HPE Expands Its Composable Platform to Include Cloud Fabric

CLOUD DEVELOPMENT: The modular architecture of HPE Synergy provides a choice of network interconnects and storage options, including SAN-based storage, direct-attach, IP-based and software-defined storage. In addition, it enables acceleration of DevOps initiatives, allowing IT to provision infrastructure with a wide array of tools, such as Chef, Ansible, Puppet and VMW.


Hewlett-Packard Enterprise introduced its composable infrastructure concept three years ago at the Discover 2015 show in London. On that Dec. 1, the company unveiled its Synergy platform, which is based on an infrastructure architecture designed to ensure that the exact amount of compute 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.

Three years later, and nearly to the day—but this time in Madrid—HPE showed that it has evolved to the next phase of its composable platform. As of Nov. 26, it now includes delivery of cloud services through what HPE calls its Composable Cloud, a hybrid cloud platform that offers software-defined automation, a modern fabric providing non-disruptive scale across racks and data centers, and a unified API.

HPE said that Composable Cloud for Synergy “adds flexibility and performance to address any workload within a private or hybrid cloud environment.” 

Synergy, which has enlisted 2,200 customers in three years, is the industry’s first composable infrastructure platform. It includes a simple, automated management experience but is designed to address heavy-duty workloads such as SAP and Oracle, as well as cloud-native applications or mixed workloads. 

Modular architecture

The modular architecture of HPE Synergy provides a choice of network interconnects and storage options, including SAN-based storage, direct-attach, IP-based and software-defined storage. In addition, the HPE Synergy Image Streamer enables it to accelerate customers’ DevOps initiatives, enabling IT to provision infrastructure with a wide array of tools, such as Chef, Ansible, Puppet and VMW. 

Composable Cloud provides a software stack that allows enterprises to benefit from choice of public and private clouds: AWS, Azure or Google Cloud. Or another, if someone so chooses.

Choice is always good for users. The ability for an enterprise to select its own storage, hypervisor, cloud services and networking under a single management provider allows for an array of choices that make all this much easier and more efficient for the owner of the system—minus the vendor lock-in that used to be standard.

Despite all this ostensible “click-choose-and-go” fluidity, the transition to hybrid cloud environments still can be slowed by the need for specialized skills to build and operate proprietary cloud stacks. HPE, as one might expect, espouses that enterprises require a “cohesive approach that spans people, technology and economics.”

Thus, HPE is offering Composable Cloud backed by its own processing components to bring together IT automation, AI-driven operations, security and compliance in a cloud platform designed to scale. The new cloud stack gives customers lots of choices across composable-infrastructure building blocks. This includes for the first time HPE ProLiant DL rack servers and the HPE Synergy platform to compose any workload, any service and across any cloud, in a just-in-time manner.

Not planning to miss any 'just in time' deadlines

Hopefully, these scattered components that come together inside the computing fabric to do the processing and data movement work don’t show up late and miss any deadlines. HPE, naturally, doesn’t plan for that to happen.

“When we talk about Composable Cloud, we’re talking about the combination of technologies that we’re offering,” HPE’s Lauren Whitehouse told eWEEK. Whitehouse is a former Enterprise Strategy Group analyst who now is marketing director of HPE’s Software-Defined and Cloud Group.  

“Everything is layered on to this total solution, starting with the HPE ProLiant DL server. We’re putting everything together for them, providing a complete integrated solution for them.”

HPE Composable Cloud is managed as a resource by HPE OneView. HPE OneSphere is the developer portal for all of this.

Composable Fabric was first introduced inside HPE Synergy and is now available—as part of Composable Cloud—outside of a modular architecture and across the data center. This enables IT to operate like a hyperscale cloud provider without requiring network expertise.

Can scale virtual infrastructure in real time

HPE claims that by using Composable Cloud, IT staff can scale the infrastructure in real time without needing specialized networking skills; can compose clouds and workloads in minutes; and manage on-premises and public cloud resource utilization and costs in a uniform way. The solution is designed for cloud-native workloads and rack-scale environments with template-driven automation, which streamlines the deployment of cloud stacks and automates the lifecycle, initially supporting Red Hat OpenShift and VMware workload deployments.

Key components are:

  • built-in artificial intelligence from HPE Infosight software, offering predictive analytics and continuous learning to optimize the environment;
  • simplified and automated networking from a software-defined Composable Fabric that enables non-disruptive scale across servers, racks and data centers;
  • software-defined infrastructure management and workflow automation via HPE OneView, which enables IT to build and scale private clouds in minutes, as well as API integration and a broad partner ecosystem that enables organizations to easily integrate a collection of applications, containers, hypervisors, cloud stacks, and tools; and
  • an as-a-service multi-cloud management solution across public and private clouds from HPE OneSphere, providing cost and utilization visibility as well as policy compliance across all customers’ clouds, including deep integration with the world’s most secure industry standard servers with a choice of HPE ProLiant DL 360 and 380 servers for a turnkey private cloud. New updates to HPE OneSphere give customers more configurability options.

First hyperconverged infrastructure with Composable Fabric

In addition, HPE announced Composable Fabric will be available on HPE SimpliVity storage. In addition to integrating its Composable Fabric into the new HPE Composable Cloud offering, HPE is enhancing its HPE SimpliVity hyperconverged storage with Composable Fabric. HPE SimpliVity integrates software-defined networking to improve the performance of distributed applications. SimpliVity with Composable Fabric is all managed via a familiar single user interface.

Key features of HPE SimpliVity with Composable Fabric are:

  • Operational agility: Automated operations from a single user interface eliminate the need for specialized network and storage management skills, empowering VM administrators with self-service autonomy.
  • Broad scale: By pooling network resources and scaling within and between racks, organizations can achieve accelerated DevOps velocity and application time-to-value without disrupting operations.
  • Optimized performance: Composable Fabric tightens the connection between networks and workloads, making it easier to optimize workloads across infrastructure.
  • Cost savings: Its mesh fabric is more cost-efficient than alternative architectures, lowering costs and improving efficiency.


HPE Composable Cloud offered on HPE ProLiant DL rack servers will initially roll out in the U.S., United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany and Australia starting in Q1 2019. HPE SimpliVity with Composable Fabric will be available in December in the U.S., United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, and Australia.

HPE OneSphere is currently available in the U.S., United Kingdom and Ireland, with additional geographies targeted in the coming year. 

For more information, go here.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...