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HPE Discover: Hybrid IT will dominate, in-memory computing to rise

Hewlett Packard Enterprise declared a positive hybrid on-premise and cloud future for IT at its Discover 2017 conference in Las Vegas, while heralding in-memory computing as new vista

Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman declared the future of enterprise IT to be one shaped by investments in on-premise and cloud computing at the supplier’s Discover conference in Las Vegas.

HPE continued to emerge as a slimmed down operation at the event, shorn of full-scale systems integration services, as well as software and hardware outside of an enterprise IT core, to be increasingly shaped by a server architecture based on in-memory computing and a commitment to doing computing at the “edge” – outside of datacentres.

Whitman concluded her address to attendees by saying: “I hope it is really clear where Hewlett Packard Enterprise is heading. The future of IT will be hybrid, fuelled by apps and data from the core of the datacentre to the edge, to multiple clouds. You will move more intelligence and compute power to the edge of the network to take advantage of the internet of things [IoT], and extract insight and business value close to where data is created.”

In an interview with Computer Weekly, Andy Isherwood, managing director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at HPE, said most customers agree that the future will be hybrid. “A lot of edge computing cannot be done in a public cloud,” he said. “By the time the data has gone back to an on-premise or cloud datacentre, the instant decision-making capacity has gone.”

“The future of IT will be hybrid, fuelled by apps and data from the core of the datacentre to the edge, to multiple clouds”

Meg Whitman, HPE

Isherwood said HPE’s strategy was simple and clear: “The organisation has been pared down to be focused on making hybrid and IoT work for our customers. We’re not a big technology supermarket any more, and all our recent – six in number – acquisitions have been clearly aligned to the strategy.”

In another interview at the conference, Tom Bradicich, vice-president and general manager for servers, converged edge and IoT systems, said: “For us, the edge is simply not the datacentre. Technologies that were previously trapped there will be released. A cloud is just a datacentre that nobody is supposed to know where it is. We are leading in shifting enterprise-class data management out from datacentres to the factory floor, to power plants, to smart cities, to cars.”

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In another recent interview, Mark Potter, chief technology officer for Hewlett Packard Enterprise Labs, described the supplier’s multi-year programme to develop in-memory computing, dubbed The Machine. At the conference, representatives from German neuro-degenerative research institute DZNE, Pierluigi Nicotera and Joachim Schultze, confirmed that their teams have experienced acceleration benefits from the use of technology derived from HPE’s The Machine project.

And in a blog post, Ric Lewis, senior vice-president and general manager for software-defined and cloud group at HPE, said that to make hybrid IT more “simple”, the supplier was announcing technology advancements in how it combines “infrastructure and advanced data services for virtualised workloads” in “composable infrastructure” and in hybrid IT management.

By composable infrastructure, he said the firm means “a new category of infrastructure that delivers fluid pools of networking, storage and compute resources that can be composed and recomposed as business needs dictate”.

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