Alan Hyde, vice-president and general manager of the Enterprise Group of HPE South Pacific, and Tony Smith, general manager of its server and converged systems, held a media briefing to cover the highlights announced at the recent Discover 2016 conference. Read on - it is a very different HPE.
There are a few pertinent facts before I cover the releases. First, HPE was the result of a demerger on 1 November 2015 — a scant seven months ago — of HP into HP Inc. (printers, notebooks, workstations – hardware) and HPE as the enterprise services division (servers, networking, professional services, cloud).
Second, in May 2016 it announced the sale of its enterprise services division to competitor Computer Sciences Corporation – a deal expected to be complete by March 2017 that affects approximately 100,000 HPE employees. If ever a company has had to move fast and focus on its strategy for the future, it is HPE.
The preamble simply shows that HPE has been disrupted more than its clients this past year, but it has focused on its business and has a clear strategy.
Customers, more than ever, have to bridge two worlds. First, it’s the issues behind cloud adoption — be that public, private or hybrid — versus traditional on-premise systems and software. Then it is about agility, disruption, Ops driven IT, DevOps, process automation, OPEX, and new Internet-enabled mobile experiences. Simply put, complex, hard to maintain, legacy systems will not cut it in the new paradigm.
Hyde said that this disruption — yes, a buzzword — had seen about 40% of enterprises adopt cloud of some form, but HPE sees the future as a scalable hybrid system that uses a seamless mix of on-premise, public, and private clouds all controlled as if they were the one infrastructure. “There is a risk of making it a more complex environment that it needs to be – we aim to address that with a simplified, unified architecture,” he said.
Hyde took us through the three steps of transformation to the Cloud to provide the foundations for 100% of the apps and workloads.
All-Flash Data Centre
Paul Shaw, HPE's general manager of storage, has been vocal in the promotion and defence of Flash in the data centre. He has penned two recent articles for iTWire that make good background reading.
Essentially he believes that Flash has come of age offering performance, affordability, and enterprise-grade resilience – better than spinning disks in many ways.
HPE’s 3PAR Flash products take considerably less rack space (up to 286TB/U), use lots less power, run cooler and are now Docker-ready as well as Open Stack compliant. They support Oracle, SAP HANA, Hadoop, 3PARFile Persona with File Lock as well as NTFS.
Composable data fabric
To the layman this means the entire physical compute, storage and network fabric resources are treated as services and called by using APIs. iTWire has an article on it here.
It is all about “software-defined” everything (networking, storage, you name it) – removing control from embedded hardware (hardware abstraction) to a software level. It means that the entire system can overcome physical boundaries and deliver "fluid IT".
HPE have introduced (as an evolving part of the solution) OneVew 3.0. It is a single pane of glass approach to infrastructure automation with software intelligence. It streamlines provisioning and lifecycle management across compute, storage and fabric and enables IT staff can control resources programmatically through a unified API.
HPE has a strategic alliance with Docker that covers HPE being able to sell Docker, deliver fully configured systems and support it end-to-end. iTWire has an announcement article here. It seems Container computing is the next black.
Internet of Things
HPE is taking IoT seriously releasing its new Edgeline IoT devices. Edgeline is designed to take IoT computing to the edge – not in the cloud. They are placed next to the sensor – in a truck, on a machine, etc. They have the power and smarts to handle the huge amounts of data IoT can generate and to do data aggregation, pre-processing, closed loop analytics, apply machine learning and deep analysis on the spot.
The advantage of this is that mission critical IoT devices are not reliant on the cloud to do their job and the use of valuable data bandwidth and cloud storage is reduced.
Hats off to HPE for working so quickly to get its strategy clear and its product range started under what must have been testing times.
The overarching message I got was that HPE is now a pure-play infrastructure provider – it is not shackled by professional services or distracted from its core purpose. By divesting services to CSC, it is now able to work with a huge range of solution providers and provide the platform on which they can build.