Carrier NFV Infrastructure NEWS

HPE Readies its Plunge into Hyperconvergence

By Tara Seals March 04, 2016

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is plotting its entry into the hyperconverged systems space, with a new product that should debut later this month. With the move, the company is taking square aim at market pioneer Nutanix.

Hyperconverged systems combine storage, compute and networking functions in a single product that's often sold as an appliance. It fits perfectly with virtualization projects within the data center.

Speaking on HPE's quarterly earnings call this week, CEO Meg Whitman explained the company’s plans.

"Later this month, we’ll announce a new, market-changing hyperconverged offering based on our Proliant virtualization server," Whitman said. "Our new solution will offer customers installation in minutes, a consumer-inspired, simple, mobile-ready user experience, and automated IT operations -- all at 20 percent lower cost than Nutanix."

Whitman said that the product was developed internally by HPE engineers “in record time,” in an effort to capitalize on the fast-growing space. IDC expects the hyperconverged market to grow by 60 percent per year through 2019, reaching nearly $4 billion in sales.

"The hyper-converged market is big," she said. "It is growing fast. It is also getting pretty crowded. You have seen a lot of announcements over the last couple of months."

HPE will find itself up against plenty of competition in the fast-growing space, including Cisco, which is prepping a product that it co-developed with Springpath. Cisco said that its HyperFlex Systems product is also a more economical and better-performing alternative to Nutanix.

"We very much like this product from a side-by-side comparison in features and functionality to our competitors," she said. "I feel really good about it. I think it means that we can be a leader in this quite large and fast-growing part of the market."

For its part, Nutanix said that it welcomes the competition, as it’s a sign of a healthy market—and believes that it can stay ahead on the basis of its feature set.

"It’s been an exciting two weeks, with the entire IT establishment turning their attention toward Nutanix while validating that hyperconverged infrastructure is the new reality of the datacenter,” Nutanix president Sudheesh Nair said in a statement to media. “Winning the enterprise cloud market requires sustained innovation and commitment to customer value -- not just competing on price alone. Nutanix continues to raise the bar by going well beyond hyperconvergence.”

Edited by Maurice Nagle

Contributing Writer

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