article 17 Jan 2018

Server vendors push flex pricing to challenge cloud providers

For some time now, server unit sales have been steadily dropping for the major x86 server vendors as enterprises draw down their on-premises hardware in favor of cloud services.

The response from the hardware vendors is if you can’t beat ‘em, clone ‘em. Vendors are adopting a pay-as-you-go model not unlike that of a cloud provider, where you pay for how much compute time you use and hand back the hardware when you are done rather than buying it outright.

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Most of the major vendors have some kind of plan. HPE has Flexible IT Capacity, plus it has the OpenStack Private Cloud offering in conjunction with Rackspace and it just launched GreenLake, which bundles software packages like Big Data, SAP HANA and edge computing. Dell EMC’s program is called CloudFlex. Cisco’s is called CloudPay. Lenovo is the only major x86 server OEM without a program.

Vendors like to call it flexible consumption, which includes hardware, software and services.

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