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HPE has re-vamped its storage-as-a-service (SaaS) offer with Greenlake for file storage, block storage, plus data protection and disaster recovery offerings.

It has also unveiled a multiprotocol upgrade to its Alletra storage servers – Alletra MP – which will underpin the aforementioned storage services and are manageable via Greenlake’s cloud console.

Greenlake for Block Storage is aimed at mission-critical workloads, said HPE in a press briefing prior to launch, and will provide 100% availability based on HPE Alletra MP storage.

Greenlake for File Storage is aimed at unstructured data workloads, cloud-native applications and data lake-type scenarios and is based on storage hardware from Vast Data.

Omer Asad, vice-president and general manager of the primary storage team at HPE, said: “HPE Greenlake for Block Storage…it comes with 100% availability guaranteed…built in on a standard support contract. You do not have to sign any additional contracts. You buy the product, you get standard support, and 100% availability guarantee comes with it. It’s the first in class in the industry from a pay-as-you-go consumption-based service.”

HPE’s announcements marks the latest in a recent wave of storage vendors announcing as-a-service offerings or revamping existing ones.

In February, NetApp announced Advance, which allows customers to pay a subscription for hardware upgrades. This allows customers the ability to buy storage hardware outright, but with no additional cost non-disruptive upgrades to controller hardware.

Advance is own-outright, but with upgrades by subscription, and so occupies the other end of a continuum with NetApp’s Keystone SaaS at the other end.

Meanwhile, Pure Storage last year re-worked its Evergreen consumption model offer into services that range from own-it-and-pay-for-upgrades (Evergreen Gold) to pure pay-as-you-go (Evergreen One), and introduced Flex, which allows for capacity use across differing hardware as long as it’s of the same flash type.

Alletra MP – in which the MP stands for multi-protocol, i.e. file and block – is modular in design and can start at a cluster of two nodes. It can be specified in terms of capacity or performance and can accommodate drives of 16TB to 30TB and is NVMe-connected. CPU cores can range from 8 to 64.

Alletra MP is deployed then managed via Greenlake with reference to the customer profile to provision, lifecycle and upgrade the service. Customers can provision clusters to file or block access. Intelligence is based on InfoSight AIOps, which it originally acquired when it bought first-generation flash storage maker Nimble in 2017.

Vast Data’s hardware, upon which HPE Greenlake for File Storage is based, uses large numbers of high-capacity QLC flash drives for capacity while getting around QLC’s lower durability b smoothing out and optimising input/output (I/O) using Intel or Kioxia storage-class memory (SCM).

Vast calls this “write-shaping”, in which the SCM handles reads and writes, and sends data to bulk storage in 1GB stripes as is optimal and claims a guaranteed 10-year lifespan for QLC flash drives. Vast also handles object storage, but there seems to be no mention of this in HPE’s launch.

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