HPE adds 'silicon root of trust' to its Gen 10 ProLiant servers

HPE is looking to secure servers from manufacturing to shipping by giving each system a fingerprint that will prevent firmware attacks.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is betting that security enhancements to its Gen 10 ProLiant industry standard servers will stoke demand.

At HPE's Discover conference, the company outlined plans to add silicon-level security to its servers. The move is designed to thwart firmware attacks that plague enterprises and governments.

Specifically, HPE is developing what it calls a "silicon root of trust," which is a link between custom HPE silicon and its Integrated Lights Out firmware. This link is designed to prevent compromised firmware code from executing and recover proper code automatically. In other words, HPE's industry standard servers under the ProLiant brand will have a fingerprint that will prevent a server from booting up unless there's a match.

HPE is also integrating its encryption and breach detection tools as well as its supply chain and Pointnext security assessment services. Mark Potter, CTO of HPE and director of Hewlett Packard Labs, said the goal is to "protect the server from manufacturing to ship."

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The security enhancements were part of a wider server overhaul that includes software defined tools and flexible payment models. HPE also said its OneView 3.1 will support its Gen 10 server platform.

HPE's second quarter results fell short of expectations as demand from one large customer dinged server sales. CEO Meg Whitman said the company will continue to invest in its strategic pillars including hybrid IT, intelligent edge and its Pointnext services.

Here's the recap of the moving parts.

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Separately, HPE also announced the following:

  • HPE's Aruba unit rolled out a new switch for mobile, cloud and Internet of things workloads. Aruba also outlined an asset tracking solution that is integrated with its WLAN infrastructure.
  • HPE also outlined a partnership with ClearCenter to offer its ClearOS, a Linux-based operating system, on HPE ProLiant servers designed for smaller businesses.
  • Enhancements to its channel programs to incorporates hybrid deployments, Internet of things and analytics.

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