This year’s Discover event was the first time the 20-year HPE employee and engineer, Antonio Neri took the stage as President and CEO. Antonio was engaging and humble – a very approachable CEO, he seemed to be acutely aware of the HP legacy, but is determined to drive HPE forward.
I take this as a good sign. HPE, it appears, is returning to its engineering roots and will be focused on innovation. A great example of this is the $4 billion-dollar R&D investment for the Intelligent Edge that Antonio committed HPE to over the next four years. Plus, based on the conversations I had last week with many different people at many different levels, this change of leadership seems to be highly motivating for the 60,000 or so HPE employees, as there seems to be a universal spark, perhaps a sense of urgency to innovate and deliver valuable solutions to their customers.
HPE focused on three main themes: Edge Centric, Cloud Enabled, and Data Driven.
Starting with Edge Centric, we already mentioned the investment in the Intelligent Edge, but beyond that, HPE also announced new solutions to help support the effort, including the software-defined (SD) branch. This solution comes from Aruba and combined unified cloud management and policies across the wired and wireless LAN as well as the WAN. By adding SD-WAN capabilities, delivered via SD-WAN gateways, HPE can now provide end-to-end policies and management from the edge to the DC or cloud. In addition, HPE announces a new compact and ruggedized compute platform called Edgeline Converged Edge System, enabling organizations to bring enterprise applications (SQL, SAP HANA, Citrix XenApp/Desktop, and others) to the edge. This will be important for organizations looking to perform real-time analytics at the edge or for remote and difficult locations, like oil rigs, communications towers, etc., to deploy compute infrastructure.
Next is Cloud Enabled and HPE wasted no time in announcing two new services that will be delivered via Pointnext. Those offerings include GreenLake Flex Capacity for partners, and GreenLake Hybrid Cloud. The first, Flex Capacity, is a program for channel partners that provides a pay-per-use model for on-premises solutions. These deployments are powered by HPE infrastructure and leverage Cloud Cruiser technology to base payments on virtually any metric you would like to track--per VM, per core, etc., ...you get the point. HPE will leverage OneView to manage these HPE environments. The GreenLake Hybrid Cloud service takes advantage of two relatively new acquisitions, Cloud Technology Partners (CTP) and Red Pixie, to create hybrid cloud (on- and off-premises) environments with AWS and Azure leveraging each company’s respective strengths. This offering is powered by OneSphere and can be deployed on HPE only or competitive solutions and has been designed to help manage and optimize complex hybrid cloud environments. HPE expects other public cloud choices to be rolled out over time.
Lastly is HPE’s focus on Data Driven. There has been a lot of discussion recently about data being the new currency and its importance to organizations that can leverage it effectively. Namely that collecting and analyzing this data will yield significant benefits for customer experience and competitive advantages. While HPE’s Intelligent Storage leverages machine learning to power its InfoSight solution, the big announcement at Discover for data driven solutions was around Memory-Driven Computing (MDC). These are solutions aimed at solving big data problems by bringing the compute to the data, instead of the data to the compute. HPE will offer organizations a chance to leverage MDC via a Sandbox that will house a development environment to experiment with MDC. This will be powered by an HPE Superdome Flex utilizing software-defined scalable memory.
My colleague Mark Peters commented that Bill and Dave must be smiling from above seeing an engineer running HPE again. That is probably true, especially if HPE can drive real innovation to the market, like we are seeing with the Memory Driven Computing and SD-Branch initiatives. As the pendulum swings away from consolidated to distributed, HPE is positioning itself to take advantage of the shift to the edge, cloud, and data-intensive workloads. Discover, and the announcements, were all a good start in the right direction and so I look forward to tracking their adoption and progress over the rest of this year and next.
Watch the video below and read this HPE Discover 2018 blog by my colleague Mark Peters for more insight.