Hewlett Packard Enterprise is adding to its lineup of hyper-converged data center offerings by introducing a lower-cost model aimed at midsize businesses and remote enterprise offices.
The company's new two-node Hyper Converged 250 will be available in early 2016, joining two other four-node solutions running VMware and Microsoft workloads. Like the larger two offerings, the two-node model will be built atop the same HPE Apollo chassis and feature highly integrated compute, storage and management in a virtualized appliance. It also will support either VMware or Microsoft software, according to HPE officials.
The new Hyper Converged 250 addresses the challenges smaller and remote offices face at a time when emerging workloads like big data, cloud computing, virtualization, mobility and security are impacting the data center, according to Manoj Nair, vice president of product management for HPE's Converged Data Center Infrastructure group.
"The speed of business in the digital age has increased the demand for mid-size organizations and enterprise remote or branch offices to quickly respond to business changes," Nair wrote in a post on the company blog. "This need for rapid response creates its own set of challenges. How can mid-sized companies and satellite offices support onsite specialists as well as control costs? What if enterprises prefer not to send someone out to remote offices to troubleshoot and resolve problems?"
What the new 2U (3.5-inch) hyper-converged solution brings is a simplified infrastructure offering that can enable customers to drive down costs, increase efficiency and reduce risks, he wrote. It offers a combination of HPE's converged infrastructure and pre-integrated Microsoft or VMware software, which address the bulk of workloads found in smaller or remote offices. In addition, it enables businesses to scale the infrastructure as business demands dictate, and to deploy the solutions from central data centers without having to send installers through HPE's OneView InstantOn wizard.
System makers are growing their hyper-converged data center offerings as organizations look for solutions that are manageable and cost-effective, and enable them to build private clouds that server as alternatives to public clouds. Most recently, Lenovo announced in early November that it was teaming with startup Nutanix to develop a new line of hyper-converged appliances that will be based on Lenovo's Intel-powered x86 servers and run software from Nutanix.
IDC analysts have said that the hyper-converged systems market grew 162 percent in 2014 and will more than double again this year, with expectations of 60 percent-a-year growth through 2019.
HPE introduced the Hyper Converged 250 last year to run virtualized workloads using VMware vSphere, according to company officials. On Dec. 1, the system maker launched the Hyper Converged 250 for Microsoft Cloud Platform System Standard featuring Azure cloud services. HPE is continuing to work with VMware and Microsoft to bring more functionality to the solutions for a broad array of workloads, from virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) to general-purpose applications. The new low-cost two-node solution is the latest result of that effort, Nair said.
In his blog post, Nair pointed to an unnamed organization with 300 engineers and 400 inspectors who manage digital engineering processes. The customer needed to maintain a primary data center and 11 smaller locations, with those remote sites needing to reduce their physical footprint and maintenance costs and to simplify maintenance and system management.
By using an HPE Hyper Converged offering in the remote offices, the customer saved about $240,000 for each of their remote offices by reducing the number of overheating outages, and cut maintenance time in half, which saved another $264,000 annually.
"On top of the cost savings, the customer was also able to ensure business continuity with multi-site disaster recovery and replication functionality, increase IT productivity and allow more time for infrastructure design and build," Nair wrote.