A long and bumpy road to cloud
The moves are the culmination of more than a year's worth of sorting out of the company’s cloud platforms. Last year the company announced it would discontinue its IaaS public cloud that was meant to compete with Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform and IBM SoftLayer. Instead, HPE has focused on private and hybrid cloud management, which are products that have been well received among analysts who track the market. Forrester has named HPE a leader in private cloud software for two years in a row in its Wave report.
Along with the split of the company, it made for what some believed to be a confusing time for HPE.
“Before these announcements, I believe the market was somewhat confused about HPE’s cloud offering,” says Carl Lehmann, an analyst at 451 Research. “HPE has a lot of technology and capability, but it wasn’t really structured and presented in a way that was easily understandable and consumable.” Cloud Suite and CloudSystem “pull all the pieces together,” he says.
The offerings will appeal most to organizations that are not ready to dive all-in on the public cloud and want a platform to consume a private cloud while also managing some public cloud resources, he says. “A lot of companies I talk to want to consume information technology, they don’t want to run it,” Lehmann says. “So packaged offerings like this I think will have a growing demand in the market.”
451 Research shows that organizations are routinely managing more than five environments that applications and workloads can be deployed to: on-premises virtualized or physical infrastructure, managed hosting, collocation or public cloud. HPE is attempting to allow organizations to control many of those environments centrally.
HPE will have challenges though, Lehmann notes. HPE is also “a little late” to the game, he says. IBM and Oracle each have strong hybrid cloud computing offerings that are already available on the market, and they both combine cloud-based SaaS apps in their portfolios as well. The company needs marquee reference clients who have bought into this strategy. “HPE’s got a lot of rivals to contend with, but now they’ll have much better positioning to do so,” Lehmann says.