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May 16, 2018

HPE Snaps up Plexxi, Wraps up Gatwick, Rolls out AI for Telecoms Tool

Acquisition highlights heated hybrid cloud competition.

By Umar Hassan

HPE, fresh from wrapping up a major overhaul of Gatwick Airport’s IT systems, has announced the acquisition of software-defined data fabric networking company Plexxi and also rolled out a new machine learning (ML) suite for telecommunications data in a busy week for the company.

The California-based enterprise IT company this week announced that it had finished providing a new network for the London airport in just 18 months. The $15 million (approx. £11 million) contract future-proofed Gatwick’s network with a “simplified and fully meshed design [that] provides 10 times the number of links for data to traverse the campus”.

Marc Waters, Managing Director for HPE UK & Ireland said: “Transitioning from old to new networks while keeping the world’s most efficient runway operating is like performing open heart surgery on a patient while he is running. We’re delighted with how smoothly the project has run – the world’s most efficient single runway now has an equally powerful and productive IT network to match it.

Cathal Corcoran, Chief Information Officer at Gatwick Airport added: “We needed a much more resilient, self-healing and fault tolerant network and one that is capable of handling future technologies that process considerably more data. HPE’s combined network offering provides this and more as it ultimately supports our vision of an IT infrastructure for a decade.”

HPESnaps up Startup, Rolls out Machine Learning Suite

Adding to HPE’s portfolio, on Tuesday May 15 the company confirmed it had acquired startup Plexxi, a Boston-based hybrid cloud solutions specialist. All 100 staff at the startup will be joining HPE under the deal – the terms of which were not revealed.

Founded in 2010, Plexxi specialises in enabling both data centre modernisation and hybrid cloud integration. It also has three products that specialise in data centre workloads, Plexxi Connect, Plexxi Control and Plexxi Switches. It was last valued (in 2016) at around $267 million by Pitchbook.

HPE’s acquisition comes days after Google acquired Tel Aviv-based Velostrata, which also helps customers with complex cloud migrations.

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In a third update, HPE said it has released a new machine learning suite called “Intelligent Assurance”, designed to transform vast amounts of telecommunications network data into useable intelligence. The toolkit helps operators  find specific network pattern behaviours automatically, whilst also supporting data lakes that are based on Hadoop Open Source platforms, it said.

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