During the week of June 17th, HPE held its annual conference “HEP Discover”, in Las Vegas. The estimated 5,000 attendees included customers, partners along with press and analysts including Evaluator Group, who attended keynotes, sessions, hands on labs and a variety of sessions. The overarching theme was “Everything as a Service”, which implies that every product will be delivered via cloud like consumption as a service. The vast majority of products announced are included in their service offerings, with the entire HPE portfolio intended to be available as a service within the next two years.
CEO Antonio Neri stated the cloud is not a destination it is an experience, a consumption model requiring changes in people, processes and technology. Beyond the high-level “as a service” message, there were several areas of focus and themes, which can be categorized as “Edge/IoT”, “Cloud” and “Data” as key areas of focus.
The “GreenLake” brand is used by HPE to refer to their service offerings, which enables customers to purchase services based upon use and/or consumption. Services utilize platforms and software to deliver offerings such as database, backup, VDI or other services, all paid for based upon consumption as a service. For companies without datacenters, HPE and partners can resell Co-Lo facilities through partners Equinix and Cyrus One.
Newly announced is HPE’s extension of GreenLake to partners with a focus on the mid-market, thereby enabling reseller partners to offer HPE services to a much larger set of buyers than their initial focus on large enterprises. Offerings will focus on flexible building blocks, rather than custom offerings. GreenLake was 5% of revenue in 2018, expect it to surpass 25% in 2019. HPE’s focus on GreenLake is due to 99% renewal by customers.
HPE’s acquisition of Aruba was a large investment and appears to be a new key area of focus, both for its IoT capabilities, as well as the general IT implications for wired and wireless networking, including new and emerging networking such as Zigbee, WiFi6 and 5G mobile connectivity.
HPE stated that “Security must extend from the edge to core,” meaning that security must include traditional IT, as well as all networks and new edge devices, regardless of their location. A focus was on IoT and operational technology (e.g. OT part of IoT) via their Aruba product portfolio. Additions to HPE products include a HPE proprietary silicon root of trust which is being built into all of their products, which is the basis for security via a “Zero Trust model” that trusts nothing that isn’t authenticated. The firmware has fingerprints and certificates, and is accessed whenever system powers on, boots or other privileged system access.
One of the most significant product announcements at HPE Discover was HPE’s new Primera storage platform, which is based upon HPE 3Par technology along with aspects for ease of use and management derived from Nimble, including InfoSight for predictive analytics. The platform which is derived from 3Par, is designed to accommodate NVMe storage media and includes either 2 or 4 active/active controllers in a 2U or 4U chassis which houses storage media, controllers and a backplane for inter-node connectivity. Also, HPE is offering a 100% availability guarantee with some restrictions, with credit of up to 20% of the system if there is an outage.
Another significant announcement was HPE’s new dis-aggregated HCI system, known as “dHCI”, which is comprised of Nimble storage together with HPE ProLiant servers. This system is designed in part to leverage the large install base of servers by allowing newer generation ProLiant systems to connect to new Nimble systems designed for dHCI, as well as new bundled offerings that package ProLiant and Nimble.
For Simplivity, HPE announced InfoSight support for the platform, along with a new low end model, the 325 using an AMD processor. This model is targeted at remote offices.
A variety of other announcements around networking, edge computing, IoT and security were made as well. It is clear that HPE intends to capitalize on their large investment of Aruba by continuing the brand name, as well as extending products carrying the logo into the mid-market and further into edge and IoT.
HPE discussed “Memory Centric Computing” extensively but provided few details of existing products or technologies. Many examples referenced research projects, or custom large-scale systems based upon HyperDome Flex, with custom memory nodes and photonic connectivity between processor and memory enclosures.
More immediately, HPE will be shipping Optane DIMMs in HPE ProLiant servers this summer, with configuration and orders available now. Another technology likely to come to fruition in the near future is Gen-Z, which was shown at rack scale distances of several meters, providing segmented and shared memory computing options. Although no dates for future products could be provided, it was suggested that within the next few years, products utilizing this new standard would be available from HPE.
HPE had many new products to discuss at this year’s HPE Discover along with a clear focus on delivering “Everything as a Service” consumption options to customers via GreenLake brand to enterprise and mid-market IT organizations. HPE’s vision of cloud is different than many of their competitors, believing that “Cloud” means consumption of IT as a service based upon use, rather than traditional purchase of assets. It does not appear that HPE is attempting to enable their products to run inside the major cloud providers such as AWS, Azure or Google. Instead, HPE intends to provide management software (such as HPE OneSphere) that centralizes all cloud usage and reports on consumption, including private clouds on premise or in CoLo facilities or public clouds.
For those wanting more details on the product announcements, coverage of Primera, dHCI and Simplivity will be available to our premium subscribers in our Comparison Matrices and Product reviews.