The shrinking HPE launched its annual Discover conference in Las Vegas yesterday with a message of streamlined focus. CEO Meg Whitman outlined three key areas that the company is focusing in around – Hybrid IT, the Intelligent Edge and the Services to make it all happen.
HPE’s core expertise around infrastructure has continued to innovate and prosper over the last 5 years while it chased after cloud aspirations. While many of its cloud plays did not pan out and were ultimately shutdown or spun out of the company, the company learned many lessons it could apply to evolving its infrastructure products to make them more cloud-like. The introductions in its converged infrastructure portfolio have evolved and followed the industry in terms of offerings. For the last 2 years, the datacenter team at HPE has been focused on building orchestration and programability into its infrastructure products. HPE has had projects to allow API interaction with its servers, network and storage and an orchestration platform in HPE OneView.
The culmination of that progression is where HPE is currently driving with its Hybrid IT message. HPE believes it is poised to be able to deliver the same advantages as cloud with on-premises infrastructure. When you look at cloud as a methodology instead of place, it becomes a set of capabilities that allow a company to deploy IT services faster and meet the business need.
HPE is also talking about the idea of the “cloud cliff” where companies are discovering that costs, control and performance can become challenges when running in a third-party’s cloud. According to an IDC report, 53% of companies have considered bringing services hosted in the cloud back in-house. HPE believes that by offering infrastructure with the same agility and time to value as cloud, it can offer its customers solutions to remedy the cloud cliff. It offered examples like Dropbox and Spreadsheet.com, born in the cloud, who have found traditional purchasing for enterprise IT to be more beneficial to their business than continuing to exclusively use cloud.
HPE has no misconception that cloud is not viable for many workloads. So in that avenue, it has announced a technology beta called Project NewStack that is intended to help control a multi-cloud Hybrid IT and on-premises IT – including analytics, costing, and a comprehensive service catalog. Project NewStack aims to bring the necessary integrations to make multiple technologies and clouds play nicely together – and provide IT with a central management plane for users and management.
For the intelligent edge, HPE is casting a vision that future compute will occur close to devices and sensors – on manufacturing floors, in branch locations and on far flung destinations away from your datacenter. Instead of piping the data back to a datacenter for centralized processing, it sees compute being deployed in edge locations to handle decision making quicker and cull through data, only transmitting what is valuable back to datacenters or the cloud. Whitman says the Aruba subsidiary, which now includes all of HPE’s former switching assets, along with its Edgeline portfolio is there to help customers address these needs.
In terms of services, many may be surprised that HPE is talking about services since it just divested its services division to merge with CSC, forming a new company DXC. HPE is talking about a different services group, one that has existed inside of HPE and its predecessors for decades. Formerly known as Technology Services, the services team has been rebranded as PointNext. It focuses on project-based engagements with customers and it even subcontracted for the Enterprise Services group that was spun out of HPE. Where ES focused on outsourcing contracts, TS and PointNext focuses on technical engagements and consulting to assist with transforming businesses digitally.