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IT industry trends: Six major vendors chart new courses

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Taking a look at the HPE hybrid IT strategy

Since Hewlett Packard Enterprise's creation in 2014, the company's evolution has been marked by buyouts and divestments, bringing it to its current focus on hybrid IT.

Tracing Hewlett Packard Enterprise's trajectory from its origins through its multiple divestments and acquisitions and to the current HPE hybrid IT strategy, it's striking to remember the company is only a few years old.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) arrived at its current market position after a journey that started with Hewlett-Packard's split in October 2014. The split resulted in its traditional PC and printers business forming HP Inc. while its enterprise products and services business segment spun out into HPE. The rationale behind the split was that two small, lean and agile companies would be better than one monolithic organization. It's opposite to the approach taken by competitor Dell, which undertook a massive merger with EMC in the same timeframe.

From there, HPE continued to pare down its operations. The company made an unsuccessful attempt at the public cloud market with HP Helion, folding the offering in the 2015. The following year, HPE divested its IT services business, which merged with Computer Sciences Corp., and sold its enterprise software infrastructure business to British software company Micro Focus.

But while slimming down, HPE simultaneously bolstered its technology portfolio through a series of noteworthy acquisitions. These buyouts included the $650 million acquisition of hyper-convergence pioneer SimpliVity and the $1.2 billion purchase of Nimble Storage shortly after. HPE also bought networking company Aruba Networks, high-performance computing company SGI, cloud management vendor Cloud Cruiser and security company Niara.

HPE then trained its focus on hybrid IT, which it believes will dominate the enterprise, as well as on the promise of in-memory computing.

Read through the set of articles below for more insight into HPE's evolution and the direction the company is headed under the HPE hybrid IT strategy.

'The future of IT will be hybrid'

CEO Meg Whitman declared HPE hybrid IT to be the bull's-eye for the company's future strategy. In ComputerWeekly's overview of the HPE Discover 2017 conference, Brian McKenna outlined HPE's efforts to align its operations with this vision, which involved investments in a new server architecture, as well as computing on "the edge."

HPE bets on multicloud, edge computing

HPE has set its sights on an area outside the purview of public cloud providers like Amazon Web Services and Azure: managing multicloud environments. The company also envisions a key role for itself in the rise of smaller edge locations in internet of things environments. SearchDataCenter explored the implications of these strategies with analyst and customer commentary.

Invigorating a lagging storage portfolio

In 2017, HPE picked up a pair of big names in the storage world -- all-flash and hybrid array vendor Nimble Storage and hyper-convergence company SimpliVity. This blog post by SearchStorage.com's Dave Raffo examined the billion-dollar Nimble buyout and how it relates to HPE's existing 3PAR technology.

HPE hybrid IT in action

HPE illustrated its approach to hybrid IT with the debut of the Project New Stack platform. The tool, which orchestrates public and private cloud use, could help HPE gain traction in enterprise data centers. TechTarget's Robert Gates assessed potential use cases for the technology.

Investments in 'The Machine'

HPE's memory-driven computing research and development program, dubbed The Machine, aims to put memory, not the processor, at the center of computing architecture. In this ComputerWeekly article, HPE CTO Mark Potter said The Machine is an entirely new computing model and explained its applications yet to come.

Remaining focused on channel sales

As HPE undergoes a multitude of changes, the company has asserted that its relationships with channel partners remain vital of its overall strategy. At its Partner Summit 2017, executives explained how channel firms fit into its vision and the vendor's increasing focus on partner competencies.

Next Steps

Read more about HPE's acquisition of Cloud Cruiser

Learn how HPE is differentiating its IoT strategy

HPE-Big Switch partnership could open doors

This was last published in August 2017

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360 Guide: IT industry trends: Six major vendors chart new courses

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