In this article

  • At Hewlett Packard Enterprise, we pioneered and launched our composable infrastructure onto the market three years ago
  • While the PowerEdge MX is Dell’s response to our established technology, HPE will remain the go-to partner to help customers transform their data center operations and improve competitiveness
  • We believe that to efficiently deliver better levels of service, we need to stick to our vision of a 100% software-defined data center for a true cloud-like experience
  • All HPE Synergy customers have invested in an architecture built for the future – ready for photonics and protocols like Gen-Z – and depend on it to tackle digital transformation head-on
With more than 1,700 customers, HPE Synergy is the industry’s only established 100% software-defined infrastructure

At Hewlett Packard Enterprise, we pioneered and launched composable infrastructure in the market three years ago. Since then, we have helped over 1,700 business transform and we are leading the way in the composable systems product category. Our competitors have now seen the value and are keen to introduce their own solutions, but we firmly believe that our unique approach means HPE still has far and away the best composable technology available.

Last week, Dell EMC launched the PowerEdge MX, which may have effectively obsoleted its PowerEdge FX modular servers that were not composable[1]. While the PowerEdge MX is its response to our established technology, there are several reasons why HPE will remain the go-to partner to help customers with digital transformation, automate data center operations, and improve competitiveness. Here are the three key advantages our composable infrastructure has over the Dell EMC offering:

#1 Our composable infrastructure is 100% programmable

Our approach to creating the composable infrastructure category was first to create the Unified API, followed by the composable infrastructure partner ecosystem and finally, the composable infrastructure platform, HPE Synergy. Dell EMC, in designing its new product, seems to have started with the box which, based on my many customer interactions, is the last detail that should be addressed when you are looking to create a truly composable solution. Successful design of a software-defined infrastructure needs to begin with the software—something upon which IDC agrees. In the Worldwide Composable/Disaggregated Infrastructure Market Forecast, 2018-2023, IDC states:

“From a systems perspective, any CDI architecture is made up of two parts: The first part is the ability to (dis)aggregate IT resources into compute, storage, and fabric pools, and the second part is the ability to compose consumable resources from such disaggregated pools via a unified API. Intelligent software therefore is needed to manage all the distinct assets and to compose the optimal configuration for a specific application. The success for CDI therefore rests entirely on software intelligence and hardware capabilities.

#2 We’ve built a broad software ecosystem

Dell EMC’s composable offering focuses on trying to match our technology but the company certainly cannot rival our ecosystem of software partners, which is an essential element to usable composable infrastructure. Our software partners enable customers to quickly mesh HPE Synergy with existing tools and software stacks. In fact, we currently have 60 composable partners and integrations covering Cloud, DevOps, IT Operations and Facilities.

#3 Software-defined networking delivers value

Dell EMC is very focused on the hardware–claiming that a missing mid-plane is breakthrough innovation.  We believe real innovation comes from software-defining the infrastructure.

As Dell EMC plays catch-up, we are not standing still. HPE continues to deliver on the vision of a 100% software-defined data center for a true cloud-like experience. With the acquisition of Plexxi, we are adding a composable fabric that eliminates the inefficiencies and guesswork traditionally associated with deploying and provisioning data center networks, by delivering a flat, single-tier network fabric that automatically configures bandwidth to satisfy specific workload needs and changes in the infrastructure.

Dell is playing follow the leader

No one wants to be seen as a follower, so Dell EMC chose to describe its partially composable infrastructure by a different name: ‘kinetic.’ I don’t believe that a new name changes what the technology actually offers, and industry experts like Chris Mellor at Register and Timothy Prickett Morgan at The Next Platform have also noted the difference between the HPE offering and new-to-market competitors like Dell EMC, calling the new systems partially-composable rather than composable or even, kinetic.

HPE Synergy is proven

With more than 1,700 customers, HPE Synergy is the industry’s only established 100% software-defined bare metal infrastructure. HPE Synergy bridges traditional and cloud-native applications to enable fast deployment of IT resources. With a single line of code, the solution's innovative composable API can fully describe and provision the infrastructure that is required for applications, eliminating weeks of time-consuming scripting. All HPE Synergy customers have invested in an architecture built for the future – ready for photonics and protocols like Gen-Z – and depend on it to tackle digital transformation head-on:

“Digital transformation is probably one of the biggest challenges we've seen in the last 30 years. It is a cultural, behavioral, structural, and also a technological challenge for each and every one of us…. HPE Synergy, in my view, definitely meets those requirements, as it's a very cost-efficient way to deal with the current workloads. It's highly flexible. It's highly scalable. It's agile. And at the same time, it's a future proof platform as it manages our customers' way into the hybrid cloud.” Martin Mayr, Senior VP, Cancom

Unlike other simplified infrastructure solutions, composable infrastructure gives IT the ability to maintain physical workloads inside the exact same environment that supports virtual and container-based workloads. To learn how HPE Synergy can compose fluid pools of physical, virtual and container compute, storage, and fabric resources into any configuration for any application, visit: https://www.hpe.com/us/en/integrated-systems/synergy.html.

[1]HPE Synergy: advantages versus Dell FX