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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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The Rise of Industrial IoT

Infrastructure around the world is being linked together via sensors, machine learning and analytics. We examine the rise of the digital twin, the new leaders in industrial IoT (IIoT) and case studies that highlight the lessons learned from production IIoT deployments.

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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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GMC Hummer EV SUV reveal dated: Watch the electric pickup go sideways on ice

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GMC will reveal its second Hummer EV variant in just a few weeks time, with the SUV version of the all-electric super truck promising an alternative body-style to the original pickup. The GMC Hummer EV SUV will be unveiled on April 3, the automaker confirmed today, though this isn’t the first time we’ve heard about the new version.

Back in July 2020, in fact, GMC teased what we could expect from the SUV body. As you might expect, it’s the same bold lines and chunky styling from the front back to roughly the C-pillars.

However unlike the pickup’s roughly 5 foot long bed, the SUV will have an enclosed cargo area. That will allow for a spare wheel to be mounted on the tailgate. We’re still expecting to see removable roof panels, allowing most of the top of the electric truck to be opened up, though final cargo capacity will have to wait until the official reveal.

As for what’s underneath the sheet metal, there we’re unlikely to see GMC straying too far from the architecture of the Hummer EV pickup. Based on GM’s Ultium platform for electric vehicles, that includes up to three motors and 1,000 horsepower in total, depending on trim. Torque vectoring – where power is individually controlled in its delivery to each rear wheel – and a “CrabWalk” mode that allows the trunk to track diagonally at low speeds in off-road or tight parking lot conditions are also supported.

0-60 mph should come in around 3 seconds for the most potent Hummer EV, GMC has said, while range will be up to around 350 miles on a charge. 800V DC fast charging with support for up to 350 kW should mean 100 miles of range added in just 10 minutes.

While GMC is launching the pickup version with the limited-availability 2022 Hummer EV Edition 1 first, it has more affordable versions planned for 2022 and beyond. That’s likely to be the same strategy the automaker takes with the electric SUV, with premium pricing and a heavily constrained supply to begin with. Reservations for the SUV will open on April 3, GMC has said.

As for progress on the electric pickup, GMC says it has been undertaking winter testing in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, making ample use of the snow and ice to see how the all-wheel drive holds up. That also includes testing of the electronic stability control and traction control.

Production of the 2022 Hummer EV pickup is expected to begin in the fall, GMC says, with initial deliveries before the end of the year.

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Storm armored MPV runs on hybrid power and is amphibious

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A company from Ukraine called Highland Systems is showing off an interesting armored vehicle at the IREX Defense Expo in Abu Dhabi. The Storm uses a hybrid powertrain and has fully amphibious capabilities. That means it’s able to operate on land and can operate in water as well. Interestingly, the company is working on a version of the vehicle that will launch soon that’s also submersible.

The Storm is a tracked military vehicle, and while it’s certainly not the first amphibious tracked vehicle, it is the first to use a hybrid-electric powertrain. The vehicle has an 18 to 36-hour driving range in hybrid mode with its diesel range extender running. It can also operate on battery power for up to 3.5 hours, depending on operating speed.

The vehicle is quite massive weighing 17,600 pounds, and it seats six people inside. Its hybrid powertrain produces 2500 horsepower. With that much power on tap, the massive vehicle is an impressive performer with a top speed of 87 mph on land or 18.6 mph and water. That’s as much as three times faster than other competitors in the segment. It’s also able to handle waves in the open ocean of up to 60 inches.

The vehicle has 20-inches of ground clearance, and its tracks are made out of durable rubber. It can climb vertical steps as high as 60-inches and move across an 80-inch wide moat. Its tracks are modular and designed to allow individual treads to be replaced rather than the entire track. That design element makes the vehicle up to 70 percent less expensive to operate than other tracked models.

Storm is also armored, providing protection from ballistics, mines, and IEDs up to STANAG level 1 or 2. The vehicle is also able to be run by remote control allowing uncrewed or autonomous missions. Currently, Storm is a prototype the company is working on, the submersible version and a wheeled version. The company does plan to move the vehicle into production, stating that demand is strong.

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Project Trinity is Volkswagen’s software dream car

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German automotive giant Volkswagen shared a single teaser image of Project Trinity, the future of the brand. Project Trinity promises longer range, faster charging, and a revolutionary production method with standardized hardware, eliminating the need to choose from a confusing selection of variants, packages, and trim models.

“Trinity is a sort of crystallization point for our ACCELERATE strategy, a lighthouse project, our software dream car,” said Ralf Brandstätter, CEO of the Volkswagen brand. “The newly developed architecture will set standards in terms of range, digitalization, and charging speed.” The latter, Brandstätter adds, enables Project Trinity to charge as fast as refueling a car.

In the future, buying an electric Volkswagen is simpler. According to VW, its future vehicles will come in fewer variants, with each car having standardized hardware. Customers can ‘activate’ or ‘download’ features on-demand at any time using the vehicle’s built-in digital ecosystem. “We will completely rethink the way we build cars and introduce revolutionary processes,” added Brandstätter. “Digitalization, automation, and lightweight construction play an important role here.”

Buying a new VW in the future is like buying a smartphone today. Every smartphone is ready to use out-of-the-box, although the customer has complete reign on personalizing and customizing the user experience by downloading or installing various apps. Project Trinity and future VW cars will have all the necessary hardware, but each customer can choose to unlock or download specific features and packages like a smartphone app.

With this method, Volkswagen aims to reduce the burgeoning complexity of modern electric vehicle production. “In the future, the individual configuration of the vehicle will no longer be determined by the hardware at the time of purchase,” added Brandstätter. Additionally, Project Trinity will make autonomous driving in the volume segment a distinct possibility. It will come with Level 2+ autonomy and is technically capable of supporting up to Level 4 autonomy.

Surprisingly, Volkswagen’s Project Trinity is not an SUV, although it has the silhouette of a low-riding crossover with a long wheelbase and a sloping roofline. Officially, Project Trinity is a sedan, and VW expects to start production as early as 2026.

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