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Vast dips into HPE GreenLake with new file storage service

HPE enlists Vast Data to provide a new file storage service in the company's GreenLake SaaS offerings, a storage area the tech giant has struggled to perform in.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is partnering with Vast Data to bring a new file storage service into the GreenLake portfolio.

The new HPE GreenLake for File Storage, unveiled during the HPE GreenLake for Storage event today, uses Vast software on a refreshed HPE Alletra appliance with NVMe drives for scale-out file storage.

HPE already offers file storage as a service, but these products lack the speed, features and capabilities compared with Vast, according to Marc Staimer, president and founder of Dragon Slayer Consulting. Despite its prior offerings, HPE described itself as "entering" the file storage market in a press release about its newest service.

[Vast] gives [HPE] the fastest-growing file storage out there.
Marc StaimerPresident and founder, Dragon Slayer Consulting

"The one thing HPE has never had a good solution for was file storage," Staimer said. "This gives them the fastest-growing file storage out there."

Just last month, Vast issued a press release about its "record-breaking growth for its fiscal year 2023, posting its best year and best quarter in the company's history." Vast, a startup, is privately held.

Other products showcased at the HPE storage event included a refresh to GreenLake's block storage offering, HPE GreenLake for Block Storage, and the general availability of two data protection services: HPE GreenLake for Disaster Recovery and HPE GreenLake for Backup and Recovery.

Vast growth potential

GreenLake for File Storage will be sold in the same manner as the rest of the HPE GreenLake catalog. HPE will install and maintain the hardware within the customer's data center, while the customer scales up as it purchases additional software, features and services.

Vast's Universal Storage, the company's flagship OS, clusters flash storage drives and separates the storage media from compute resources, enabling users to scale either performance or capacity as needed.

Vast typically sells the software and hardware schema through resellers, but GreenLake for File Storage differs in that another vendor will use Vast's technology in its own product, according to Scott Sinclair, analyst at TechTarget's Enterprise Strategy Group.

"It's not the same thing as a reseller agreement. This is an actual HP product that HP will sell and service," Sinclair said.

The Vast technology works well for enterprises working with petabytes or potentially exabytes of data, according to Ray Lucchesi, president and founder of Silverton Consulting.

"From a storage-as-a-service perspective, it's [ideal] because you can scale the storage and the performance separately," he said.

Many experts consider Vast to be among the fastest-growing storage vendors, providing one of the more mature flash storage platforms for file and object.

"They're tearing up the market, from my perspective," Lucchesi said. "This [partnership] is another feather in [Vast's] cap."

Lucchesi and Sinclair expect HPE to begin offering similar storage partner products through the GreenLake marketplace in the future. Staimer, however, said the partnership with Vast was a bit of a surprise and wondered if HPE would potentially acquire the startup Vast for its file technology.

"They've been flirting with Qumulo for two years," Staimer said, noting that HPE already sells Qumulo products and bundles. "It feels like [HPE and Vast] are living together before getting married."

HPE isn't afraid of scooping up companies to fill in GreenLake; just last month, it acquired OpsRamp, an AIOps company. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Both the updates to block and new file services are now generally available.

HPE GreenLake Storage Day 2023

Other announcements

HPE GreenLake for Block Storage builds on existing GreenLake block storage services, now promising a 100% data availability guarantee.

Both services will run on the new HPE Alletra Storage MP appliance, which supports Vast's disaggregated software. HPE said the Alletra Storage MP will be available for GreenLake customers and will not replace existing Alletra models.

HPE GreenLake for Disaster Recovery will be generally available this summer, complementing the existing HPE GreenLake for Backup and Recovery service.

GreenLake for Disaster Recovery, a SaaS implementation of the Zerto disaster recovery software that HPE purchased in 2021, will be generally available in June 2023. The DR capabilities include granular disaster recovery of VMs, containers and other infrastructure through journaling instead of timed snapshots.

HPE GreenLake for Backup and Recovery, which is generally available, provides backup and protection of VMware VMs as well as Amazon EC2 instances and Amazon Elastic Block Storage volumes.

Tim McCarthy is a journalist from the Merrimack Valley of Massachusetts. He covers cloud and data storage news.

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