HPE Steps Up Innovation Offensive: 10 Hot New Product/Sales Plays From Discover 2016

What HPE Partners Need To Know

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is using its Discover conference in Las Vegas this week to showcase a slew of innovative new products and sales plays as the competition heats up in the hybrid-cloud computing software-defined data center era.

Among the offerings being unveiled at the show from the independent company -- which split off from HP Inc. last November -- are new Helion Cloud software and systems; a new version of its robust OneView converged infrastructure management platform; new 3Par StoreServ offerings that up the all-flash ante against rival EMC; and an all-out software container offensive that turns up the heat on VMware.

The stepped-up pace of innovation is on display just two weeks after HPE revealed that it was spinning off and merging its $20 billion enterprise services business with systems integrator CSC -- a move that sharpens HPE's focus on selling next-generation software-defined infrastructure through its tens of thousands of solution provider partners.

"It accelerates the partner strategy," HPE CEO Meg Whitman (pictured) told CRN. "I would say more, better, faster. To your point, we'll be even more focused on the channel. Obviously, we want to continue to grow the company based on the excellent technology that we have invested in over the last four years."

In the slides ahead, take a look at what's coming from HPE.

HPE Helion Cloud Suite -- Takes Aim At Cloud Orchestration And Automation

HPE's first-ever Helion Cloud Suite software offering provides a robust multivendor cloud orchestration, automation, monitoring and management platform for partners looking to capitalize on the explosive hybrid cloud opportunity.

The new suite -- which comes in Express, Premium and Ultimate editions -- is a "breakthrough" offering that "radically simplifies" private cloud orchestration, automation and management, said HPE Cloud General Manager Bill Hilf.

The new Cloud Suite eliminates a "big pain point" for HPE partners and customers who were demanding a "breakthrough for landing and delivering private clouds" on the wide array of HPE infrastructure, from blades to Proliant systems to the new Synergy Composable systems.

The Express offering is targeted at the "fastest path" to bringing "Step 1 infrastructure automation" to the huge installed base of virtualized HPE Proliant and blade systems, said Hilf. The Premium edition provides a full Helion OpenStack private cloud with Helion Stackato Platform-as-a-Service -- a complete application development platform with full DevOps capabilities, said Hilf.

Finally, the Ultimate CloudSuite edition provides full multi-cloud capabilities with cloud brokering software, application automation, predictive analytics and middleware automation.

The Helion Cloud Suite offerings will be available in the second half of 2016. Pricing was not yet available.

HPE Helion CloudSystem 10 -- A OneView 3.0 Multicloud Powerhouse

With OneView 3.0 integration, Helion CloudSystem 10 is now HPE's premier system to deploy private clouds with full multi-cloud deployment and provisioning capabilities.

"This is a huge release for us," says HPE's Hilf (pictured). "This is the best way a customer can get a private cloud. It provides maximum choice for multi-cloud. There is a huge amount of flexibility in this offering. Competitors have a hard time competing with it because we provide the full software stack above it, including OneView."

The CloudSystem 10 product includes not only the latest version of OneView, but also the latest version of HPE's Helion OpenStack, Stackato 4.0 and new cloud provisioning functionality.

CloudSystem 9.0 simply did not have the breadth and depth of the multi-cloud capabilities of CloudSystem 10.0, said Hilf.

"At the app level, there is support for multiple languages [in CloudSystem 10.0], almost every language you can think of, along with choice of hardware -- Proliant, Composable, blades or converged from HPE," said Hilf. "That fits the huge majority of the enterprise IT needs. It gives partners a huge palette to paint with."

HPE CloudSystem 10 is scheduled to be available in the second half of 2016. Pricing is not yet available.

HPE Cloudline 3100 Server -- A Step Up For Service Providers

HPE's new Cloudline 3100 Server is aimed at driving new economics in the intensely competitive service provider market.

"This is our best economics for the hyperscale players with a new high-density storage offering," said HPE's Hilf.

HPE said the CL3100 provides new high-density storage capabilities for Hadoop big data workloads. The 1U server is 75 percent smaller than the CL5200 storage server.

The new Cloudline 3100 will be available in the second half of 2016. Pricing is not yet available.

HPE OneView 3.0 -- The Foundation Of HPE's Software-Defined Intelligence Offensive

HPE's new OneView 3.0 platform is at the center of the company's software-defined intelligent infrastructure offensive.

HPE OneView 3.0, in fact, provides the firepower for HPE's Synergy Composable infrastructure offering, which is aimed at leapfrogging current converged offerings with a platform that bridges traditional and native cloud applications.

"The ability to migrate from Virtual Connect to the new OneView four times faster and non-disruptively will surely entice more HPE BladeSystem customers to take a much more serious look at OneView," said Dan Molina, chief technology officer of San Diego-based Nth Generation Computing, one of HPE's top enterprise partners.

"We are leading many conversations with OneView because it is so powerful," Molina said. "OneView gives customers simplicity, and in today's IT world, simplicity is no longer a luxury, it is a must-have. If you don't have simplicity, you lose speed, agility and competitive advantage."

