Hewlett Packard Enterprise on Monday unveiled updates to much of its hybrid cloud management software, including HPE OneView and HPE OneSphere, aimed at speeding up infrastructure and workload deployments and extending private and public cloud support.
HPE also said that it has reached the 1-million mark in terms of HPE OneView licenses.
The enhancements to the HPE OneView and HPE OneSphere platforms comes as HPE continues to grow its software-defined infrastructure for managing hybrid on-premises and cloud environments, said Rick Lewis, senior vice president and genera manager of the Software Defined and Cloud Group for the Palo Alto, Calif.-based vendor.
Lewis, speaking before an audience of press and analysts, said HPE has been quickly pivoting to services and software to solve customers' hybrid infrastructure issues. "This is an area where we're quite frankly investing heavily in," Lewis said.
Key to this is a focus on software-defined infrastructures, including storage, networking, and management platform, where HPE has made a huge commitment, Lewis said.
These include major enhancements to HPE OneView, the company's software-defined platform it says allows users to compose fluid pools of physical and virtual compute, storage, and fabric resources into any configuration as needed for any application.
HPE OneView, which can be used with HPE ProLiant and Apollo servers and 3PAR storage, has been seeing a 160-percent growth rate year over year, Lewis said. "It's the heart and soul of composability," he said.
The new version, HPE OneView 4.1, adds updates to be done cluster-wide on a rolling basis, and provides for 50-percent faster firmware updates to the Gen10 ProLiant servers on which Synergy is built, Lewis said.
HPE OneView 4.1 is getting enhanced Microsoft support, including support for Microsoft Azure Stack Log Analytics and improved integration with Microsoft System Center. On the VMware side, it is getting the ability to manage lifecycle operations for virtual machine farms with VMware vRealize Orchestrator as well as other new integration enhancements, he said.
With HPE OneView 4.1, customers will also get new reference configurations for Chef automation, as well as a reference architecture for using HPE Synergy with Red Had OpenShift Container platform, he said.
The enhancements to HPE OneView are huge, said Alan Rogers, chief technology officer at Stoneworks Technologies, an Ottawa, Ontario-based solution provider and HPE platinum-level partner.
Rogers told CRN that his company has deployed HPE Synergy in some of Canada's biggest government and enterprise clients because of its approach to building flexible IT infrastructures.
"It's a question of, how do I go to cloud without going to the cloud," he said. "To me, Synergy is a cloud-in-a-box. It's a scalable cloud infrastructure, all on one platform, with the ability to carve resource pools across compute, storage, and networking."
HPE OneView is central to making HPE Synergy an application-enabled platform rather than one that is dependent on the underlying infrastructure, Rogers said.
"Most of our customers are getting away from traditional infrastructure management, and moving to application and client delivery," he said. "It's more about managing the business, and less on managing the infrastructure."
The fact that HPE OneView allows non-disruptive rolling cluster updates is a critical new change, Rogers said. "If you can imagine managing a VMware infrastructure with multiple hosts, and VMware making hundreds of updates every year," he said. "Not having to do the updates on a per-host basis is huge. And for HPE, this is a big differentiator from its competitors."
Adding rolling firmware updates to HPE OneView is also a big deal for customers, Rogers said. "Customers don't want to look at infrastructure on a box basis," he said. "Rolling firmware updates takes a lot of work away from the administrators. They won't have to look at a new update, test it, prepare it, send it to a node, and then repeat. Now the updates will be done with zero impact. Customers won't even know they were updated."
HPE also updated its HPE OneSphere platform for managing both on-premises IT and multi-cloud environments from a single console, Lewis said.
New to HPE OneSphere, which until now has worked with Amazon Web Services, is expanded support for Microsoft Azure cloud and for KVM, the default hypervisor in OpenStack cloud infrastructures, Lewis said.
HPE does not give its OneSphere platform a version number because it is based on agile development and so there are no big version roll-outs, he said.
In addition to the new HPE OneView and HPE OneSphere enhancements, HPE has continued to invest in a wide range of software-defined technologies the company offers for building hybrid IT infrastructures.
Lewis cited as examples HPE Synergy Composable Infrastructure, a software-defined platform for quickly deploying resources across dynamic pools of physical and virtual resources for any application. Over 1,600 customers have already deployed HPE Synergy, making it the company's fastest-growing infrastructure play, he said.
HPE Synergy was recently enhanced with both Chef Automate and Red Hat OpenShift container platform integration, he said.
Lewis also cited HPE SimpliVity, a software-defined hyper-converged infrastructure offering acquired early last year by HPE. SimpliVity currently has over 2,900 customers, and its business is growing at 2.5-times the market growth rate, he said.
Recent enhancements to HPE SimpliVity include Microsoft Hyper-V capabilities, SAP HANA certification, and automated hypervisor updates, he said.
More recently, HPE last month unveiled plans to acquire Plexxi, a provider of software-defined data fabric networking technology. Lewis said the acquisition is scheduled to close before the end of July, which will enable HPE to expand its existing software-defined infrastructure capabilities.
Plexxi will be built into HPE Synergy, Lewis said. "With the addition of Plexxi, we can do our Composable Infrastructure in a single rack," he said.
By year-end, he said, HPE plans to use Plexxi as part of a move to bring complete composable rack and blade solutions to market.