2021. What an interesting year. With the world turned upside down by a pandemic that seemingly had its sights set on...
HPE: News from the very top…
HPE / NonStop InsiderDan
If you missed out on seeing the promotion that took place across Twitter and LinkedIn, you will have missed HPE CEO Antonio Neri taking the news directly to the global community himself. The news? At the end of February, Neri announced HPE’s Q1 financial results and in subsequent briefing of analysts who follow HPE, he was very upbeat about the prospects for HPE in 2019 providing these analysts with sufficient evidence of success, so much so that he raised guidance for the remainder of the year. Bottom line – expect more good news in the months ahead.
“We started the year off strong – fueled by the right strategy and disciplined performance. Thank you to all our employees for your hard work, dedication, and passion and to our customers and partners for your trust – we’re just getting started,” said Neri in several of his tweets and posts. He opened with thanks to the team, to their customers and yes, to all the partners who continue to make this new HPE journey as successful as it is proving to be. “Further evidence that our strategy and disciplined execution are driving solid profitable growth. In Q1, we continue to execute against our strategy of accelerating growth in Intelligent Edge and delivering profitable growth in Hybrid IT, through innovation exceptional customer experiences and a commitment to our team and culture.”
It isn’t as though HPE is coming off tough times nor is there any suggestion that HPE has performed poorly in the past. Much of the work we associate today with HPE Next – the organizational changes and the streamlining of processes, including that all important supply chain appear to be now all in the rear view mirror. The company is back to being just three units – Edge, Hybrid IT and Finance. The important thing to remember here is that HPE Next was initiated by Neri while he was still working for Meg Whitman so HPE Next is something he is intimately involved in and in many ways, driving as the responsible executive. Even the move to the new headquarters in San Jose is part of HPE Next and Neri is clearly excited by this change of location.
In his analyst briefing following the release of the Q1 results, Neri spoke highly of this exit from Palo Alto. “As you may have seen, we began our move to a new state-of-the-art and custom-built headquarters in San Jose, California, two weeks ago. It showcases our innovative solutions while providing collaborative workspaces for our team. We will host a grand opening in April and I will be excited to welcome customers, partners and all of you to our new home this year,” said Neri. “I am pleased with the important progress we have made to transform HPE and I remain incredibly optimistic about our future.”
However, an upbeat report about the move that does include moving the NonStop team, Neri continued to talk up the overall performance of the units where software is firmly entrenched as the key differentiator for all that HPE produces today. According to Neri, “Most importantly, we grew significantly in the high-margin value categories like high-performance compute, hyperconverged and composable infrastructure…Turning to our Hybrid IT business, we continue to approach this market in a targeted segmented way,” explained Neri. “Software is increasingly embedded across all of our value solutions and we continue to drive software innovation both through organic investments and acquisitions.”
As analysts listened to Neri and subsequently commented on the transcript that followed, I couldn’t help but notice the focus Neri is placing today on the Edge having elected to bring all Edge related initiatives under the overall management of the Aruba team. “We believe the Edge is the next frontier – bigger than cloud computing. What this means (is that) the cloud will be moving closer to where the data is created. And again, at a macro level, data outpaces compute capacity (and is) created mostly at the Edge. It’s just physics – bring the cloud closer to the edge. And by the way, ‘Bring cloud closer in a different form factor!’”
Two aspects of this statement by Neri should attract further discussions across the NonStop community. Firstly, there is the prediction that HPE will be bringing the cloud closer to where the data is created. In effect, bringing the cloud to the Edge! Secondly, in so doing, bring the cloud packaged not as we see it today as massive x86 server farms but in a different form factor and much closer to what we see today as the typical Edge form factor, such is to be found in the Edgeline products, I suspect. While the industry can only speculate at this point, HPE has already said that when it comes to the Edgeline products, its “HPE Edgeline provides powerful, data center-level compute and management technology at the edge with robust platform that can operate in extreme conditions. This edge-optimized and purpose-built form factor when coupled with the distributed storage provided by VMware vSAN, allows customers to fulfill their edge computing use cases in the most efficient manner possible with enterprise grade resiliency and performance.”
In other words, former predictions by knowledgeable NonStop field specialists that NonStop and in particular virtual NonStop (vNS) may not be destined just for the data center / core / cloud but ultimately capable of being deployed where transactions first hit the network are coming true. Recognizing the distributed nature of any Edge solution with end points scattered far and wide, this can only result in many more deployments of NonStop than previously forecasted. If HPE executes on this plan, and who wouldn’t want to be able to capitalize on fault tolerance wherever transactions are first encountered, the only question remaining for the NonStop community is – are you ready for what is coming next!