HPE Expands Flexible Capacity
The idea of IT as a utility has been around for some time, but it really took off when HPE began offering a new utility service for on-premise IT and cloud computing.
That offering, called Flexible Capacity, hit the market in 2013. The main appeal for businesses was, well, flexibility. Businesses could implement IT in their data centers and then scale up or down as needed, paying based on what they consume, subject to minimum payment. HPE also offers a Flexible Capacity program available to authorized HPE channel partners who meet the program criteria and eligibility.
This month, HPE plans to expand the program to enable certain HPE authorized channel partners under HPE’s flexible capacity services program to deliver specific installation and/or reactive hardware repair services. Partners who wish to participate will need to be authorized under HPE’s Partner Ready Program and meet HPE’s flexible capacity program requirements to deliver those services. HPE also plans to include more flexible VM pricing under Flexible Capacity, the ability to price and meter any size of eligible virtual machine that the customer defines. Finally, HPE plans to include support of Docker Containers in a Flexible Capacity environment which is priced by container node in either the physical or virtual machine.
The appeal of Flexible Capacity
Don Randall, worldwide marketing manager for technology services at HPE, said the appeal of Flexible Capacity is that it is designed to offer the best of both worlds for businesses that wanted both the benefits of on-premise IT and the benefits of the cloud. In the process, they may be able to“move from capital-based expense to consumption-based expense.” And HPE can help with the heavy lifting that takes place to keep on-premise data centers running, which usually doesn’t add much to a company’s business differentiation.
To accommodate fast-growing businesses, Randall said that HPE includes certain additional capacity in addition the customer’s minimum capacity on-premise needs so that customers don’t pay for any additional capacity until they start to use it so that IT can scale quickly to support the business while optimizing cash flows. “Really it’s a public cloud experience in the privacy of the data center,” he said.
Responding to requests from customers, HPE has added some new features to the program. The more flexible VM pricing addresses the fact that VMs can be priced by cloud providers as “standardized t-shirt sizes (S – M – L).” With Flexible Capacity customers can now define the size to however they configure virtual machines. “That has implications for their ability to increase utilization as well as help them to better manage their use and cost,” he said.
Another coming option is Docker containers, which customers can pay for on a per-container node basis, where a node can be physical machine or a virtual machine running the container engine.
“Our Customers want to consume by VM and they want to consume by container,” he said. “In addition to the other choices they have.”
The other news is that HPE resellers can leverage more ways to use Flexible Capacity. “Flexible Capacity is really good for our partners,” said Randall. “Especially if they’re moving to be a service provider rather than a reseller only, which is where many are heading. This is a great model for service providers to use, technically and economically.”