HPE Acquires New-Gen Networker Plexxi for Data Fabric IP

HPE said Plexxi’s IP will augment its current software-defined compute and storage capabilities by merging with the SimpliVity storage brand, which it acquired in January 2017 for $650 million.

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Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, looking ahead at the rising potential of the software-defined data fabric market, made an important investment there on May 15, only we don't know exactly how much that investment will cost the company at this point.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based corporation revealed that it will acquire Plexxi, an 8-year-old provider of hybrid SDN software for storage. Terms of the acquisition were not released by HPE.

Nashua, N.H.-based Plexxi, which according to Crunchbase has taken in about $83 million in several rounds of venture funding, makes VMware-optimized data center software that focuses on routing applications rather than physical infrastructure. This reduces the number of switches used in conventional architectures and competes directly with Cisco Systems, Brocade and other networking hardware/software providers.

HPE Will Integrate Acquisition into SimpliVity

HPE said Plexxi’s IP will augment its current software-defined compute and storage capabilities by merging with the SimpliVity storage brand, which it acquired in January 2017 for $650 million.

The company also said Plexxi's technology will help extend its composable infrastructure portfolio, called HPE Synergy, to a new and wider set of use cases.

Composable infrastructure is a trendy infrastructure architecture that was spurred by HPE's entry into the genre a few years ago. It is designed to ensure that the exact amount of computing resources—from processing power and storage to network fabric and virtualization—can be rapidly pulled together from a single resource pool to support an application, and then returned to the pool when they're no longer needed for the workload. It’s a just-in-time approach that enables optimization of resources at all times.

Through this acquisition, Plexxi plans to deliver hyperconverged and composable networking packages using a next-generation data network fabric that can automatically create or re-balance bandwidth to workload needs, increasing agility and efficiency. It also can accelerate how companies are able to deploy applications and obtain business value from their data.

“Our customers live in a hybrid world, running a mix of workloads on traditional IT, as well as private, managed and public clouds,” Ric Lewis, Senior Vice-President and General Manager of HPE’s Software Defined and Cloud Group, said in a blog post. “They need to be able to move at cloud-like speed, regardless of where the data lives. HPE is focused on delivering a portfolio of products and services that simplify hybrid IT, helping customers to move faster and to drive business value.”

HPE said the acquisition is expected to close in the company’s third fiscal quarter, which ends July 31.

Plexxi Updates Its Main Platform

Plexxi made some news of its own on May 15, when it announced an expansion of its platform.

Plexxi HCN, a software suite that includes the company’s Control 4.0 and Connect 3.0 tools, now combines Plexxi’s patented, intent-based networking (IBN) capabilities and interoperability with VMware for increased performance and agility, the company said.

Enterprise-class, on-premises cloud systems must enable a wide range of applications, each having unique and highly diverse needs. Plexxi HCN is a multi-purpose, application driven, SDN solution that automates management of cloud architectures.

The new integrations and capabilities include:

  • HTML5 vSphere Client Plug-In: Monitors converged, multi-purpose fabric health, measures fabric utilization, visualizes end-to-end connectivity and configures network elements much easier and faster.
  • NSX Discovery & Visualization: Interoperates with NSX Manager to discover and visualize the placement of critical NSX components attached to the Plexxi fabric, allowing administrators to ensure the highest level of NSX throughput and resiliency while simplifying troubleshooting and operations.
  • vSAN Discovery, Visualization, and Fitting: Automatically discovers VMkernel adapters that participate in vSAN environments and creates an isolated topology that is dedicated to carrying vSAN storage workloads.

The Plexxi HCN software is shipping now and available as a free software update to customers with current licenses.

More information and pricing details are available by email here.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in large part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he...