The Register reported on the idea yesterday, citing unnamed sources who say HPE is preparing a bid of $3.8 billion to $3.9 billion for the startup.
SimpliVity declined to comment on the report. HPE did not immediately respond to a request for comment. (Update: HPE declined comment as well.)
SimpliVity, founded in 2009, is often mentioned alongside Nutanix as an HCI contender and was chasing an IPO of its own, although those plans have hit some bumps, according to The Register. That might give SimpliVity motivation to be acquired.
HPE’s potential interest is less clear-cut. The company already offers HCI in the form product such as the HC 380 appliance, launched in March. SimpliVity might provide a market-share boost, however; the startup grew 110 percent in 2015, according to Gartner, and claims to still be in growth mode.
HPE is also working on the step beyond HCI: composable infrastructure. The distinction is that composable infrastructure is even more flexible than HCI, where applications would take compute and storage resources from shared pools.
While other HCI competitors such as Pivot3 remain private, the sector has caught the attention of the bigger IT vendors. Dell resells Nutanix gear but now also has access to VMware’s VSAN, VxRack, and VxRail products. And Cisco has been disaggregating its Unified Computing System (UCS) servers, creating products resembling Intel’s Rack Scale Design.