How HPE’s Acquisition of Plexxi Enhanced Its Software Capability

HPE strengthens its position in the SDN space

On May 15, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) announced its acquisition of Plexxi, a company that provides SDN (software-defined network) technology, specifically software-defined data fabric networking technology. The company’s technology enables the modernization of the data center and hybrid cloud spaces with its software-defined data fabric technology.

A data fabric integrates data placement, data management, access management, and performance optimization so that data can freely move between storage systems within a data center and the cloud without altering user processes.

How HPE’s Acquisition of Plexxi Enhanced Its Software Capability

Plexxi’s software enables businesses to route applications rather than physical infrastructure, minimizing the requirement for network switches and routers.

The financial details of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of HPE’s current fiscal quarter, which ends on July 31.

Factors facilitating the adoption of HCI

Founded in 2010, Plexxi has raised $83.4 million to date, according to Crunchbase. The acquisition of Plexxi complements HPE’s 2017 acquisition of SimpliVity. SimpliVity provides SDDC (software-defined data center) architecture and HCI (hyperconverged infrastructure) technology.

In an HCI, computing, storage, and networking capabilities are merged and handled chiefly by software, not hardware, saving companies and chief information officers the hassle of purchasing separate components and integrating them manually.

Conventional storage has servers sharing different layers of storage appliances over a network. On the other hand, HCI solutions integrate the local storage within each server into a vSAN (virtual storage area network), a shared and distributed layer of storage.

Because there are no separate storage requirements to be provisioned, deployment is fast. Through the inclusion of more nodes, scaling becomes easy. Thus, with HCI, a separate storage network is no longer needed. However, a fast, low-latency network is required to connect the nodes.

This explains the rising popularity of HCI solutions within small companies. These solutions are also preferred by large companies when they want to run desktop systems and manage branch offices remotely. Apart from HPE, VMware (VMW) and Cisco Systems (CSCO) dominate the HCI space.