This week Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) hosted an enormous event in east London’s Lee Valley Park at the Olympic venue for cycling, to talk up its ‘composable’ infrastructure, Synergy.
As well as showboating appreciative customers, executives told Computerworld UK the technology is moving out of the beta stage and will directly benefit organisations making the most of devops.
HPE announced its composable infrastructure last year, the idea being a flexible, scalable system that bridges the gap between traditional and new IT architecture, and the company rolled out the red carpet in an aggressive attempt to get partners in the channel and elsewhere on board.
“If you look at traditional infrastructure it’s fairly rigid, it takes a long time to set up infrastructure, get it all right, then deploy,” says Paul Miller, VP of marketing of Converged Data Center Infrastructure. “If you look at the new world and all that’s happening with all the new applications coming out to support the digital economy, that’s what we’re focusing on to build Synergy.”
That means, Miller says, focusing on two particular groups – although of course, existing HPE customers looking for an upgrade might be wooed to Synergy as a complementary technology.
“We talk about one of the catchphrases: more dev, less ops,” Miller says. “That’s a mantra that a lot of customers want. We enable that through Synergy.”
HP IT is using Synergy in its devops environment – and it allows developers to request building applications in a virtualisation pool through the API, and get it, without having to actually interact with the infrastructure.
“They’re programming the infrastructure through the software defined interface,” he says. “If they want to get a container, they talk to Docker, Docker talks to the infrastructure and says this is what the developer needs, and provides them with a total Docker environment to do the development. If they want to do it on bare metal, it’s the same thing.”
“With Synergy you set it up to be what you want at the time you want it – it’s not sitting there, and it’s not overprovisioned, and it’s not using stuff,” he says. “And since it’s all in your own house, you can move into production very quickly and get all the same benefits that you do on the dev side. So this whole world of dev and ops being core to the future, that’s what we built Synergy to do.”
But traditional architecture is also a space where HPE believes it can achieve success with Synergy.
According to Miller, customers that are interested in devops but don’t yet have the investment need to lower their costs first, to get that buy-in. Since Synergy can cut down on overprovisioning but is also scalable, he explains that it could be a good first step for organisations that need to cut costs on traditional architecture.
“If you look at applications like a web application, which is fairly traditional today, most people overprovision by 50 percent,” he says. “SQL farms, 40 percent, Exchange, 30 percent. You have all these islands of overprovisioning, but because Synergy is flexible, you can put all those applications in the same box and overprovision once, not four or five times for each one of your apps. That and the IT operational efficiency is to cost reduce traditional apps, free up capacity, free up resources, to invest more in the developer community.”
Antonio Neri, the executive VP and general manager for HPE, boasted in his keynote that the infrastructure at the back of Synergy is “100 percent software defined”.
“What that means is the software intelligence is embedded in the fabric of that infrastructure,” he explained. “With an aggressive set of APIs you can go and treat that infrastructure as a code. It scales multiple racks, it controls an entire pool and obviously increases speed. The question is how Synergy can help you and your developers to develop applications faster.”
“We can deploy infrastructure much faster, you can deploy that pool of resources, you don’t need to configure anything, it just makes those APIs available and the developer can access the other resources through the API layer,” he said.
“And more than 50 tasks are automated in the processes. You have the composable API, which means not only you but also partners can go compose their own services. You can compose your services to the APIs so you can do that work for the customers. You may have your own services on top of those APIs.”
“HP Oneview is the brains behind the infrastructure. What we have done with Oneview which is our infrastructure management layer, we have actually taken it inside the fabric and provide that unified set of APIs so everybody can develop at their own speed.”