HPE Steps Up Next Generation Infrastructure Offensive With Acquisition Of Software Defined Data Fabric Provider Plexxi


Hewlett Packard Enterprise Tuesday added a critical piece to its next generation hybrid IT platform by inking a deal to acquire Plexxi, a provider of software defined data fabric networking technology.

The acquisition gives HPE additional software defined muscle as it moves to aggressively position itself as the leading provider of next generation software defined compute, networking and storage infrastructure.

"Plexxi’s technology will extend HPE’s market-leading software-defined compute and storage capabilities into the high-growth, software-defined networking market, expanding our addressable market and strengthening our offerings for customers and partners," said Ric Lewis, senior vice president and general manager of HPE's Software-Defined and Cloud Group, in a blog post. "By seamlessly combining Plexxi’s next-generation data center fabric with HPE’s existing software-defined infrastructure, HPE can deliver a true cloud-like experience in the data center."

Terms of the acquisition with the Nashua, N.H. startup were not disclosed.

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Plexxi will power HPE's hyperconverged Simplivity offering and its Synergy composable infrastructure with a "next-generation data network fabric that can automatically create or re-balance bandwidth to workload needs," said Lewis. "This will increase agility and efficiency, and accelerate how quickly companies deploy applications and draw business value from their data."

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Lewis said the deal builds on last year's $650 million acquisition of Synergy to effectively deliver the industry’s "only hyperconverged offering that incorporates compute, storage and data fabric networking" into a single solution, with a single management interface and support.

"The combined HPE SimpliVity plus Plexxi solution will provide customers with a highly dynamic workload-based model to better align IT resources to business priorities," he said. "HPE’s hyperconverged business has been growing at four times the market and HPE was recently named a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for hyperconverged. With Plexxi, we’ll be able to extend this lead over the competition."

Plexxi was recently named to CRN's Data Center 100 list. The company's head of sales is Mitch Breen, the former global sales leader and channel chief for SimpliVity.

Douglas Grosfield, CEO of Five Nines IT, a fast-growing Kitchener, Ontario, strategic service provider, said the acquisition is one more sign that next generation software defined private cloud infrastructure is more "cost effective" than public cloud.

"Companies like HPE are seeing a resurgence in customers building out their own software defined infrastructure," he said. "Technologies like Plexxi's software defined fabric is affording companies the same benefits in private cloud that they were seeing in public cloud."

Grosfield said he sees private cloud as more cost effective than public cloud 90 percent of the time. "I am recommending almost exclusively that customers adopt a private cloud," he said. "The workloads that make sense for public cloud are Office 365, email and disaster recovery."

Grosfield said the HPE acquisition of Plexxi is a "validation" that next generation software defined infrastructure technologies are forever changing the public vs. private cloud debate with a new generation of technologies that make private infrastructure more cost effective than public cloud."This is the kind of technology that will allow companies, even SMB companies, to build their own small hyperconverged data centers," he said.