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HPE Leads Funding Of John Chambers-Backed Edge Services Startup

Pensando Systems said it will use the new funding to accelerate engineering, operations and go to market activities.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is teaming with former Cisco CEO John Chambers’ startup Pensando Systems to transform the 5G edge experience.

HPE – along with Lightspeed Venture Partners- is leading a Series C investment of up to $145 million in San Jose, Calif. based Pensando which is bringing to market a custom programmable processor optimized for edge computing.

Chambers - who once did battle with HPE in the intensely competitive networking market – is now teamed with HPE to drive edge computing innovation. Pensando said it will use the new funding to accelerate engineering, operations and go to market activities.

[RELATED: Antonio Neri: HPE Bringing ‘True Private LTE’ With 5G-Aruba Integration]

In addition to the funding commitment, HPE CTO and Director HPE Labs Mark Potter will be joining the Pensando board.

“Our involvement goes well beyond financial; we are also aggressively integrating their technology into HPE solutions,” said Potter in a blog post.

“In the distributed world of edge-to-cloud, optimizing systems with zero-trust security has long been the goal,” said Potter. “And now that pie-in-the-sky dream is a reality, with Pensando and HPE joining forces to bring both intelligence and security to this data.”

Key to the HPE – Pensando partnership are the four words “wherever data is located,” said Potter.

“Pensando is a transformative solution that we are thrilled to be advancing,” said Potter. “And that means our customers will have the opportunity to achieve a new speed of business with faster time-to insight, time-to-action and time-to-market. “

Pensando also unveiled its flagship software-defined edge services platform today which it claims delivers a “technological advantage” over cloud computing behemoth AWS. Pensando claims it can deliver five to nine times improvements in “productivity, performance and scale when compared to current architecture with no risk of lock in.”

HPE CEO Antonio Neri hinted at the new partnership in a question and answer session at the 2019 Best of Breed (BoB) Conference on Tuesday.

“We have a very broad partner ecosystem,” said Neri. “Some companies will not even think about that particularly as you move into the industrial side of the house. We have partnerships now that are part of our solutions: ABB, Schneider Electric and others. Tomorrow we are going to talk about something new so stay tuned.”

Neri also outlined an aggressive innovation charge aimed at providing partners a fast path to 5G sales growth. At the heart of that effort is a plan to integrate 5G connectivity into Aruba Central.

“The opportunity is to integrate 5G and Wi-Fi in this new spectrum to deliver a true private LTE, so that’s where the integration of 5G with Aruba makes complete sense because I can provision that fully integrated experience from the cloud and manage from the cloud as these things scale massively,” said Neri in a question and answer session at the 2019 Best of Breed Conference. “We already have half a billion devices managed from Aruba Central, so you’re talking about massive scale.”

San Jose, Calif.-based HPE plans to launch an integrated 5G Aruba Central solution sometime next year, said Neri.

“Antonio is winning at chess while everyone is losing at checkers,” said Paul Cohen, vice president of sales for New York-based PKA Technologies Inc., an HPE Platinum partner since the inception of the program. “HPE is once again driving innovation leading us into the new 5G intelligent edge era. This is proof that HPE is setting itself apart by making big investments in R&D and innovation.”

PKA is already delivering edge solutions working hand in hand with HPE Aruba. “We just had one of our best all time years with Aruba,” he said.

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