HPE Synergy early adopters laud potential of composable infrastructure

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2 December 2016

HPE has been pushing its Synergy composable infrastructure platform as the next step in enterprise IT architecture following its launch last year, and the vendor was keen to showcase early-adopter use cases at its Discover event in London this week.

The idea behind composable systems is that hardware components – compute, storage and networking – are managed entirely via software commands. Pools of resources are created and assigned automatically to meet the demands of individual applications in near real-time.

It is early days, but HPE’s Synergy platform has been well received both by analysts and its early customers.

There are currently close to 100 HPE businesses trialling the technology, which will be widely available at the start of next year, with some using it in production already. Among those testing Synergy are Saxo Bank, Cerner and Ericsson.

“Since we unveiled Synergy we have almost 100 customers in deep-test and some are even using it in production environments today,” said Ric Lewis, HPE’s SVP and general manager, software defined & cloud group, speaking at Discover. He said that there are “several thousand” orders for Synergy modules ahead of the the full launch in January.

UK healthcare software provider EMIS is also using Synergy to allow developers to get faster access to infrastructure needed to create new products and services.

David Gee, technical solutions manager at EMIS, said Synergy enables software to be pushed from test to deployment on the same platform by allocating more storage or compute resources where necessary.

“What we are working towards is a scenario where we can cut off a bit of the Synergy Frame, give it to the developer and let them work out if it is a production service,” he told press at the event in London’s Excel Centre. “When we have identified that and we know it is working and it can go live, it goes live on that same infrastructure.

“The segregation of dev and test environments of the past has started to disappear with the feature-set that the Synergy Frame gives us.”

Another beta test customer is telecoms and TV firm Liberty Global, which owns Virgin Media. Liberty Global’s data centre technology VP EMEA, Colin Miles, said that the company can use Synergy to support different workloads on one infrastructure platform.

One of the feature of Synergy is the ability to run both cloud-native applications – based on containers and microservices – and traditional workloads on the same infrastructure.

“We had individual architectures designed for each workload and that creates a real challenge in managing and being able to deploy services,” he said. “With Synergy we can use a single platform to deliver across those multiple workloads.”

He added that the next steps are to incorporate Synergy into its hybrid cloud environment.

“We have already been on our cloud journey for some time with infrastructure as a service and platform as a service, both public and private. We [will] spend the next few months working on integrations into that cloud environment, making sure that we can start to leverage the capabilities of Synergy with the open API capability and open integration into our cloud architecture.”

HPE also announced new hybrid cloud capabilities for Synergy at the event, based on its OpenStack-based Helion CloudSystem 10. This allows users to move workloads from Synergy on-premise out to public cloud providers.

HPE’s Lewis said: “It is not just about private cloud, we can also provision public cloud services in our CloudSystem 10 software. So our customers can have private cloud that does traditional, new style and off-premise public cloud provisioning inside the same platform.”

The Helion functionality will be available along with the full Synergy launch next year.

IDG News Service

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