Composable infrastructure is still in its infancy, but Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) says the next step is composable cloud.
The vendor today launched HPE Composable Cloud at its annual conference in Madrid. The new product bundles software on top of HPE ProLiant DL rack servers for an open hybrid cloud platform.
“We’ve taken a number of solutions in our portfolio and combined them into a new product,” said Lauren Whitehouse, director of marketing, Software-Defined and Cloud Group at HPE. “But the emphasis is on the software stack.”
Composable infrastructure delivers fluid pools of networking, storage, and compute resources that can be composed and recomposed as needed. HPE started shipping Synergy, its composable infrastructure product, late last year.
And in May HPE reached a deal to buy SDN vendor Plexxi. Soon after, it started integrating Plexxi’s technology into its hyperconverged and composable infrastructure products.
With Composable Cloud, HPE uses technology from Plexxi plus its existing software-defined data center stack. The new platform aims to give enterprises the ability to compose any workload or service across any cloud.
“We’re looking to take the inspiration from public-cloud services and deliver that same type of speed, scale, and economics,” Whitehouse said. “The open-ness is you bring the vendor that you want to work with to the party: the clouds, the virtual environment, and container environments are totally up to the customer.”
Composable Cloud Software Stack
The software stacks includes InfoSight, HPE’s cloud-based, artificial intelligence management tool that provides predictive analytics.
“We then layer in storage,” Whitehouse said. Initially these systems will use VMware’s vSAN software-defined storage. “In the future we will probably implement other storage solutions, including HPE storage, but this is part of our whole open approach,” she added.
The platforms also use the software-defined composable fabric that HPE acquired from Plexxi. This allows customers to scale across servers, racks and data centers. “The beauty of that technology is the flat network topology,” Whitehouse said. While spine and leaf network architectures require two hops to move network traffic, “this mesh fabric, with its flat topology offers us the ability to get someplace in your network with one hop,” she explained. “So everything is connected to everything.”
HPE OneView, the vendor’s infrastructure management and workflow automation software, enables companies to quickly build and scale private clouds. It also uses an open API to integrate with third-party applications, containers, hypervisors, cloud stacks, and other tools. “That allows our customers to pick the tools and environments of their choice and bring them to the Composable Cloud party,” Whitehouse said. “If I want to use Red Hat, Chef, Puppet, whatever we can integrate that into our solution.”
And finally, the platform also folds in OneSphere, HPE’s multi-cloud management software. This provides cost and utilization visibility as well as policy compliance across Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. The company plans to add Google Cloud support in the future.
More Composable News
While the Composable Cloud product is HPE’s big news of the day, the company also rolled out other composable announcements at HPE Discover in Madrid. This includes HPE Composable Cloud for Synergy, the vendor’s existing composable infrastructure product. Like HPE Composable Cloud for ProLiant DL, it automates management. It is designed for general purpose workloads like SAP and Oracle, as well as cloud-native applications or mixed workloads.
“If someone has standardized on a blade architecture, Synergy is for them,” Whitehouse said. “If they want rack, then go with HPE Composable Cloud.”
Additionally, HPE announced Composable Fabric will be available on SimpliVity, its hyperconverged infrastructure product.