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By | Gavin Clarke 4th March 2016 16:58

HPE targets Nutanix, squeezes into hyperconvergence suit

I know it's crowded. Breathe deeply, folks

Hewlett-Packard Enterprise has Nutanix in its sights, with a hyper-converged server due this month.

HPE’s chief executive Meg Whitman has revealed a ProLiant-based virtualisation server is coming, which she claimed would be easier and cheaper to use than Nutanix.

HPE is taking on some familiar old names including Cisco, Dell, EMC and VMware. Whitman promised installation in “minutes” using HP’s system, a “simple mobile array user experience” and automate IT operations “all at 20 per cent lower than Nutanix.”

“We believe this new system will allow us to quickly become a top player in the $5bn high-growth, hyper-converged market,” she said.

Whitman unveiled HPE’s convergence play while announcing her company’s first-quarter fiscal 2016 results. HPE’s chief reckoned she felt “really good” about what’s coming, especially given it was built in house and what she reckoned was a “record time.”

As she would, Whitman reckoned it could turn HP into a leader.

“The hyper-converged market is big. It's growing fast,” Whitman told Wall Street. “It's also getting pretty crowded. You've seen a lot of announcements over the last couple of months, but we very much like this product from a side-by-side comparison and features and functionality to our competitors.”

Converged systems are not new but what’s driving hyper-convergence is the fact it affords customers the opportunity to tidy up their data centres. However, unlike nasty old SDX – that turns the hardware into software – it gives hardware makers fresh reason to sell their existing, if updated, server lines.

Hyper-convergence takes the idea of the ever-more integrated server with the addition of software-defined storage.

Nutanix has been earmarked as a category leader in this emerging market by Gartner. A field of smaller firms also date from around the same time as Nutanix – including SimpliVity and Maxta, to name but two.

This week, however, Cisco announced its HyperFlex system, a pair of appliances using the Springpath HALO software. It comes after EMC’s VCE announced the VxRail server-based storage cluster in six models all based on Dell’s PowerEdge servers. Dell also offers its VRTX product.

They will all compete against VMware’s EVO:RAIL plus. ®

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