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January 8, 2016updated 28 Mar 2017 5:32pm

HPE Synergy: Accelerating next

By John Oates

One of the big stories from HP Enterprise’s recent Discover event in London’s Excel Centre was the launch of Synergy – the firm’s new, flexible server architecture.

It takes flexibility beyond the blade server set-up which currently dominates data centres around the world.

Synergy aims to separate memory and processing computer power to allow you to reconfigure hardware almost as if it was software. The company hopes the hardware will let enterprise customers move fast enough to properly exploit the idea economy.

The composable hardware creates what HPE calls ‘fluid resource pools’ – of either computing power, storage capacity or fabric networking. These can be reconfigured according to what is needed. A management component self-discovers what hardware is available and ready to use making setting up new kit almost instant.

The system defines each piece of hardware by using an API made up of just a single line of code to ease infrastructure management.

HPE is already working with several partners on the new hardware including CapGemini, Microsoft and VMware

Synergy should also bring financial benefits by reducing over-provisioning.

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A simple interface lets you see both physical and virtual resources and shift them between applications and functions.

The system also provides a library of templates allowing easy deployment of hardware for different, common functions.

The move reinforces HPE’s belief in demand for hybrid mixes of public and private cloud structures from enterprises over the next five years.

It sees accelerating enterprise demand for IT reflecting ever-faster consumer demand for services – we want them instantly, in the same way that we can download a mobile application, rather than waiting six weeks for the infrastructure to be built by a traditional IT department.

Jed Scaramella, research director at IDC, said: “CIOs and IT executives need to deliver services that are increasingly application centric. To remain relevant, IT needs to not only provide a reliable and cost-effective infrastructure that can support their legacy investments, but one that gives them the flexibility and speed to deliver services like a cloud provider.”

Working to fulfil these two very different requirements – cost effective support of legacy applications alongside very fast reaction to new demands – requires a different type of hardware – one that is as flexible as software.

Legacy applications tend not to require regular updates – maybe once or twice a year – but they need to be extremely stable and reliable. The focus for IT departments is keeping them running while making sure costs are tightly controlled.

The second world is made up of mobile applications, or the back-end systems which run them and provide data analytics. These tend to get some sort of update every few weeks and demand for them can change extremely fast – think of the explosion of a successful mobile application.

HPE predicts most big organisations will continue to run a hybrid world made up of both types of applications, with correspondingly different hardware demands

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