HPE extends hybrid cloud composable strategy with HPE Composable Cloud

The big announcement is that the composable capabilities of HPE Synergy has now been extended to rack server environments, but there are several other related goodies, including the expansion of the InfoSight predictive analytics from HPE Nimble beyond storage to all of the infrastructure.

Ric Lewis, SVP and GM of HPE’s Software Defined and Cloud Business Unit

MADRID – Today, at HPE Discover in Madrid, HPE made several key extensions to their composable cloud strategy which expand their open hybrid cloud capabilities. They announced the HPE Composable Cloud for ProLiant DL Servers and for HPE Synergy. Other related announcements included enhancements to HPE OneSphere, as well as the forthcoming availability of Composable Fabric on HPE SimpliVity. Canadian customers will have to wait a little longer than their U.S. counterparts to see any of it, however.

“Three years ago, we announced composable computing as a bold vision,” said Ric Lewis, SVP and GM of HPE’s Software Defined and Cloud Business Unit. “Two years ago, we announced our Synergy system, the industry’s first composable system. Last year, we announced OneSphere at this event, for public cloud as well as the private cloud. Now we are once again extending that composable strategy. We set out this vision in the beginning, and we are right on track. It has grown because our customers have said ‘I want more! I want more!”

Customers are demanding these kinds of initiatives because their first wave of digital transformation has been less than wholly successful, and they are increasingly demanding a multi-cloud approach. That’s HPE’s view, but it’s also shared by IDC, said Thomas Meyer, Group VP, IDC, European Research.

“Organizations have been spending but the results have been questionable,” Meyer said. “76 per cent of organizations on the digital transformation path are stuck, and will likely see a reset. A lot don’t see the payback. There is a whole host of reasons for this. They are trying to manage enterprise IT, change parts of the back end stuff, while investing a lot in customer experience, and they need to integrate all this at some point. They are also facing a skills shortage, as talent and skills are the top two obstacles they face, with legacy equipment being third.”

Meyer said that customers are increasingly looking to hybrid cloud and multi-cloud as the answers.

“They are looking at cloud as a base – but not one cloud,” he said. “It’s a best-fit cloud approach, multi-cloud. The companies most successful in digital transformation are those with a hybrid cloud strategy. 93 per cent on that path say this works for them. Companies rewriting their platform strategy will look at those successful ones and see a one-size cloud isn’t the answer, and will drive forward on those parameters.”

“Customers are stuck and challenged, and we make it easier with these announcements that build our hybrid cloud capabilities,” Lewis said.

“Synergy’s success has blown us away,” he stated. “We are now at 2200 customers, and it is a billion-dollar run-rate business. Our customers asked us to bring the composable architecture to rack servers as well. To do that, we needed a set of software components to make that happen.”

What Lewis termed the biggest part of the announcement, the HPE Composable Cloud, achieves that, and allows the HPE Composable Fabric to be extended beyond the Synergy modular architecture and across the data centre.

“It is the industry’s first hybrid cloud based on composability, and is an extension of our hybrid cloud strategy based on HPE Synergy,” he stated. To go beyond Synergy, they needed the ability to scale dramatically, and the acquisition of Plexxi earlier this year made that possible.

“That was the key missing link to allow this on rack servers,” Lewis said.

This scalability allows the HPE Composable Cloud to go beyond the limitations of traditional Leaf and Spine networking.

“The old way requires a ton of bandwidth, so customers don’t fully implement it, and they would cut costs by plugging everything into one rack, which isn’t very composable,” Lewis said. “Our fabric is a software-defined mesh where nodes know who is communicating.  Bandwidth is pooled and dynamic and network automation is simple and automated. This allows you to distribute compute, storage and fabric in a way which drastically reduces overprovisioning.”

Whether the customer chooses the ProLiant server rack or Synergy as their building block will come down to customer preference.

“Customers for Synergy want a high degree of infrastructure automation with modular architecture, while ones who have standardized on rack servers are more likely to choose ProLiant,” Lewis indicated.

The announcement was more than bringing composable assets to rack servers, Lewis added, pointing out that HPE was also announcing several things around it. This includes further workflow automation in HPE OneView, through a single API system that links the entire ecosystem.

“This is the engine of composability, the IP that allows composability across the infrastructure,” Lewis said. “The open API now supports all software stacks and tools as we have made it even more broad.”

HPE InfoSight, the analytics engine that has been part of Nimble’s storage technology, and which HPE has extended throughout other elements of their storage portfolio, has now been extended beyond storage.

“InfoSight now provides AI throughout the whole infrastructure,  not just storage, allowing the predicting and prevention of problems before they occur,” Lewis stressed. It does this through OneView’s single API, so requires no additional management.

In addition, the HPE OneSphere hybrid cloud management solution for the as-a-service model had been updated.

“We have continued to build OneSphere out, with automated compliance checking, Containers-as-a-Service, Bare Metal-as-a-Service and  enhanced cost analytics,” Lewis said. “We’ve automated the 1500 or so checks that had to be done.”

Finally, HPE SimpliVity, the company’s hyperconverged offering will be available later in the year in the composable cloud environment, However, for those who can’t wait, Simplicity with Composable Fabric is available now.

For American customers, the good news is that most of this will be available there first. HPE Composable Cloud for ProLiant DL rack servers will initially become available in the U.S., the U.K., Ireland, France, Germany, and Australia starting in Q1 2019. Canada. HPE SimpliVity with Composable Fabric will be available December 2018 in these same geos. Canada did not make the first cut, but availability is slated for relatively soon afterwards. Likewise, HPE OneSphere is currently available in the U.S., U.K., and Ireland, with additional geos slated for 2019.