although this animation studio had their own IT experts with years of engineering experience, this time they sought out an industry expert to provide additional insights.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) had been a strategic partner for many years, so the studio trusted them to make their IT environment as agile as possible. The HPE Pointnext team provided valuable insights that helped the studio rapidly transform across their entire enterprise, modernizing their IT infrastructure and increasing their flexibility using both private and public cloud.

The animation studio also implemented a new composable infrastructure solution to provide the flexibility they needed to meet their peak computational demands, while not investing in additional infrastructure. Composable infrastructure consists of fluid pools of compute, storage, and fabric that can dynamically self-assemble to meet the needs of an application or workload. These resources are defined in software and controlled programmatically through a unified API—code that aligns the infrastructure to the needs of the application.

Composable infrastructure provided cloud-like flexibility and economics to the studio’s on-premises infrastructure. During the day, artists had immediate access to the computational resources they needed to unleash their creativity. And at night, the infrastructure automatically recomposed in seconds to run the computer-generated imagery (CGI) rendering.

Hybrid cloud allows collaboration across the globe

Many studios typically produce numerous films at one time, and this animation studio is no different. Of course, working on several films at once means they need more resources and more collaboration. A hybrid cloud environment solves this challenge. Using resources from studios and employees around the world, they are able to seamlessly collaborate.

During peak compute rendering times, team members access a hybrid cloud infrastructure—a combination of on-site private cloud and off-site managed private cloud. This hybrid cloud environment allows artists and producers at different studios worldwide to share and collaborate in real time.

What’s next? Better visibility, control, and analytics of hybrid IT

As this animation studio continues to seek ways to implement IT resources that encourage creativity while controlling costs, they are looking for better ways to improve visibility, control, and analytics across their entire hybrid infrastructure. And working with HPE, they are finding and testing these new solutions that will help them succeed in their ever-evolving digital transformation goals.

Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE)  recently announced HPE OneSphere, the industry’s first multi-cloud management solution. Through a software-as-a-service (SaaS) portal, HPE OneSphere gives customers access to a pool of IT resources that spans the public cloud services they subscribe to, as well as their on-premises environments. Using this new tool, organizations are able to seamlessly compose, operate, and optimize all workloads across on-premises, private, hosted, and public clouds. HPE OneSphere also provides dashboards based on different user roles that offer business analytics. HPE OneSphere is designed for IT operations, developers, and business executives seeking to build clouds, deploy applications, and gain insights faster.

Using HPE OneSphere, businesses worldwide can better optimize resources in a variety of cloud models, radically changing how they consume, compose and analyze their workloads—no matter where they are located.

Don’t let infrastructure hold you back

Digital transformation is key to helping businesses compete successfully in this rapidly changing digital world. HPE is excited to play a vital role in providing the expertise, software, and hardware this studio relies on to continue to produce animated films that entertain and inspire audiences worldwide.

About Gary Thome

Gary Thome is the Vice President and Chief Technologist for the Software-Defined and Cloud Group at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. He is responsible for the technical and architectural directions of converged datacenter products and technologies including HPE Synergy. HPE has assembled an array of resources that are helping businesses succeed in their digital transformation. Learn about HPE’s approach to managing hybrid IT by checking out the HPE website, HPE OneSphere. And to find out how HPE can help you determine a workload placement strategy that meets your service level agreements, visit HPE Pointnext.

To read more articles from Gary, check out the HPE Converged Data Center Infrastructure blog.


4 Opportunities for Service Providers in a Complex Cloud World

Presenting average sales report

Do you remember the last time you took the wrapping off the box of a new software application?

You loaded it onto your machine, and eagerly waited for it to install? Probably not, or at least not without dusting some cobwebs off your memory.

Much like the mainstream public has moved away from this slow process in favor of downloading their favorite app from an online store in seconds, so too has the world of business moved on. As part of a broader shift toward digital transformation, businesses are increasingly looking to the cloud to ensure they can be nimble, efficient, and ahead of the innovation curve when it comes to delivering apps and other critical workloads.

Hybrid IT—which brings together the optimal mix of public cloud, private cloud, and traditional IT for greater security, performance, and cost—is hastening this shift away from “business as usual” thanks to its ability to transform IT resources into vital business drivers. As a result, businesses are now able to move, develop, and deploy more apps in the cloud than ever before. Better yet, they are using hybrid IT to ensure the right workloads are deployed across the right mix of environments.

