HPE snaps-up hyperconverged-network (HCN) vendor Plexxi

Plexxi technology combined with HPE's Synergy will help make data centers with hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) more nimble to respond to changing demands.

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HPE today took a step toward bolstering its data-center technology with plans to acquire Plexxi and its hyperconverged networking fabric.

HPE said it expects the deal to close in its third quarter, which ends July 31, 2018 but did not release other financial details. Plexxi was founded in 2010 and targeted the nascent software-defined networking (SDN) market.

“Plexxi’s technology will extend HPE’s market-leading software-defined compute and storage capabilities into the high-growth, software-defined networking market, expanding our addressable market and strengthening our offerings for customers and partners,”

Wrote HPE’s Ric Lewis, SVP & GM Software-Defined and Cloud Group in a blog about the deal. “Through this acquisition, we will deliver hyperconverged and composable solutions with a next-generation data network fabric that can automatically create or re-balance bandwidth to workload needs.” 

Lewis said HPE would integrate Plexxi technology into its hyperconverged offering, which is in part the technology HPE got from buying SimpliVity for $650 million last year. SimpliVity’s management software helps administrators control data-center resources and make more efficient use of hyperconverged server, storage and networking resources.

The combined HPE SimpliVity/Plexxi offering will provide customers with a dynamic workload-based model to better align IT resources to business priorities, Lewis stated.

“Plexxi’s technology will extend our composable infrastructure portfolio, called HPE Synergy. Composable infrastructure, built on HPE OneView, is a category of infrastructure that delivers fluid pools of storage and compute resources that can be composed and recomposed as business needs dictate. In the near future with Plexxi, we will deliver a composable rack solution that will seamlessly extend our composable fabric to a broader set of use cases across the data center,” Lewis stated.

The deal boosts HPE’s standing in the hyperconverged-network (HCN) arena where it competes with other big names, but by how much remains to be seen.  Gartner’s hyperconvergence magic quadrant includes 12 vendors with hyperconverged infrastructure offerings: Cisco, DataCore, Dell EMC, HPE, HTBase, Huawei, Microsoft, Nutanix, Pivot3, Scale Computing, Stratoscale, and VMware.   For HPE Gartner wrote: “Strengths include SimpliVity’s robust data services and HPE ProLiant DL380’s broad market acceptance. Potential cautions include SimpliVity’s place within HPE’s complex, overlapping portfolio and limited hypervisor support.”

Gartner says the market for hyperconverged integrated systems will be the fastest-growing segment of the overall market for integrated systems, reaching nearly $5 billion (or 24% of the market) by 2019.

The HPE/Plexxi deal comes on the same day Plexxi upgraded its HCN software, Plexxi Control 4.0 and Plexxi Connect 3.0, which, among other upgradess, ties the software closely to VMware environments.

Plexxi said its HCN’s VMware interoperability simplifies network management for VMware administrators and enables fully automated network configuration, which reduces complexity and operating costs.

The new integrations and capabilities include:

  • HTML5 vSphere Client Plug-In – Monitors converged, multi-purpose fabric health, measures fabric utilization, visualizes end-to-end connectivity and configures network elements much easier and faster.
  • NSX Discovery & Visualization – Interoperates with NSX Manager to discover and visualize the placement of critical NSX components attached to the Plexxi fabric, allowing administrators to ensure the highest level of NSX throughput and resiliency while simplifying troubleshooting and operations.
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