HPE bets on ‘bimodal IT’ with Synergy

Hewlett Packard Enterprise sees a new IT architecture it dubs ‘composable infrastructure’ as central to operating in a bimodal world

Gartner calls it ‘bimodal IT’: the need for enterprises to simultaneously operate traditional, highly structured, slow-moving IT environments with new agile environments that can cater for the business needs created by digital transformation and digital disruption.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise believes it can enable enterprise to implement bimodal IT with a new IT architecture it calls ‘composable infrastructure’, embodied in its new product Synergy.

Neil MacDonald, vice president and general manager for HPE Synergy and Blade Systems – in Australia for a series of customer presentations on Synergy, which was announced at HP Discover in London in December - told Computerworld Australia that HPE’s composable technology represented “a new class of infrastructure that will enable customers to deal with the challenge IT is facing: supporting traditional consumption of IT and responding to the needs of the idea economy in terns of agility and speed of deployment and development and efficiency of management.”

He added: “Conventional wisdom would have said you need two completely separate infrastructures to meet those needs, but IT shops are not being given twice the budget. So we believe a new class of infrastructure is needed to meet both traditional needs and the needs of the idea economy.”

He described composable infrastructure as “infrastructure that treats resources [compute, storage and networking] as fluid pools that are wrapped in a software defined intelligence that will compose the resources from those pools to meet the needs of applications.”

This intelligence, he said, could be tapped into by “an open API that integrates into whatever higher level automation or orchestration is being done across the data centre.”

MacDonald claimed that Synergy would lower infrastructure costs by “treating resources as single pools so you do not have over-provisioned silos.”

He said that it would enable IT shops to “Deploy infrastructure at cloud-like speed on-premises” by “eliminating much of the friction of lifecycle management of that infrastructure and enabling developers to be much more productive in developing and delivering new services.”

MacDonald sought to differentiate Synergy and composable infrastructure from other vendors’ hyperconverged offerings, saying these were ideal for fully-virtualised environments but not well suited to bare-metal and containerised environments.

“We are seeing the emergence of containers and a microservices approach to apps development along with other pressures that continue to support a bare metal consumption model,” he said.

“So we believe many enterprise data centres will continue to have a mix of infrastructure running virtual workloads and containerised or bare metal workloads.

“Having a single infrastructure to deal with that diversity and that does not create management complexity is one of the things we can do with composable infrastructure like HPE Synergy.”

MacDonald said HPE had plans for beta trials of Synergy with customers around the world, including Australia, ahead of its commercial launch, planned for mid-year.

Lee Chew Tan, VP & GM of HPE Servers in Asia Pacific and Japan, said: “We have found financial institutions, government and media very interested in how they can make the transformation journey… There are many leaders in IT in Australia who are very forward thinking but challenged about how to get there.”

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