Hybrid IT addresses many of the cloud challenges businesses have faced in the past, but that doesn’t mean organizations are ready to go down the hybrid path entirely on their own. According to research conducted by Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) with data sources from Synergy Research Group, Gartner, and 451 Research, the rate of organizations that “build” their own services is growing at 14%, while the rate of organizations that are buying or “consuming” services is increasing more quickly at 30%.

Ultimately, it will be the service providers who deliver the apps that are likely to reap the greatest advantages — and revenue. According to 451 Research’s Market Monitor, Infrastructure-as–a-Service (IaaS) markets, which include managed hosting, shared hosting, and dedicated hosting, will reach a combined $129 billion by 2020.

The service providers that will stand out and step ahead will be those that build an entire hybrid IT portfolio, combining public and private cloud offerings into a unified solution that is ready to handle all workloads. Solutions like HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack, the new hybrid IT platform that enables users to deliver Azure private cloud services from within their own data center, will be the foundation on which hardware providers can build an integrated platform.

Service providers have four opportunities to grow their hybrid IT business based on Microsoft Azure Stack. These opportunities span from small steps that extend existing offerings to more strategic endeavors that bring entirely new revenue streams to the business. Yet, they all have potential for service providers of all sizes.

1) Extend offerings to become a managed hybrid IT provider

Many service providers already offer managed private cloud or hosted private cloud services. Consider introducing managed hybrid IT services for Microsoft Azure Stack that build on those established processes, existing customers and experience. Beyond the revenue benefits, such services can also generate greater, longer term value with customers. For example, by offering customers a roadmap for cloud adoption and associated values, helping them determine the data and apps that are viable opportunities for cloud migration, and providing TCO and ROI analysis for moving these applications to the cloud.

2) Offer remote managed services

In many cases, an Independent Software Vendor (ISV) or a Value-Added Reseller (VAR) may not have a data center but can offer remote management services for customer-hosted private clouds. The revenue opportunity lies not only in the management of services but also in additional solutions and services.

3) Provide services to meet compliance regulations

In today’s world, a multitude of compliance regulations hit strongly across many industries. These regulations create an opportunity for managed service providers, ISVs, and system integrators to specialize in building vertical clouds that are compliant to vertical industry standards.

For example, take a regional hosting provider with multiple data centers that is selling to heavily regulated industries like healthcare and financial services. As they look to expand their portfolio, they could deploy a solution that helps their financial services customers meet data sovereignty and compliance regulations.

4) Deliver IaaS, PaaS and IoT services

Systems integrators have a huge opportunity to develop a hybrid IT practice for solutions that include IaaS, Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Internet of Things (IoT) services. As traditional infrastructure evolves to take advantage of the latest architectural and operational options such as software-defined infrastructure, DevOps automation, and flexible capacity, adapting from a private to hybrid IT model to deliver these in-demand services creates immediate revenue potential.

For one managed service provider, adding IaaS, PaaS, IoT, and other value-added services across multiple countries became a cornerstone of its growth strategy. The company turned to HPE to develop a proof of concept at the HPE-Microsoft Azure Stack Innovation Center. Based on that concept, they moved forward with a fully integrated solution that not only met all training, billing, and support requirements, but it also allowed them to offer additional value-added services like remote monitoring and management.

For service providers looking to take advantage of these opportunities, HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack delivers the solutions and support that make it easy to deploy, scale, and build a profitable, hybrid IT business. But transforming to a hybrid services delivery model is not a one-time project, and instead should be a planned, systematic journey.

To learn more about HPE hybrid IT solutions for Microsoft Azure Stack that can help on that journey, click here. To learn how HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack enables an application-centric hybrid cloud that meets the needs of customers that leverage on-premises and off-premises resources, click here.

About Paul Miller

Paul Miller is Vice President of Marketing for the Software-defined and Cloud Group at Hewlett Packard Enterprise.  The Software-defined and Cloud Group organization is responsible for marketing for composable infrastructure, HPE OneView, HPE SimpliVity hyperconverged solutions and HPE OneSphere portfolio.