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HPE aims to make its product lineup as-a-service, updates GreenLake, unveils Primera storage

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A Guide to Data Center Automation
Today’s data centers remain the nerve center of the enterprise, and automation is powering new levels of agility and digital transformation.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise said it will offer its portfolio as-a-service by 2022, rolled out a new storage line called Primera and updated its hybrid cloud and edge computing lineups.

The announcements, delivered at HPE Discover, fall in line with HPE’s strategy outlined in  October. HPE’s most recent quarter highlighted strength in its Nimble storage line as rivals warned about a sales slowdown. HPE’s GreenLake orders were also strong as well as its high performance compute products, which will be bolstered via the acquisition of Cray.

Phil Davis, president of HPE’s hybrid IT business and chief sales officer, said the move to a consumption-based model for customers allows the company to reach more customers and provide more choice. “Larger enterprise customers continue to go as a service, but also have on-premises,” said Davis. “We will have right-sized offerings for midmarket and the lower end of the enterprise. Large enterprises have access to data centers, but smaller companies don’t.”

The headliner of HPE’s as-a-service push revolves around GreenLake. GreenLake is HPE’s hybrid cloud, data center and private cloud portfolio offered as a service. GreenLake will be offered in license, service and capital-expenditure models.

HPE added that GreenLake will offer new midmarket services via partnerships with CyrusOne, Equinix and Google Cloud. These partnerships enable to extend the on-premise IT as a service model to co-location data centers and the cloud. HPE will offer more of its software–Aruba Central, BlueData, CloudVolumes, InfoSight and OneView as subscriptions.

So far, HPE GreenLake is the company’s fastest growing unit with more than $2.8 billion in total contract value, 600 customers and 400 partners selling it.

For the midmarket, HPE GreenLake will be preconfigured for compute, database, private cloud, storage and virtualization workloads. Systems will be optimized to save time on design and testing.

HPE will also launch GreenLake for Aruba for edge-networking as a service to cover enterprise Wi-Fi, edge switching, security and other tools.

Over time, HPE’s business should have more recurring revenue and predictable results with an as-a-service model. Other key items include:

Primera storage

HPE outlined Primera, a new storage portfolio that aims to leverage its intellectual property and platforms from other systems into new systems built from scratch for artificial intelligence workloads.

The company’s storage lineup including Nimble and 3Par are performing well, but Primera is designed for to compete for large enterprise accounts. Primera would likely compete with Dell EMC as well as Pure. “Primera is more of an extension to the portfolio with a new architecture that allows us to scale where we didn’t historically,” said Davis.

Primera has the following features:

  • Self-installs in less than 20 minutes;
  • Data reduction built in;
  • Regular software updates;
  • Deployments in multiple formats and payment models;
  • 100% data availability guarantee;
  • HPE InfoSight integration;
  • A multi-node design.
  • Primera will be available to order in August.

Composable infrastructure

HPE said its ProLiant DL 380/360/560 Gen-10 rack-based servers can be turned into composable infrastructure to automate deployment via its Composable Cloud application.

The company also said its customers can deploy HPE with its physical storage or VMware vSAN. HPE’s composable portfolio also supports its HPE SimpliVity hyperconverged infrastructure.

HPE also updated its SimpliVity lineup including:

  • HPE SimpliVity 325, which is designed for remote offices and runs on AMD EPYC with all-flash storage.
  • SimpliVity 380 storage optimized node to aggregate copies from multiple implementations of SimpliVity.
  • Automated configurations of Aruba switches when deploying HPE SimpliVity hyperconverged nodes.

HPE also launched HPE Nimble Storage disaggregated hyperconverged infrastructure platform. The aim is to integrate ProLiant servers and Nimble to simplify virtual machine management.

Aruba and edge computing

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HPE said it is enhancing its Aruba Central platform to include analytics and assurance tools Aruba NetInsight and User Experience Insight as well as adding tools for software defined infrastructure management. Aruba Central will also have gateways to Amazon Web Services as well as Microsoft Azure as well as new workflow tools.

In addition, HPE said it is integrating smart sensor technology (ABB Ability) with its Aruba access points to blend operational technology equipment with sensors.

Other items include:

  • Secure Edge Data Center for Microsoft Azure Stack, an appliance for Microsoft Azure Stack.
  • HPE Edgeline IoT Quick Connect, which is designed to give customers the ability to monitor and control operation technology equipment such as machines and motors.
  • Condition monitoring for operational technology via HPE PointNext Services.
  • Integration with Microsoft Azure, ABB and PTC for IoT management.

