Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is beginning its era as a standalone company with a new paradigm for creating and delivery application infrastructure. The HPE Synergy system is what the company is referring to as composable infrastructure and it aims to go beyond what rivals at Cisco and Oracle are doing with engineered systems.
Gary Thome, chief architect at Hewlett Packard Enterprise explained to Datamation that the basic idea behind composable infrastructure is that it is created at the time it is needed.
"It's about having fluid pools of compute, storage and fabric, wrapped together with software defined intelligence," Thome said. "So the hardware understand how the right amounts of infrastructure need to be configured for what an application requires."
Synergy is the actual product name and it's a brand new infrastructure platform. At the core of the platform is what Thome referred to as a composable frame, which is a physical chassis that houses composable compute, storage and fabric modules. Then there is the actual composer hardware that enables the orchestration, deployment and management of the infrastructure.
The initial composable frame is the HPE Synergy 12000, providing six different zones for compute and storage modules. Additionally HPE has the Synergy Image Streamer which is a management appliance that enables fast image/application changes to compute resources. According to HPE's Synergy Image Streamer product specifications, it integrates software-defined intelligence from embedded HPE Synergy Composer to deploy and update physical compute nodes with operating environments at extreme speed for fast virtualized image changeovers, secure boot, and compliance.
The Synergy system is seen by Thome as being complementary to existing application virtualization efforts.
"The abstraction layer on the hardware allows it to compose itself into whatever you want, which could be a hypervisor, then you can run VMware or whatever virtualization technology you want," Thome said.
For container deployment, the story is even more integrated thanks to the recently announced Helion Development Platform (HDP). HDP is based on the open-source CloudFoundry Plaform-as-a-Service project and makes extensive use of Docker containers as a means to build and deploy applications.
"With Helion Development Platform it really does benefit from composable infrastructure for application needs," Thome said.
Another benefit for the Synergy approach is the entire system is managed via a unified API, which can enable an integrated firmware update of all systems when needed. Thome said that the unified API replaces thousands of lines of script code that is typically used today to configure a system.
"So you're able to programatically control infrastructure to be whatever you want it to be," Thome said. "Synergy makes automation more approachable."
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Datamation and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist
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