This week saw the long-awaited confirmation of HPE's planned acquisition of SimpliVity. The addition of the most visionary hyper-converged technology (Gartner October 2016) to HPE's existing infrastructure offering gives customers a compelling proposition in one of the fastest growing areas of our industry.
SimpliVity is an established hyper-converged infrastructure manufacturer in what has quickly become a very competitive market. Their feature-rich data management capabilities, coupled with a unique approach to performance acceleration, are what we think makes SimpliVity exclusive.
These capabilities are driven by built-in backup and disaster recovery features that include automated failure recovery along with industry standard high availability. Acceleration is enabled by a dedicated PCI-e offload that, much like HPE's 3PAR technology, reduces the overhead of the latest generation storage processes we've come to expect (such as data efficiencies and automated policy defined availability).
We've seen an increasing tendency from our customers to prioritise simplicity and agility above all else. In addition, there are significant benefits to be gained from anything that supports a 'cloud-esque' resource consumption model including quick to provision, unlimited scale and predictable costs.
Hyper-converged architectures deliver on this by providing a pre-configured software defined (SdS) appliance that consolidates storage and server in a single node. This means less risk and complexity when it comes to configuration and simplicity derived from managing fewer components through a single pane, all while supporting a more transparent per-VM (virtual machine) cost model.
At Softcat we've observed a ten-fold increase in the number of hyper-convergence solutions being implemented in the past 18 months, so it's clear that many organisations (although by no means all) are eager to find alternatives to the challenges of traditional 'SAN' storage.
HPE estimate that the hyper-converged market will grow from $2bn today to $5bn by the close of 2020. That alone demonstrates why HPE is keen to make sure its customers are supported with a market leading technology.
This acquisition also fits in with HPE's aspiration to offer customers a best of breed technology across the range of infrastructure options. The proposition of HC 380 hardware integrated with SimpliVity IP is relevant to mid-market customers, offering a compelling proposition at a lower price point than 3PAR sometimes allows. Similarly, it's also appealing to larger customers who have use cases for differing types of infrastructure architecture. This portfolio is not limited to traditional and software-defined storage as it includes high performance compute (remember the acquisition of SGI?) and 'composable' infrastructure, with the recent launch of Synergy, designed to support a mixture of physical, virtual, and container workloads from a single resource pool.
With that in mind, we foresee the integration of OneView as critical to the success of this acquisition, allowing simplified and consolidated management of all aspects of infrastructure. Once completed, we consider this acquisition to form the last piece of the puzzle for HPE and its customers.
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