HPE Pushes SimpliVity to the Edge


By: Michael Vizard

Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) today advanced its edge computing efforts with the launch of the HPE SimpliVity 2600 series, a hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) platform that the company claims provides two times the performance of previous SimpliVity platforms per rack unit

This offering comes on the heels of a $4 billion commitment HPE made to edge computing that HPE envisions as becoming as significant an IT trend as cloud computing.

The first instance of the SimpliVity 2600 series is aimed at use cases involving virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). But subsequent iterations will involve deploying this platform across a variety of edge computing uses cases involving, for example, Internet of Things (IoT) applications in the oil and gas or retail industry sectors, says Thomas Goepel, director of product management for Simplivity.

A big part of that effort will involve incorporating the Plexxi software-defined networking (SDN) software that HPE gained via its recent acquisition of Plexxi within the SimpliVity series, says Goepel.

“Plexxi networking will take HCI to the next level," says Goepel.

HPE says the SimpliVity platform, built on high density Apollo 2000 Gen10 servers, is 100 percent software-driven, including functions involving support for remote users and multi-cloud solutions. What makes the SimpliVity different from previous iterations of HCI platforms is that HPE has eliminated the need to rely on field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) to run the control plane software for the platform. Those functions now run on the core Intel Xeon processors embedded in the platform that makes scaling out integrated compute, storage, and eventually network services simpler, says Goepel.

HPE is clearly gearing up to battle Nutanix, Cisco, Dell EMC, and other HCI platform rivals by building denser compute platforms that will soon incorporate networking as a core part of an integrate compute and storage platform. HPE SimpliVity platforms can be configured with either VMware vSphere or Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machine software.

It may still take a while for HCI platforms to become dominant across the enterprise. But instances where compute, storage, and networking are managed in isolation from one another will soon be the exception rather than the rule they are today.