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HPE stumps for composable infrastructure, launches Synergy system

Hewlett Packard Enterprise launches Synergy and aims to pitch composable infrastructure to businesses. The composable bandwagon is likely to fill up in 2016.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise on Tuesday launched its first system that will fall under its composable infrastructure umbrella.

HPE Synergy, which will launch in the second quarter of 2016, is aimed at hybrid enterprises that need to run traditional and private and public cloud workloads.

The idea behind composable infrastructure is that compute, storage and networking can be provisioned and resource pools are shared. Via shared application programming interfaces and software defined infrastructure, composable architectures are supposed to be able to adapt in real time and optimize resources.

For a technology buyer it's worth noting the following about composable infrastructure:

  • Every vendor will be talking about composable and it's basically the enterprise buzzword of 2016.
  • Enterprise giants will all have their spins on composable infrastructure.
  • The definition will be a bit murky.
  • And composable concepts need to be evaluated in the enterprise yet viewed with a healthy dose of salt at first.

Nevertheless, the composable bandwagon is going to fill up. Cisco's UCS was an initial stab at composable infrastructure, HP in June started its ecosystem and Dell and a bevy of others have entries. The general idea behind composable infrastructure is that there are pools of subsystems within one system. Servers, CPU, Memory, storage and networking are disaggregated.

The key concept behind composable infrastructure is that one common API makes it easier to automate resources. Paul Miller, vice president of marketing for HPE Converged Systems, said composable infrastructure can bridge two different technology environments--workloads and processes to run the business and new efforts revolving around big data and the Internet of things-- found in enterprises. "Today's infrastructure is pretty static and can span multiple chassis and racks," he said.

Miller said the primary win with composable infrastructure would be to boost capacity utilization and eliminate so-called zombie servers.

For HPE, Synergy is an advance over its converged infrastructure approach. Here's how HPE outlines composable infrastructure in two slides:

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From those resource pools, composable infrastructure will mix and match infrastructures into any combination that works. Images of the resources will be streamed to a single interface.

As for enterprises, the win should be that they can squeeze more out of traditional infrastructure as well as provision new services. In many ways, the composable architecture aims to move beyond virtualization in the data center. In theory, every element of infrastructure will be abstracted to a single line of code.

Rest assured vendors will be talking about "infrastructure as code" with mentions of composable infrastructure.

HPE's bet with Synergy is that its OneView software will compose physical and virtual resources for any app.

While much of the composable infrastructure effort revolves around software, HPE Synergy systems have a single frame where storage, compute and networking can be swapped out on the fly.

HPE's software automation ecosystem has a bevy of key partners including Docker, Chef, VMware, OpenStack, Microsoft and Arista.