HPE Steps Up Composable Infrastructure Charge With New Mesh Network-Based SimpliVity Hyper-Converged System


Hewlett Packard Enterprise Monday stepped up its composable infrastructure offensive with a slew of breakthrough offerings including a new version of its hot-selling hyper-converged SimpliVity system with a composable mesh network fabric.

HPE said the new version of SimpliVity—unveiled at HPE Discover in Madrid—marks the launch of the first- ever hyper-converged infrastructure system with a composable mesh network fabric.

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In fact, HPE said the new version of SimpliVity—which will be available in December 2018—sets a "new standard" for hyper-converged infrastructure with the integration of software-defined networking to improve the performance and management of distributed applications.

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The composable mesh network fabric, which comes from the HPE acquisition of Plexxi earlier this year, sets HPE apart from any and all competitors, said Lauren Whitehouse, director of software-defined and cloud group marketing at HPE.

"The mesh flat fabric is the secret sauce that really differentiates us," said Whitehouse. "It is software-defined and it is a better architecture [than anything competitors can offer]. It allows for much better economics and performance over spine and leaf architectures."

The Plexxi mesh network fabric opens the door to a self-optimizing composable infrastructure that "no other vendors can touch," she said. "The Plexxi technology is game-changing for us, our partners and organizations that are adopting it."

The mesh network fabric in SimpliVity gives HPE partners a major new sales advantage with a "level of true hyper-convergence" that no other vendor can match, said Whitehouse.

The software-defined networking for hyper-converged busts open the networking logjam and frees companies to quickly deploy critical applications rather than constantly relying on network administrators to make things happen, she said.

"You no longer need to go to a networking specialist because it's so easy now to set things up, manage and even troubleshoot the environment with the Plexxi composable fabric," Whitehouse said. "You are really delivering autonomy and self-sufficiency to a lower common denominator in the IT organization. You are no longer wasting time. You don't need specialists’ skills. You can now have people focused on deploying apps versus tinkering with hardware. That is game-changing for many organizations, and we are leading the way doing that."

In addition to the landmark SimpliVity hyper-converged infrastructure with mesh networking, HPE has accelerated its composable infrastructure lead with the launch of HPE Composable Cloud, an open hybrid cloud composable platform with mesh network functionality, that will now be available for the first time on HPE rack systems in the form of HPE Composable Cloud For HPE ProLiant DL Servers.

HPE said the Composable Fabric on the HPE ProLiant DL Severs—optimized for rack-scale environments—"radically simplifies" data center networking with self-configuring capabilities that improve performance and reduce overprovisioning by up to 70 percent.

HPE Composable Cloud supports VMware and Red Hat Open Shift workloads at what HPE calls "hyperscaler-like speed, scale and economics."

HPE is also launching HPE Composable Cloud for Synergy—its first composable infrastructure for blade systems that began shipping in large volume in January 2016—a full two years and nine months ahead of rival Dell's PowerEdge MX "kinetic" modular composable system.

The Composable Cloud offerings, which provide customers the ability to compose any workload across any cloud, support the full HPE software stack including built-in artificial intelligence from HPE InfoSight software, HPE OneView for software-defined cloud infrastructure management, and HPE OneSphere, its multi-cloud management Software-as-a-Service offering.

The Composable Cloud is a major new weapon for partners to help customers accelerate digital transformation, said Whitehouse.

In fact, Whitehouse said, she anticipates customers taking the savings from implementing the breakthrough Composable Cloud offerings and using them to help customers accelerate digital transformation. "This is getting customers to market faster, maximizing the time that people are spending writing applications," she said.

Dan Molina, chief technology officer at San Diego-based Nth Generation Computing, one of HPE's top enterprise partners and No. 354 on the 2018 CRN Solution Provider 500, said he expects the addition of mesh networking to SimpliVity to open the door for Nth Generation to at least double its SimpliVity sales in 2019.

"The addition of composability via the Plexxi mesh network is huge," said Molina. "HPE is leapfrogging its hyper-converged competitors with Plexxi."

HPE has a solid three- to four-year lead on competitors in the composable market with its latest composability infrastructure advances, said Molina. "HPE pretty much came up with a new market category with composable infrastructure," he said. "Now others are trying to catch up."

Nth Generation has been seeing increased sales momentum with Synergy, HPE's first composable offering, growing sales by 50 percent this year, said Molina.

HPE's hyper-converged business, which includes the Synergy composable system, is growing at a whopping 140 percent with a $1 billon run rate. Synergy, which is the foundation of a composable DevOps model for enterprises, has now been adopted by more than 2,200 customers.

"Synergy was already seen as a great fit for customers," said Molina. "The addition of the HPE Composable Cloud for ProLiant and SimpliVity makes composability more attractive to more of our small to midsize and even more enterprise customers."

The HPE ProLiant DL servers lower the price-performance barrier for customers to take advantage of the game-changing benefits of composability, said Molina. "This is going to allow us to reach out to substantially more customers with composability," he said.

In 2019, Molina expects as much as 20 percent of Nth Generation's sales to come from HPE composable infrastructure offerings.

One reason for the HPE composability momentum is because customers are increasingly looking at how to accelerate digital transformation with a DevOps rapid development model, and HPE has a big technology lead over other infrastructure competitors, said Molina.

"This is much bigger than converged infrastructure," he said. "This is about helping customers go to market substantially faster, which gives those customers a competitive advantage over other companies in an era when things move very fast. If you don't go to market fast enough, you can lose significant business or even go out of business."