HPE highlights innovation in software-defined IT, security at Discover

At its Discover conference, HPE pulled back the curtains on firmware security and advances in software-defined IT aimed to reduce costs and increase system flexibility for its users and help it stay ahead of competitors in next-generation infrastructure.

There is plenty of competition in the market for converged and hyperconverged data center systems, but at the moment HPE has the lead in composable infrastructure, a term gaining currency in the system management world.

Composable infrastructure allows data center managers to deploy infrastructure resources using software commands, notes Patrick Moorhead, founder of Moor Insights and Strategy.

Initially deployed as a feature on HPE’s Synergy family, the idea is that by treating hardware and storage infrastructure as fluid pools of resources that can be deployed at will, enterprises can reduce data center costs and the time it takes to spin up new applications.

“This is an area where HPE has the lead,” Moorhead says. “I see this as a continuum where there’s converged, hyperconverged and then composable infrastructure.”

But the competition, notably Dell-EMC, is closing in on composable IT technology, notes Moorhead. So in Las Vegas, HPE is showing off innovations meant to keep it a step ahead.

Essential to HPE software-defined infrastructure enhancements is HPE OneView 3.1, which will support the company’s Gen 10 servers. “OneView is a huge enabler of our composablity;  that’s really the software behind how we take pieces of server storage networking as a fluid resource that can be composed,” said Doug Strain, server management product manager at HPE.

Among enhancements to OneView is intelligent system tuning, which allows systems to boost processor performance for certain workloads while also modulating frequency using a technique known as jitter smoothing. Jitter smoothing helps ensure that data is not lost while boosting core performance. This enables trading systems in which trade data can not be lost, for example, to take advantage of core boosting when high performance is required.

The new version of OneView also offers more than a dozen preset workload settings to make it easier for customers to tune systems for certain types of applications. The feature includes presets for low latency, graphics processing, web e-commerce and virtualized power-efficient workloads.

HPE is also pushing the boundaries on persistent memory technology, which brings together the performance of DRAM with the persistence of flash. The company essentially has combined a layer of DRAM, a layer of flash and an integrated power source — a Smart Storage Battery that sits behind the drive cage and plugs into the motherboard through memory slots.