Hewlett Packard Enterprise Wednesday turned up the edge computing heat on rival Dell Technologies with SimpliVity hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) edge computing enhancements including support for Kuberntes containers and cloud-native backup.
The HPE SimpliVity 4.1.0 update enables SimpliVity to run both container and VMware virtual machine workloads at the edge with a Kubernetes container plugin and adds cloud-native backup from multiple edge sites through HPE Cloud Volumes.
The SimpliVity enhancements also include centralized application and data replication support from the HPE StoreOnce appliance for compliance and long-term data retention. HPE said all of the new capabilities are supported with VMware vSphere 7.0.
The new HPE edge architecture enhancements—which take edge applications from a three-tier architecture to a consolidated HCI solution—provide the industry’s first edge “simplified deployment” architecture, HPE's head of HCI and primary storage Omer Asad said.
“From an edge experience perspective, it is a first—a comprehensive 2RU platform for the edge, which allows for centralized deployment, management and backup consolidated towards the public cloud,” said Asad. “When you combine it with [HPE’s] GreenLake [on-premises cloud pay-per-use service], it is essentially branch or edge as a service.”
Ultimately, the centralized HCI SimpliVity edge architecture is driving a three to four times increase in return on investment from competitive offerings stuck in legacy edge architectures, said Asad.
The architectural breakthrough enables solution providers and CIOs to deploy, back up and monitor hundreds of edge sites in a completely automated fashion from a centralized data center or location, said Asad.
“From a central console you have the ability to deploy hundreds of edge sites, which are completely automated,” said Asad. “You deploy them from the data center. You automatically back them up in a consolidated fashion at the data center. You monitor them at the data center. Whether your applications are VMware-based, whether they are containerized, whether they are stateless or stateful, you don’t have to make any compromises. It is that one single deployment for your distributed edge in a very, very consolidated channel-friendly manner.”
The pandemic has accelerated the need for a simple centralized HCI edge architecture, said Asad. “SimpliVity is a system designed with edge in mind with regards to zero-touch and fewer people needed to service it,” Asad said.
HPE’s SimpliVity system delivers high availability in the “most compact form factor” at the edge with two nodes versus five to seven nodes with competitive offerings, said HPE VP of Storage Marketing Sandeep Singh.
With the SimpliVity enhancements, HPE provides the “most comprehensive, built-in data protection” at the edge locally, distributed across multiple sites and via the cloud—all centrally managed, said Singh.
SimpliVity also comes with a “hyper-efficiency guarantee,” which is driving dramatic savings for customers, said Singh. That HPE guarantee commits to a 90 percent capacity savings, a less-than-one- minute-on-average guarantee to complete a local restore of a 1-TB virtual machine, and a three-click guarantee to backup, restore, clone or move a VM.
HPE’s edge architecture also includes robust secured wireless and wired networking at the edge with Aruba, said Singh. “When you combine all of that with the needs of the enterprise edge, it brings a distinct advantage for customers to partner with HPE,” said Singh.
HPE said its edge security architecture does not expose the storage and data layer to the operating system, protecting SimpliVity from ransomware. In addition, HPE supports data-in-place encryption that is FIPS 140-2 security compliant.
The HPE edge HCI improvements come with Dell and HPE engaged in a bitter hyperconverged systems battle. In the third quarter of 2020, HPE increased its worldwide hyperconverged systems revenue by 16.3 percent with US$262.7 million in sales. That compares with a 4.7 percent worldwide hyperconverged systems revenue decline for Dell with US$676.8 million in sales in the third calendar quarter, according to IDC. HPE’s hyperconverged systems sales increase resulted in a nearly 2-point increase in market share to 12.9 percent, according to IDC. Dell’s market share, meanwhile, dropped about 2 points to 33.2 percent.
Dell last year unveiled its first edge-oriented VxRail D-Series hyperconverged system. The ruggedized VxRail D-Series is the smallest and lightest VxRail system at a starting price point of approximately US$20,000 per three-node cluster with one year of ProSupport. The D-Series is only 20 inches deep and designed for the edge to withstand extreme temperatures, sustain 40G of operational shock and operate at up to 15,000 feet.
HPE has about a two-year lead over competitors in the HCI edge architecture battle, said Asad, with integrated cloud backup and the ability to deploy and manage from the data center. GreenLake and HPE Pointnext services also provide considerable competitive advantages for partners and customers, he said.
“When you combine all of these things together in terms of reach, availability, technology advantage and simplification of the stack that runs with integrated capabilities, I think the lead we have is easily about two years.”