HPE CEO Neri announces doubling down on Intelligent Edge with $4 billion R&D commitment

The new HPE CEO used his introductory keynote as HPE’s top exec to articulate a vision of the future where HPE will deliver next-generation technologies to customers today – a process which has already begun and where product is available today.

LAS VEGAS — New HPE CEO Antonio Neri has been a familiar face at HPE Discover events over the past several years. This was his first appearance at HPE’s flagship customer event in the big chair, however. And he used his critical first keynote to HPE customers to state his case why he believes HPE is the strategic partner customers should choose, in a world where they have significant choices. Core to that messaging was HPE’s commitment to what they are terming the Intelligent Edge, with the splash announcement being the commitment of $4 billion to Intelligent Edge technologies and services over the next four years.

“Digital transformation is happening everywhere, but particularly on the edge and in what I call the hyperconnected world,” Neri told his audience. “HPE is the best partner to help you take advantage of the significant changes.”

Neri stated that this objective in his talk was to impart HPE’s vision of the future.

“Our vision of the enterprise of the future is edge-centric, cloud-enabled and data-driven,” he said. “The edge is where you interact with your customers. It is anywhere where technology gets put into action. The edge is the next big opportunity for all of us. To show our commitment to this incredible future, we are investing four billion dollars in the intelligent edge over the next four years – in connectivity, edge computing, automation and AI. It will be an edge that’s intelligent and cloud-enabled. Digital transformation starts at the edge, and with this investment we are accelerating our ability to innovate even faster today.”

The commitment was advanced at a very high level, and exactly how this funding will relate to HPE’s many significant existing solutions that relate to edge computing was not detailed. In HPE’s vision of the future – and to be fair, the vision of many of their competitors as well – most computing will take place at the edge, a trend which the growing avalanche of Internet of Things devices will accelerate, but which it certainly did not start. Collecting and analyzing data at the edge, rather than backhauling it to the data centre or throwing it away, makes sense for reasons of both economics and efficiency. HPE’s central software initiatives, like their HPE OneView management platform, and their HPE InfoSight predictive analytics capability, that came with Nimble Storage but is being extended throughout HPE’s infrastructure portfolio, are all really edge solutions. So are critical new acquisitions like Plexxi, whose acquisition HPE announced last month. Plexxi has developed software-defined data fabric networking technology that HPE will use to bring a cloud-like experience to their hyperconverged and composable computing solutions.

HPE Aruba is also central to that strategy, and to that end, Neri also announced that software-defined WAN capabilities have been added to the Aruba branch solution.

“This is a critical step to accelerate time to value,” Neri said. “It lets you plan for a new branch in one night and provision services immediately from the cloud. This kind of product is just the tip of the spear for the emerging Intelligent Edge. We are making these big bets on the Intelligent Edge with Aruba and other investments, and are not slowing down.”

Neri also highlighted the newly announced HPE GreenLake Hybrid Cloud, a new service from HPE Pointnext which will start out purely direct, but which will be rolled out to the channel to sell once HPE has worked any kinks out of the system.

“The GreenLake Hybrid Cloud is a new consumption experience designed to manage your own and off-premises clouds, including AWS, Azure and Google,” he stated. “This is how we make hybrid IT simple – lower prices for consumer, fewer bills and a more personalized experience. I believe that HPE is uniquely positioned to make your hybrid cloud dreams a reality, thanks to our services experience with Pointnext.”

Neri also stressed HPE’s commitment to Memory-Driven Computing innovation, and its promise to dramatically accelerate the speed, accuracy and efficiency of localized computing at the edge.

“We have lapped the competition with the very best in high memory computing,” he said. “Memory-Driven Computing is a scalable, composable architecture which drives all our future road maps, along every product line in our business. Memory Driven Computing will be a game changer. You will be able to power your entire infrastructure with a single architecture. You will not need databases, or database licenses. And we will deliver this as a service, so u don’t have to manage it.”

Most of these Memory Driven Computing applications are still in development – but not all.

“You can get started with it today,” Neri told the audience. “We are launching a Memory Driven Computing sandbox for developers. We have systems already up and running with APIs your developers need in a Linux environment. It will run on our [HPC] Superdome Flex. You will be able to compose memory, as well as compute, storage and networking.

“Our view of the future has never been more clear,” Neri concluded.