HPE Wins $2B GreenLake HPC-as-a-Service Deal with NSA

By Tiffany Trader

September 1, 2021

In the heated, oft-contentious, government IT space, HPE has won a massive $2 billion contract to provide HPC and AI services to the United States’ National Security Agency (NSA). Following on the heels of the now-canceled $10 billion JEDI contract (reissued as JWCC) and a $10 billion ‘secret’ cloud computing contract recently won by AWS (codenamed “WildandStormy”), HPE has been tapped to provide the United States’ most secretive intelligence agency with advanced computing and data analysis capabilities delivered through the company’s GreenLake label over a period of 10 years.

The HPC-as-a-Service platform that HPE is building for the NSA includes a mix of Apollo and ProLiant servers, configured to support high-volume ingest and data processing for the agency’s deep learning and data analytics workloads. The computing infrastructure is housed in a secure QTS datacenter and managed by HPE, as part of the GreenLake service.

The purpose-built computing service is expected to become operational next year.

“Implementing artificial intelligence, machine learning and analytics capabilities on massive sets of data increasingly requires high performance computing (HPC) systems,” said Justin Hotard, senior vice president and general manager, HPC and Mission Critical Solutions (MCS) at HPE, in a statement put out today.

“Customers are demanding HPC capabilities on their most data-intensive projects combined with easy, simple, and agile management. By using the HPE GreenLake platform, which delivers secure on-premises solutions as a service, the National Security Agency (NSA) is gaining industry-leading HPC solutions to tackle a range of complex data needs, but with a flexible, as a service experience.”

Launched in November 2017, GreenLake is HPE’s cloud-like, as-a-service delivery mechanism for providing consumption-based IT for critical workloads across a range of industries. HPE cites GreenLake as the company’s fastest growing business unit. By March 2021, the committed contract value was a reported $4.5 billion and growing at 40 percent year-over-year. 

A portfolio of services that covers virtual machines, containers, hybrid cloud integration and bare metal, GreenLake keeps expanding. In December 2020, HPE turned to the HPC customer expanse with a set of pre-configured HPC services that it claimed could speed deployment of HPC projects by up to 75 percent and reduce capital expenditures by up to 40 percent (per a Forrester Consulting study commissioned by HPE).

The GreenLake managed service offerings can be deployed on-premises in the customer’s own datacenter or in a colocation facility, combining cloud-like economics, access and use with the security and performance characteristics of an on-premises deployment.

The GreenLake HPC service debuted with HPE Apollo and ProLiant servers, and now customers can choose from the entire HPE server and storage portfolio, including the Cray XE supercomputer systems and Slingshot interconnect.

In a recent company blog post, CEO Antonio Neri vowed that HPE GreenLake would be the “market-leading edge-to-cloud platform.”

Neri announced the formation of the HPE GreenLake Platform Development team, responsible for delivering a unified GreenLake Cloud Platform focused on a seamless edge-to-cloud experience.

“I believe we are still in the early stages of the growth of an entirely new cloud market, which HPE GreenLake pioneered, as the ‘cloud that comes to you,’” said Neri. 

GreenLake HPC-a-a-Service diagram (source: HPE)

 

 

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