HPE Expands Open Infrastructure Portfolio for Service Providers

The company adds a storage server to its Cloudline systems and new models to its lineup of Altoline open networking switches.

HPE Cloudline

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is bringing storage into its growing portfolio of open data center infrastructure systems and expanding its lineup of open networking switches.

HPE officials on March 8 unveiled a storage server for its Cloudline family of systems and four new models of its Altoline 6900 open switches. In addition, the company announced a new Helion OpenStack cloud distribution that includes reference architectures that are optimized for the OpenStack Swift object storage project.

The moves are designed to meet the growing demand from enterprises and service providers for open infrastructures that enable them to more easily, quickly and affordably build cloud-scale data centers and be more agile, flexible and dynamic, according to HPE officials.

"Service providers are looking for the operational agility and faster data center integration that comes with deploying open infrastructures, while others value the integrated management and proven deployment capabilities that come with industry standard offerings," Reaz Rasul, vice president and general manager of the vendor's Global Hyperscale Business, said in a statement.

HPE for more than a year has embraced the idea of open infrastructures, first with its Cloudline servers for cloud environments built in partnership with contract manufacturer Foxconn and embracing standards developed within the Facebook-led Open Compute Project (OCP), and later with its Altoline of open switches that offer users their choice of network operating systems from such vendors as Cumulus Networks and Pica8, with OpenSwitch support coming later this year.

The OCP Summit 2016 is scheduled for later this week in San Jose, Calif.

HPE isn't the only system maker embracing the open-infrastructure push. Other OEMs are embracing OCP standards, and networking vendors like Dell and Juniper Networks also are offering open portfolios.

HPE officials claim that the introduction of the Cloudline CL5200 high-density, multi-node storage servers—aimed at service providers—makes the company the first top-tier vendor to offer an open infrastructure portfolio that includes compute, networking and storage offerings. The systems, which are available now, are bare-iron design that support one or two compute nodes and up to 80 large form-factor hard drives, providing up to 640TB of storage in a 4U (7-inch) chassis.

HPE officials have put a focus on storage in recent weeks. The addition of the Cloudline CL5200 comes less than two months after the company announced an enhanced partnership with Scality that officials said will accelerate the development and adoption of software-defined storage.

In its Altoline of switches, HPE is rolling out four new models, including one that offers 25/100 Gb/s. The added models will give customers even more choice in tailoring their infrastructures to meet their particular workload and application needs, company officials said.

The Altoline 6920 and 6940 switches also are available immediately.

In expanding the capabilities of the company's Helion cloud offering, HPE officials are bringing new reference architectures for hyperscale and multi-data center operations optimized for OpenStack's Swift project. The solution, available now, uses HPE's ProLiant Gen 9 servers to ensure there is enough processing power and to fit into a smaller footprint, all while support massive storage growth and drive down costs, officials said.