Hewlett Packard Enterprise chief executive Meg Whitman says HPE is set to unleash a "market-changing" new hyper-converged product that will be priced 20 percent below market leader Nutanix's product.
"Later this month, we will announce a new market-changing hyper-converged offering based on our industry-leading ProLiant virtualisation server," said Whitman in a conference call with Wall Street analysts after HPE posted better-than-expected results in its first quarter as an independent company.
"Our new solution will offer customers installation in minutes, a consumer-inspired, simple, mobile-ready user experience and automated IT operations, all at 20 percent lower cost than Nutanix."
Whitman says she expects the new product, which was developed internally by HPE engineers in record time, will open the door for HPE to be what she called a "leader" in the $5 billion fast-growth hyper-converged market.
"We very much like this product from a side-by-side comparison in features and functionality to our competitors," she said. "I feel really good about it. I think it means that we can be a leader in this quite large and fast-growing part of the market."
Whitman said she is "excited" about the potential for growth from the new product. "The hyper-converged market is big. It is growing fast. It is also getting pretty crowded. You have seen a lot of announcements over the last couple of months."
Nutanix and its major competitor, Simplivity, are suddenly facing pressure from some of enterprise IT's biggest vendors, with both VCE and Cisco announcing hyper-converged appliances in the past month. Now HPE is joining the fray.
In an email response to the soon to be released HPE product, Nutanix president Sudheesh Nair said: "It’s been an exciting two weeks, with the entire IT establishment turning their attention toward Nutanix while validating that hyperconverged infrastructure is the new reality of the data centre.
"Winning the enterprise cloud market requires sustained innovation and commitment to customer value – not just competing on price alone. Nutanix continues to raise the bar by going well beyond hyperconvergence.”
Whitman confirmed that HPE is set to deliver a new product blitz over the next several quarters. "Our innovation engine is firing on all cylinders. You are going to see some amazing new introductions in the coming quarters in key areas of the portfolio, including servers, cloud, high-performance computing, IoT [Internet of Things], all-flash storage, Aruba and converged systems."
The HPE converged system throw-down came after the company posted non-GAAP diluted net earnings per share of 41 cents on sales of US$12.7 billion for its first fiscal quarter ended 31 January, just above the Wall Street consensus of earnings of 40 cents per share on sales of $12.68 billion.
The results marked the third consecutive quarter of year-over-year sales growth in constant currency for HPE, said Whitman, noting that every business segment grew at constant currency levels excluding recent mergers and acquisitions. "We have now completed our first full quarter as an independent company and we are off to a very strong start," she said. "We are already seeing the benefits of being a smaller, more focused and agile company."
Kevin McLaughlin contributed to this story.