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HPE buys hyper-converged pioneer Simplivity for $650m

Hardware giant pays out for hyper-converged market number two, and says it will keep existing Simplivity products, moving them all to its ProLiant servers by the end of 2017

HPE has announced it will buy hyper-converged infrastructure pioneer Simplivity for $650m. The move gives it an installed base of hyper-converged deployments; a market niche in which HPE has struggled to make a dent.

Hyper-converged infrastructure has been a rising star in the datacentre in the past couple of years. It combines server and storage hardware in one box, often with a software layer that allows for native hypervisor operations and the ability to discover and run in a grid-like fashion with other hyper-converged nodes from the same maker. Hyper-converged infrastructure products are available as hardware nodes as well as software products.

Simplivity was formed about the same time as market leader Nutanix, in a space in which specialists and startups have set the pace. 

Simplivity’s offer is based around its OmniCube appliances and OmniStack software that support VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V and KVM hypervisors, and which run on servers from Dell EMC, Cisco, Lenovo or Huawei. HPE plans to migrate Simplivity to its own ProLiant servers by the end of 2017.

The acquisition marks the growing importance of hyper-converged infrastructure. As with NetApp’s purchase of SolidFire in 2016, it is an example of a giant hardware player filling a gap in which it had struggled with a product set from a market-leading startup. HPE’s global presence will provide a market reach of many magnitudes more than was ever possible for Simplivity.

Read more about hyper-converged infrastructure

  • Nutanix, Simplivity and Pivot3 lead hyper-converged pack: Forrester.
  • In the first of a two-part survey, we look at the hyper-converged infrastructure market and the startups providing VM-native servers and storage, and datacentre-in-a-box products.

Simplivity is strong on global multisite data management functions, with an always-on Global deduplication architecture. It includes a comprehensive set of backup, deduplication, snapshot and clones, with multisite data replication and disaster recovery capabilities and WAN optimisation.

Maximum capacity is in the petabyte range, although the maximum number of Simplivity nodes in a cluster is 24.

HPE’s existing hyper-converged products are based on its HC380 and HC250 offers, which bring together ProLiant servers and its StoreVirtual SAN-like virtual storage appliance. StoreVirtual has its origins in the Lefthand networks product bought by HP in 2008, and is a software SAN, so lacks the deduplication and compression of Simplivity.

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