HPE Integrates Intelligent Storage Into Its Composable Infrastructure Portfolio

The latest fusion of AI and composable rack and blade solutions, powered by the InfoSight technology obtained in the Nimble Storage acquisition, was revealed at VMworld Barcelona


HPE has built intelligent storage into its composable infrastructure, enabling partners to deliver the cloud experience to their on-premises customers through a highly automated data center environment.

The hardware powerhouse told attendees of VMworld Barcelona on Monday that it has integrated AI sourced from its Primera Storage platform into both its rack and blade composable solutions, Lauren Whitehouse told CRN.

"We're taking that AI capability and having it really permeate our portfolio," Whitehouse said.

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Primera AI capabilities are based on the InfoSight data platform obtained through HPE's 2017 acquisition of Nimble Storage. HPE started by integrating that technology into ProLiant servers before launching Primera to extend operational intelligence across its data center portfolio.

AI-powered composable solutions allow HPE's on-premises infrastructure to operate closer to a cloud model, delivering comprehensive automation, flexibility and scalability of the kind that is driving customers to the public cloud, Whitehouse said.

InfoSight AI has moved HPE beyond the software-defined data center and toward the self-driving data center, she added.

That increased level of automation is necessary, Whitehouse said, as customers find themselves "under a deluge of information."

"Everything collects data about something," she said. AI is making it easier for infrastructure and operations teams inundated with telemetry data to predict problems in their environments and take actions before downtime results.

Composable systems have been a big push for the hardware giant. The technology was first brought to market with HPE Synergy, a software-defined system that disaggregated compute, storage and fabric resources.

"We want to treat them as one resource pool, to allow people to do more provisioning on demand, and custom fit resources to the specific application," Whitehouse said. "You won't have silos if you're using a composable infrastructure environment."

The flexible infrastructure pools those resources and allocates them to specific workloads. The result is a data center that "all looks to the user like the same system," Whitehouse said, regardless of whether it's running a virtualization platform, bare-metal, container tech or connecting to a public cloud stack.

Published APIs further allow technology partners and developers to treat infrastructure as code by writing infrastructure provisioning into their software, she added.

Synergy was HPE's first pass at composability by adding that technology into its server blade solutions. HPE then introduced Composable Cloud, a rack solution that was later renamed Composable Rack.

With the latest offering, InfoSight artificial intelligence has been integrated into both the blade and rack products. And customers that want those technologies as a fully managed service can also opt for HPE GreenLake, which delivers composable infrastructure through a consumption model.

"You can create this cloud experience on-premises with Synergy, Composable Rack, or GreenLake if you really want to hand over the keys to have someone manage your infrastructure," Whitehouse said.

Rounding out the environment, and enabling seamless scaling of a multi-server environments, is a software-defined data center fabric obtained through last year's acquisition of Plexxi, Whitehouse said.

Because HPE revealed the product at VMware's largest European conference, the company simultaneously announced Composable Rack will support VMware Cloud Foundation (Synergy has supported Cloud Foundation for about a year). That fully integrated reference architecture will further help customers looking for a VMware data center to run in "a highly automated and intelligent environment," Whitehouse said.

The melding of AI and composable infrastructure should be a powerful arrow in the quiver of partners looking to deliver cloud advantages to customers that want to maintain on-premises hardware, Whitehouse told CRN.

"Any organization that wants to operate like cloud, with the benefits in speed and efficiency, this is something that partners can now offer their customers," she said.