HPE Unveils SimpliVity 380 Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Appliance, Expects To Ship By Early May

Hewlett Packard Enterprise has followed its recent acquisition of hyper-converged infrastructure technology developer SimpliVity with the unveiling of the first fruits of that acquisition.

HPE this week introduced the SimpliVity 380, a hyper-converged infrastructure appliance that combines the company's ProLiant DL380 server with SimpliVity's OmniStack software and proprietary hardware card.

The SimpliVity 380 is expected to ship on May 1 or earlier, said Paul Miller, vice president of marketing for HPE's software-defined and cloud business.

[Related: CRN Exclusive: HPE EVP Neri On SimpliVity Road Map, Nutanix's Storage Dilemma, Cisco And Lenovo's SimpliVity's Problem, And VMware Partnership]

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"We are moving faster than any merger I have participated in, or have seen," Miller told CRN. "We announced the acquisition of SimpliVity only two months ago, and closed it just last month. And now we're taking orders for the new product."

HPE in January said it would pay $650 million for SimpliVity, ending the saga of one of the pioneers of the fast-growing hyper-converged infrastructure industry. A month later, HPE closed the deal with a promise to bring out its first appliances featuring the SimpliVity technology in May.

In addition to developing hyper-converged infrastructure appliances combining the ProLiant DL380 server and the OmniStack software, HPE plans to propagate the SimpliVity technology across a wide range of converged infrastructure and storage solutions.

Prior to its acquisition by HPE, SimpliVity had been gaining significant momentum in the market, said Dan Molina, chief technology officer at Nth Generation Computing, a San Diego-based solution provider and channel partner to both HPE and SimpliVity.

"The SimpliVity technology was designed to be integrated with standard x86 platforms," Molina told CRN. "It makes sense for HPE to integrate it with the ProLiant DL380, the best server on the planet."

Molina said he had expected HPE to take six to nine months to start shipping its versions of the SimpliVity hyper-converged infrastructure appliances, and is pleased to hear that he can help customers start placing orders now for delivery by May.

"May is just around the corner," he said. "It's not that far out. This gives partners time to drive the momentum. We will be doing our own testing in our technology lab. But we don't expect any issues."

Miller said the SimpliVity 380 will initially be available as a SimpliVity SKU. That means existing SimpliVity channel partners can use the legacy SimpliVity ordering system. HPE channel partners can order the SimpliVity 380 via HPE, although for the time being the orders will be taken manually until the product gets integrated into HPE's automated ordering system, he said.

HPE is putting in place the training programs needed for both sets of partners to be able to sell and deploy the SimpliVity 380, he said.

The SimpliVity 380 is available in three versions -- "small, medium, and large" -- which vary according to the processor, memory, and storage capacity. Miller said all-flash versions are also available. "All-flash is the predominate flavor across the SimpliVity line," he said.

HPE will also continue selling its existing HC 380, which combines its ProLiant DL380 server with its HPE StoreVirtual VSA software-defined storage application and the HPE OneView converged management and automation application.

The HC 380 is focused on ease of use and deployment, while the SimpliVity 380 features advanced data servers including replication, compression, and de-duplication, Miller said.

"In the second half of 2017, we'll merge the two, combining the ease of use with our world-class backup, de-duplication, and compression services," he said.

Going forward, HPE plans to keep using the "SimpliVity" brand, Miller said. "We see a ton of value in the SimpliVity brand. Our composable infrastructure Synergy brand and the SimpliVity brand fit together nicely from a branding point-of-view," he said.

Miller confirmed rumors that HPE has laid off several people from SimpliVity after the acquisition closed. However, he declined to discuss the number of layoffs. "In every business transaction, part of the process is the elimination of duplicate functions," he said.

Between 70 and 100 people were laid off as a result of the acquisition, according to the TheLayoff web site.