Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has announced the HC 380, a new hyper-converged appliance aimed at the mid-sized and remote office branch office (ROBO) enterprise market. It is built on the HPE ProLiant DL 380, HPE’s most commonly-used server, and is a two node appliance with can scale-out to up to 16 nodes.
“We’ve heard two things from customers on hyper-converged,” said Paul Durzan, Vice President, Product Management, Converged Data Centre Infrastructure, Hewlett Packard Enterprise. “One is that simplicity rules, so we have really focused on simplicity. The second is that most HPE customers have DL 380 servers and want a hyper-converged offering for it.”
HPE is touting the significance of the HC 380’s interface, which they say provides a consumer-inspired user experience.
“We have a new interface, which we have been showcasing to customers,” Durzan said. “It has received a universally positive response for its absolute simplicity. We think there is room in the market for improvement in interfaces, and we have done that. This type of interface is expected by customers today, but it’s still a matter of who is able to deliver on it, and people do see our customer experience as exceptionally clean and simple.”
Part of this experience is quick deployment of VMs, and requiring only 15 minutes to add capacity with customizable templates for VM provisioning.
“The very simple experience allows the creation of virtual machines in five clicks,” Durzan said. “It also allows for really easy lifecycle management, and you have the ability to hook on some advanced analytics.” HP says those analytics and tools enable reduction of VM sprawl and over-provisioning of VMs by 90 per cent.
Durzan indicated that the HC 380 also lets the customer do some unique things from the same interface.
“You can create VMs, look at their operation, and upgrade the infrastructure, all from the same interface,” he said.
“We also validate all the firmware packs, so you know when we roll it out it will work. This is part of the great solution we have developed on top of the hardware, which also includes advanced HP Services packages.”
“The branding change is because you will see a more integrated experience over time, and we are emphasizing the overall integrated nature of the hyper-converged experience,” Durzan said. “We talk about the StoreVirtual aspect with customers when we discuss the 380 in detail. It is part of the key functionality.”
While HPE is focusing the HC 380 as particularly well-suited for mid-size and ROBO use cases, Durzan acknowledged those really aren’t that different from where HPE is playing now in hyper-converged.
“What is different with the HC 380 though is that it is integrated with HP Cloud System 9.0 [HPE’s cloud-in-a-box solution], which will allow small and medium enterprises an easier path to having a hybrid cloud experience. In addition, while the HC 380 is being requested by DL 380 customers, it isn’t just limited to that server platform.”
Much of the HC 380 business will go through channel partners.
“This will be a very large channel play for us,” Durzan said. “The simplicity bodes well for that.”
The HC 380 will be available March 31, 2016. Pricing will be announced then.