Barclays snubs public cloud giants and hardware rivals for HPE GreenLake private cloud

Bank migrating thousands of apps and 100k+ workloads to new platform

Hewlett Packard Enterprise's direct salesforce has inked a 10-year contract with Barclays Bank to provide a global private cloud via its GreenLake platform.

Under the agreement, understood to be worth many millions of dollars, HPE will refresh the infrastructure in multiple Barclays' data centres and co-location facilities based in the UK, US and Asia, people close to the deal told us.

The GreenLake managed service will establish a minimum level of spending with the bank, and includes an option to reserve workloads and run them on demand. The pricing for compute, memory, and storage is based on utilisation.

The private cloud platform is intended to host thousands of apps across the Barclays group of banking entities and more than 100,000 workloads including virtual desktop infrastructure, SQL DBs, Windows Server, and Linux.

HPE's Pointnext professional services division will undertake the migration from legacy infrastructure to its new home, along with Barclays' techies.

This seemingly marks a change in direction for the bank. In 2018, Barclays talked of being 24 months into a project to shut its own data centre and move wholesale to AWS, at least according to one report.

That no longer seems to be the case. Moving those workloads to the public cloud would have inevitably involved re-architecting them and perhaps a smidge of coding.

We asked the bank to comment but it refused.

The agreement with HPE is not thought to be connected to regulatory compliance, such that those workloads could have run in the public cloud should Barclays have wanted them to. We did ask the bank what its desired outcome is – the press statement mentioned "delivering an enhanced personalized banking experience" for customers.

HPE confirmed to us that its direct salesforce penned the contract with Barclays. As we revealed last week, just 1.125 per cent of HPE's 80,000 "channel partners" have thrown their weight behind GreenLake for various reasons, including claims from some that customers don't want to buy hardware as a service.

Barclays obviously wasn't among those being referenced by the resellers we spoke to.

GreenLake is the mechanism under which HPE will make its entire portfolio available to buy as a service next year. Being reliant on the channel for circa 70 per cent of its revenues means the company will need resellers on board to scale GreenLake, although winning the Barclays logo against cloud giants and historic hardware rivals is a fillip for HPE.

Executives at HPE and Barclays issued statements that were not really quote-worthy but it's Christmas so...

"Today our customers expect an intelligent, contextual and personalized digital experience with seamless performance. With HPE GreenLake we're building a cloud platform that will enable the agility and operational performance needed to achieve this ambition while providing a modern economic model for private cloud," said Craig Bright, group chief information officer at Barclays.

Marc Waters, HPE senior veep and MD for the UK, Ireland, Middle East and South Africa, said: "Banking systems are critical national infrastructure. Resilience, sustainability and security of the underlying technology platform are the non-negotiable fundamentals that enable the provision of personalized digital experiences.

"Our fully managed HPE GreenLake platform provides infrastructure, software and services that enable automation, control, flexibility, exceptional experience and a positive commercial advantage."

The exact financial details of the agreement were not disclosed. The length of the contract, a "decade-long partnership," was revealed by HPE's social media wonks this morning but that post was pulled, perhaps indicating that Barclays wanted this information kept out of the public domain. Whoops. ®

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