HPE's Hilf, for his part, said OneView is critical to the Helion Cloud Suite offering. "The 3.0 release is really important to us because it allows us to do things with physical infrastructure that are almost magical from the software layer," he said.

HP Stackato 4.0 -- A Multi-Cloud Application Development Platform

HP Stackato 4.0 is HPE's biggest bet yet to deliver a full multivendor cloud application development platform for its Helion hybrid cloud offering.

Stackato first and foremost opens the door for partners to bring the huge installed base of existing applications to the cloud, said Hilf.

"Stackato supports both traditional and new applications, and brings them together in a cloud-native way, so partners can sit down with customers with an installed base of traditional IT and lead them through the cloud transformation," said Hilf.

Stackato, for example, will allow an enterprise bank customer Hilf recently met with to support a long-standing Sybase database application as it builds out its cloud strategy. "They want to build cloud-native apps that work with Sybase," he said. "That is their most important application."

Stackato 4.0, which offers centralized application monitoring and management, will be available in the second half of 2016. Pricing was not yet available.

HPE 3Par StoreServe -- Stepping Up The All-Flash Attack On EMC

HPE is stepping up its all-flash attack on rival EMC with a new 7.68-TB offering and a 15.36-TB 3D NAND solid-state drive -- supporting up to 24 petabytes of SSD capacity.

HPE is claiming the new functionality delivers seven times better density than EMC's all-flash systems.

EMC's ExtremeIO all-flash offering is stuck at 1.6 TB and is simply unable to keep up with 3Par, asserted Vish Mulchand, senior director of product management and marketing for HPE storage. "ExtremeIO has not had a hardware refresh in three years," he said. "What does that mean for ExtremeIO? Customers are asking that question. ExtremeIO was noticeably absent at EMC World."

The 7.68-TB offering will be available in mid-June starting at $20,000. The 15.36-TB offering will be available later in the summer; pricing was not yet available.

HPE is five years into its all-flash-storage modernization offensive, while Dell EMC is at the starting gate, said Brad Parks, director of GTM (Go To Market) and Enablement for HPE Storage. "They are Day 1 into that rationalization and modernization journey as Dell EMC," he said.

HPE's 3Par Oracle Advantage -- Recovery Manager Central (RMC) Support

HPE's new 3Par Recovery Manager Central (RMC) update now includes application snapshot support for Oracle databases -- a significant new market opportunity for partners.

The Recovery Manager Central support for Oracle provides a whopping 23 times faster performance than traditional backup, said Parks.

"The Oracle support is huge, when you think of what companies are moving to flash," said Parks. "Databases are one of the critical workloads that need better performance. This gives Oracle admins control over their database protection. It gives them 23x cycles back."

SAP HANA Support For 3Par RMC With Accenture

HPE is offering a scripted service with Accenture that brings SAP HANA support to 3Par Recovery Manager Central (RMC).

Although Accenture is the first to offer the scripting capability, other HPE partners also have the ability to provide scripting capabilities with RMC, said HPE officials.

The scripted support for SAP HANA and RMC support for Oracle databases provide partners expanded opportunity to protect mission-critical applications in an all-flash data center, said Mulchand.

Furthermore, RMC provides the capability to leverage APIs to support custom applications for clients, said Mulchand.

"We are rapidly building an ecosystem of applications you can natively back up from flash to secondary storage," said Parks.

Lookout VMware -- A Docker Container Plug-In For 3Par StoreServ

HPE is offering for the first time a Docker-Ready native Docker Volume Plug-In for the 3Par StoreServ product.

The new plug-in provides persistent storage functionality for flash-optimized StoreServ arrays as the underlying storage for virtualized or bare-metal containers.

Mulchand said the Docker plug-in moves software containers into full mission-critical production environments.

The plug-in takes direct aim at high-priced VMware software licenses and offers improved cloud scalability. "Now you can have multiple applications share one OS image, move them around, scale them quickly and really save on cost," he said. The Docker plug-in is a powerful example of HPE innovating, said Mulchand, with Dell-EMC-VMware grappling with product and portfolio integration in the midst of the biggest merger in technology history.

"We are doubling down and innovating as opposed to spending time rationalizing platforms and servicing debt," said Mulchand.

An All Out Software Container Product Offensive

As HPE moves to compete against the combined Dell-EMC-VMware, the company is offering more software container support in the form of an alliance with Docker Inc.

HPE has already been using Docker software containers in its multivendor cloud-native Helion Stackato PaaS and on its Synergy Composable systems, but now is extending that support for Docker into other HPE offerings.

HPE's Helion cloud offering already supports Docker on multiple fronts including in the Helion Cloud Suite Premium and Ultimate editions with Stackato. The Docker support provides the capability for apps built on Stackato to run on Amazon Web Services or Azure. "It's a great value proposition: Bbuild an app once and run it on any cloud," says Hilf.

Whitman has told CRN that with the advent of containers, VMware becomes "almost irrelevant."

"As containers grow in importance, I think the VMware asset will not be as strategic an asset, and it may actually shrink over time," said Whitman.