HPE buys Nimble Storage for $1 billion

HPE wants to use Nimble to jumpstart its puttering storage business with a broader range of flash storage options.

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Hewlett-Packard Enterprise announced Tuesday that it plans to acquire flash storage provider Nimble Storage for $1 billion in cash. The deal will also have HPE assume Nimble's unvested equity awards, with a value of around $200 million at closing.

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Founded in 2007 in San Jose, California, Nimble focuses on predictive cloud infrastructure and is one of the larger players in the flash storage space, which is predicted to reach nearly $20 billion in market value by 2020.

HPE wants to use Nimble to jumpstart its puttering storage business with a broader range of flash storage options that complement its existing 3PAR product line. HPE said the plan is to add Nimble's InfoSight predictive analytics platform across its storage portfolio.

Antonio Neri, EVP of HPE's Enterprise Group, said the InfoSight platform is the key element of the product roadmap going forward, post acquisition.

"Looking forward, we have a clear product roadmap for our hybrid IT offerings, and our acquisition of Nimble fits squarely in it," Neri said in a blog post. "InfoSight's ability to monitor customer deployed infrastructure from the cloud, apply machine learning and predictive analytics to radically simplify operations and deliver a transformed support experience is a key differentiator in the storage market."

Nimble has approximately 1,300 employees worldwide and delivered revenue of $402 million in its most recent fiscal year, up 25 percent. However, Nimble's quarters have been up and down relative to estimates. After the deal closes Nimble will be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange and become a wholly owned subsidiary of HPE.

On a call Tuesday, Bill Philbin, GM of storage and big data for HPE, reiterated that Nimble is "a great capstone to HPE's storage offerings."

"If you don't have the breadth in the storage business, or the depth of market reach, its difficult to compete," Philbin said. "So we look at this as an opportunity to extend our leadership in all flash through all customer segments."

HPE has ramped up its acquisitions this year with three significant buyouts already under its belt. In mid-January HPE bought hyperconverged system firm SimpliVity for $650 million in cash in a move to bolster its hybrid cloud wares. A week later HPE scooped up Cloud Cruiser, providers pf cloud-consumption analytics software. Then in early February, HPE announced that it would buy Niara, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based behavioral security analytics firm.

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