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HPE aims new SimpliVity HCI at edge computing

Hewlett Packard Enterprise has launched a 2U SimpliVity HCI product for virtual desktops. The condensed compute and storage system will later be offered for IoT applications.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise has introduced a compact hyper-converged infrastructure system destined for running IoT applications at the network's edge.

HPE unveiled the SimpliVity 2600 this week, calling the device the "first software-optimized offering" in the SimpliVity HCI line. The 2U system is initially built to run a virtual desktop system, but its size and computing power makes it "ideal for edge computing applications," said Lee Doyle, the principal analyst at Doyle Research, based in Wellesley, Mass.

Thomas Goepel, the director of product management at HPE, said the company would eventually market the SimpliVity 2600 for IoT and general-purpose applications that require a smallish system with a dense virtualized environment.

As virtual desktop infrastructure, the SimpliVity 2600 provides a scale-out architecture that lets companies increase compute, memory and storage as needed. The system also has a built-in backup and disaster recovery for desktop operations.

Intel Xeon processors with 22 cores each power the SimpliVity 2600, which supports up to 768 GB of memory. Hardware features include a redundant power supply, hot-pluggable solid-state drives, cluster expansion without downtime and an integrated storage controller with a battery-backed cache. The system also has a 10 GbE network interface card.

HPE's planned Plexxi integration

HPE's SimpliVity HCI portfolio stems from last year's $650 million purchase of HCI vendor SimpliVity Corp. The acquired company's technology for data deduplication and compression was a significant attraction for HPE, analysts said.

HPE has said it will eventually incorporate in its SimpliVity HCI systems the hyper-converged networking (HCN) technology of Plexxi. HPE announced its acquisition of Plexxi in May but did not disclose financial details.

"[An] HPE SimpliVity with Plexxi solution is on the roadmap," Goepel said. He did not provide a timetable.

Plexxi's HCN software enables a software-based networking fabric that runs on Broadcom-powered white box switches. Companies can use VMware's vCenter dashboard to orchestrate virtual machines in a Plexxi HCI system. Plexxi software can also detect and monitor VMware NSX components attached to the fabric.

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