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Both Volkswagen and Tesla are preparing cheaper EVs

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A new report is going around that claims new, more affordable electric vehicles will be coming to market. According to the report, both Tesla and Volkswagen have given new EV programs the green light to create cars selling for between $25,000 and $30,000. That is a price point that will undoubtedly make transitioning to electric vehicles more affordable for people worldwide.

Pricing is one of the main concerns cited by vehicle shoppers for not choosing electric vehicles compared to a traditional car. Many have been waiting for EVs to reach price parity with similarly equipped traditional vehicles. That parity has been achieved in some parts of the luxury segment making EVs more popular in that part of the market.

Advancements in batteries have helped bring the price of electric vehicles down as the battery pack is one of the most expensive parts of the car. More drivers are interested in EVs as driving ranges have increased significantly in recent years. One barrier that remains in the way is the lack of charging infrastructure in many parts of the world.

Many also cite long charge times as a reason they’ve yet to adopt an electric vehicle. With new electric cars in the $25,000-$30,000 price range, one more barrier of entry will be removed. Tesla announced in September that it was planning a smaller long-range electric car using new battery technology that would start at $25,000. Elon Musk also noted that the vehicle will be fully autonomous and revealed a timeframe of about three years from now. The VW car is dubbed the Small Battery Electric Vehicle.

Volkswagen is aiming at a car about the size of its Polo. Volkswagen has offered no indication of when exactly its vehicle might come to market. Reports indicate that the 2024 through 2025 model range is a good guess for when the vehicles might arrive.

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Hyundai and Kia fined $210 million over vehicle recalls due to engine trouble

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced consent orders this week with Hyundai and Kia related to recalls of vehicles equipped with the Theta II engines. The automakers were hit with combined penalties amounting to $210 million. The NHTSA found that Hyundai and Kia conducted untimely recalls of over 1.6 million vehicles that used the Theta II engines.

The NHTSA also found that the automakers reported certain inaccurate information to it during the recalls. The consent orders establish monetary and non-monetary measures that will enhance Kia and Hyundai’s safety practices. Kia will create a new US safety office headed by a Chief Safety Officer. Hyundai will build a US test facility for safety investigations.

Both companies have promised to develop and implement a sophisticated data analytics program to better detect safety concerns. The agreements will also see each company retain an independent, third-party auditor who will directly report to the NHTSA. These auditors will conduct comprehensive reviews of the Safety Act practices and compliance with the consent order.

The NHTSA is also making both companies commit to substantial organizational improvements to enhance their ability to identify and investigate potential safety issues in the US while consistently and transparently communicating with the NHTSA. Hyundai is subject to a total civil penalty of $140 million with a $54 million upfront payment. It’s obligated to spend another $40 million on specified safety performance measures and an additional $46 million deferred penalty that will become payable if specified conditions aren’t satisfied.

Kia is subject to the total civil penalty of $70 million with a $27 million upfront payment. It’s obligated to spend another $16 million on specified safety performance measures with a $27 million deferred penalty payable if certain conditions aren’t satisfied. The consent orders don’t impact other ongoing investigations by the NHTSA regarding allegations of fires not related to crashes in Hyundai and Kia vehicles equipped with the Theta II engines.

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The NHTSA is opening an investigation into the Tesla Model S and Model X

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The NHTSA announced this week that it was opening a preliminary investigation into potential safety concerns raised by owners of Tesla Model S and Model X cars. The agency has received 53 complaints alleging failures of the left or right front suspension fore links. Of those 43 complaints, 11 incidents occurred while driving.

In its statement issued about the investigation, the NHTSA says that the complaints appear to indicate an increasing trend with 34 complaints received in the last two years, with three of them occurring at highway speeds. The agency intends to assess the scope, frequency, and consequences of the alleged fault.

The investigation will cover Tesla Model S cars ranging from 2015 through 2017 model years and Tesla Model X SUVs made from 2016 through 2017. As these vehicles age, they could be prone to defects that didn’t surface when they were newer. As of now, there has been no official statement from Tesla on the investigation.

There is also no indication that a recall has to be issued at this time. Tesla vehicles have had their share of issues with fire potential from battery damage during accidents. Several fatal accidents have also been blamed on inattentive drivers and Tesla Autopilot driver assistance systems not recognizing hazards in the road.

On Wednesday of this week, Tesla announced that it was issuing a recall on over 9000 Model Y and Model X vehicles due to issues with bolts. The Model X also had an issue where roof trim could detach over time, leading to potential accidents or road hazards. Despite the recalls, Tesla shares are booming, having gained more than 600 percent in 2020 despite the pandemic.

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