HPE Steps Up March To Integrate Nimble Infosight Across Hybrid IT Portfolio With Storage Management Rotation

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is rotating two of its top storage management leaders as part of an all-out drive to fuel continued storage sales growth and innovation with Nimble Infosight artificial intelligence software integration across its full Hybrid IT product portfolio.

Bill Philbin (pictured), the current storage general manager who led the successful integration earlier this year of all-flash superstar Nimble and its popular Infosight software, which HPE acquired in April for $1 billion, is taking the CTO for Hybrid IT position.

[Related: Partners: HPE InfoSight On 3Par, AI Recommendation Engine Puts HPE Into Enterprise Storage Leadership Fast Lane]

"Looking forward, Bill will lead our long-term technology vision for Hybrid IT," said Hybrid IT Group Senior Vice President and General Manager Alain Andreoli in an internal memo announcing the management rotation. "This includes advancing the convergence of compute, storage, networking, and integrating Infosight across the entire Hybrid IT portfolio."

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Andreoli singled out Philbin, who has overseen technology strategy and engineering for a number of companies including NetApp, as the "right person" to drive the next critical technology step in the storage journey.

Andreoli said one need "look no further" than the 57 percent increase in Nimble sales in the most recent quarter for proof of what a great job Philbin did with the "very successful acquisition and integration of Nimble."

Milan Shetti, the current CTO, meanwhile, will take the general manager of storage post from Philbin.

Shetti, who was the CEO of Ibrix, a storage company HPE acquired eight years ago, was a key leader in developing HPE's fast-growing all-flash strategy, said Andreoli.

"Milan's deep storage knowledge, operational strength, as well as his broad understanding of our portfolio make him the perfect person for this role," said Andreoli.

"With the addition and successful integration of Nimble now complete, we are moving to the next phase of our storage journey," said Andreoli. "We need our storage business to continue to grow, fueled by innovation. And, we need to integrate Nimble Infosight with the rest of the Hybrid IT portfolio."

Andreoli said HP is making the change with the the "best" storage portfolio in the market powered by 3Par, Nimble, and secondary storage offerings including Storeonce and the Apollo 4200.

HPE partners said the management rotation comes with Nimble Infosight, which has already been successfully moved to the 3Par enterprise storage platform, driving dramatic storage sales growth. In fact, they said the breakthrough Infosight AI-based recommendation engine tilts the balance of power in the intensely competitive storage market in HPE's favor. Furthermore, they said it sets up HPE to be the first to create an autonomous data center.

John Barker, co-founder and CEO of Versatile, an HPE Platinum partner based in Marlborough, Mass., said Infosight is a super "cool" product that is a game-changer for customers looking for storage automation and analytics.

"The proactive nature of the predictive analytics with Infosight combined with its analytics definitely has customers excited," said Barker. "It's an awesome tool that we fully expect to show up across the portfolio. The sooner HPE gets this into other parts of the portfolio the better."

Barker said the acquisition of Nimble was a "huge coup" for HPE that opens the door for the company to "leapfrog" competitors.

"HPE knows they have a huge competitive advantage with Infosight and they are trying to take advantage of it," he said. "Infosight provides huge benefits to customers who can now can spend their time working on analytics to support the business versus trying to manage last generation storage infrastructure."

Kelly Ireland, founder and CEO of Orange, Calif.-based CB Technologies, an HPE Platinum partner and No. 245 on the 2017 CRN Solution Provider 500, said CB Technologies is looking at integrating Infosight into its strategic solutions. "One of our strong points for the last 12 years has been high-performance computing so we are in a perfect position to integrate technologies like AI, data analytics and virtual reality," she said.