Another year, another HPE Discover and 2019 saw plenty of activity from this evolving vendor. There were product launches, updates and further sustainable advancements, all of which we'll try and cover in this blog.
To start with, it was clear to see that the HPE vision is becoming reality. They've backed themselves over the past few years with some bold statements and these are now coming to fruition in all the right ways. They were the first to claim that the world would become 'hybrid' and in every way this is now becoming a reality with customers ever moving towards an on-premises and cloud model for their IT infrastructure.
This year was also filled with some bold ambitions and none more so than that HPE would deliver 'everything-as-a-service' by 2022. What does this mean for the market? Well in essence, the opportunity to procure HPE technology and pay for it on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. Gone are the days of having to simply stump up a large sum of cash and spend it in one go. This is a further development to their strategy around Greenlake which allows you to consume on a 'pay-as-you-go' model, truly allowing you, the customer, to purchase the 'right' amount of technology rather than having to wildly over-provision for swings in your estate and utilisation.
Greenlake also saw some additions, with their 'mid-market' and 'Aruba' propositions coming to market soon. This means that Greenlake is not just for the high end enterprise customers, we should see it come right down into the heartland of UK business and allow everyone to adopt this new approach to consuming and paying for technology. Expect to see more developments from HPE over the next 6-12months as Greenlake develops and the initial bumps are ironed out to make for what could potentially be an exciting new way to utilise IT.
HPE Primera, Nimble and Aruba
The big news of the event was the launch of HPE Primera, their new high-end data storage platform. Offering 100% guaranteed availability, simplicity in setup and the agility of cloud on premises this stands to disrupt a market that needed a revamp. This isn't there to replace 3PAR, it has been designed from the ground up taking into account all the advancements HPE have seen across their existing storage portfolio. One on those advancements is Infosight which has been adopted by HPE across their technology stack since the acquisition of Nimble. Infosight allows for true insight into what is happening in your architecture, ultimately predicting and solving problems before they arise. It already automatically resolves 86% of problems on Nimble before a support ticket is even raised; the same is to be expected of its utilisation in Primera. The ambition is to offer a consumer grade experience for your mission critical storage and from first glance, it looks like it will deliver exactly that. HPE Primera is due to be available in August coming in three different models: HPE Primera 630, HPE Primera 650 and HPE Primera 670.
Falling under the shadow of Primera somewhat we did also have HPE launch their new Nimble Storage dHCI (disaggregated hyper-converged infrastructure) platform. This is set to be another interesting development for HPE and adds to their HCI portfolio. This new product is set to provide the flexibility of composable whilst bringing the benefits of Hyper-Converged. So what is it? HPE Nimble Storage dHCI is a software stack that provides the benefits of HCI, including single pane of glass management for compute and storage through a vCenter plug-in. This isn't a dedicated appliance like SimpliVity, instead it runs on a combination of both HPE Proliant servers and Nimble Storage, the software providing a virtual shrink wrap to the two. Offering the flexible experience of Composable infrastructure you are able to scale both your compute and storage independently allowing you to deliver exactly what your workloads need. Infosight once again features heavily and is integrated from day one, allowing for all the benefits you'd expect on a traditional Nimble array. This one is exciting and certainly something we see taking off in the near future. Expect this to start shipping in August and then fully available later in the year when manufacturing has caught up with the initial demand.
It was very interesting to see how closely integrated Aruba were with the wider HPE business this year. Too often has it felt that they are a separate company but this was fixed to a large degree this time around. Following Antonio, Keerti (CEO Aruba) was first on stage, detailing how important the edge is to the whole IT conversation. Aruba also had an interesting product launch of their own this year - Instant On. Aimed at the SMB market and for customers that have sub-100 users, this is a technology offering enterprise grade wireless technology to smaller businesses. Aruba had a go at trying to crack this opportunity with their OC20 range, however the new Instant On platform looks and feels like a might more substantial attempt and one we're very enthused by. The price point, simplicity of setup and capability of the range have all been redefined and this will certainly have a positive impact on those customers demanding a better user experience in their smaller businesses.
HPE introduced the concept of the circular economy last year and this is something they've grasped with both hands and want to be the leading force for. Their intentions are commendable and in the grand scheme of things it's surprising to think that no one has really publicised themselves as having done anything in this space before. HPE are going one step further than many and want to recycle and reuse as much of your technology as possible; they are going to support you in getting those assets you retire into a state whereby they can either be utilised again by someone else or recycled sustainably. Last year saw 4 million assets returned to HPEFS; of those, 89% were refurbished and remarketed back into the circular economy; 97% of the remaining was broken down into the raw asset and recycled with just 0.3% discarded.
We couldn't agree more that sustainability needs to be at the forefront of decision making and it's great to be able to work alongside a partner like HPE to deliver this to our customers.
Our verdict, HPE Discover 2019 was another step in the journey of HPE rediscovering themselves as a smaller, more efficient and should we say it nimble organisation. They're thinking about every action they take and want to support each customer in their journey around the IT landscape, whether that is on-premises, in the cloud, OPEX or CAPEX; ultimately HPE are trying to provide a solution for one and all.