ESG's Mark Peters, Scott Sinclair, and Bob Laliberte discusses their impressions from HPE Discover 2019, held in Last Vegas.
Read the related ESG Blog(s): HPE Discover 2019: Innovation Is Back by Scott Sinclair, HPE Rediscovers Itself at Discover 2019 by Mark Peters and HPE Goes 'All In' on 'as a Service' at Discover 2019 by Bob Laliberte
Announcer: The following is an ESG on Location video.
Mark: Welcome to HPE Discover here in Las Vegas. Now, it's a little intriguing that the first thing you see as you come into the expo hall is this Star Wars exhibit behind me, and maybe HPE is doing something, starting its own rebellion. Over my other shoulder, we have the edge to cloud mantra, which is really what this event is all about. We have a lot going on on the intelligent edge. We have a lot going on in storage, which both of those things being front and center really makes a change. Clearly, we've heard about GreenLake, the consumption model, before. That's really important. And perhaps that leads us to the single most important claim that came out of this year's event, is that within three years everything from HP will be available as a service. So those are the main themes, and behind all that, stacks of announcements all over the place. So with that, let me hand it to my colleagues, Scott Sinclair and then to Bob Laliberte to give you a little insight on those announcements.
Scott: HPE packed quite a bit into this year's Discover. I think there is enough messages in here for at least two or three year's worth of events. Where to begin? All right. Well, let's start at the top. At high-end mission critical storage, HPE is introducing Primera, which has all the bells and whistles you might expect in a mission critical Tier 0 or Tier 1 storage, all NVMe inside, everything. But the real kicker is HPE is adding a 100% availability guarantee. There's no 5 9s, no 6 9s, no 20 9s anymore. HPE is saying you get 100% availability and, not only that, HPE is actually putting their own money on the line. So it's only up to 20% of the value of the box, but HPE is saying, "We're putting our skin in the game with you. If this thing goes down, we have our own money invested in it." To me, that's huge. It'll be really interesting to see how does this send ripple effects throughout the rest of the storage market. How does everyone else respond? That's just the beginning, though. We see innovations around HCI. HPE is adding InfoSight to SimpliVity. They've also introduced dHCI, or disaggregated HCI, which essentially is Nimble combined with new ProLiant or existing ProLiant servers that have all the ease of use and automation that people have known and come to love with HCI all baked in, so essentially creating an automated midrange storage tier. Then, from a hybrid cloud level, because you can't forget cloud, HPE is delivering what they call the true hybrid cloud. Through a partnership with Google Anthos, where Google Anthos provides the orchestration layer for a container based multi-cloud environment, but Nimble technology provides the underlying storage layer. Leveraging HPE's cloud volumes, not only do you have cloud storage as part of your hybrid cloud infrastructure but, also, you don't have egress fees. It's all combined into one true hybrid cloud solution.
Bob: So Last year, at HPE Discover, Antonio Neri discussed the fact that they were going to be investing $4 billion into intelligent edge. This year, it was great to see some of that fruit of that investment paying off. Specifically, around that intelligent edge we saw some real enhancements to Aruba and Aruba Central, where they were adding things like SaaS prioritization for organizations connecting up to SaaS clouds, the SD-WAN Orchestration engine. And a big piece of the Aruba Central, its cloud-based platform, is that it's going to integrate the wired, wireless, and WAN. In addition to that, for security reasons around IoT at the edge, they've integrated ClearPass device manager, and they've also added some AI and ML technologies in their NetInsight and the User Experience Insight as well. They also announced their Edgeline products with the IoT Connect, really trying to strengthen their position in helping organizations deploy those IoT in specifically OT environments where they need to have robust connectivity but also be able to translate all those unique IoT protocols themselves. They've also announced they're building now IoT Centers of Excellence where organizations can come in and fully test out solutions. We saw announcements around their partners like ADD, Microsoft, even Siemens from an Aruba perspective, and also PTC. From a networking perspective, the other news that we witnessed was Aruba announcing that they would be having a new AP line called the Instant On, which is going to be directed at the SMB area, enabling Aruba to expand their current focus of the enterprise downstream. Antonio, in his keynote, also talked about the need to focus on technology, people, and economics. While I'll leave the people and technology pieces to my colleagues, from an economics perspective, it was really interesting to see the focus on what they refer to as the circular economy, and that's really HPE's ability to take in products, older products, their existing products, and be able to upcycle those, sell them on in the secondary market, recycle the parts that they can't. So completely minimize waste and help organizations have an IT sustainability program while, at the same time, being able to return money back to an IT budget to accelerate innovation and to help accelerate digital transformation.
Mark: I think, as ever, it's fair to say that HPE suffers from the opportunity and challenge that all big systems company do, which is that not all its business units and certainly not all customers are moving at the same pace. So for example, in one presentation, we see moving from the flash era, to the cloud era, and now to the intelligence era, which sounds great for that business unit, but it also suggests that the cloud era is passé, and yet we hear that in three years HPE will be all about everything being as a service, in other words, cloud-like. And yet, at the end of the general session, we talk about being cloudless. But when we pull it all together, I think it actually makes sense because this company has its swagger back. It has innovation back. Now, how that came about doesn't really matter. If it's because of the acquisitions, if it's because of the reorganizations, if it's finally bearing the fruit of what it's gone through in the last couple of years, it is important to realize what HPE is really talking about is redesigning how IT gets done. That's really big. That's really important, and so what I discovered at Discover is that I think this is the year that HPE rediscovered itself.