HPE Enters the Virtualization Market

HPE Enters the Virtualization Market

The News: HPE announced the introduction of its server virtualization platform built on KVM as part of its HPE GreenLake Hybrid Cloud offering.

HPE Enters the Virtualization Market

Analyst Take: During our discussions with HPE executives, the HPE team was exceptionally careful to note that the virtualization offering based on KVM wasn’t meant to compete directly with Broadcom’s VMware offering. HPE and Broadcom remain close partners, with Broadcom announcing the renewal of HPE’s OEM reseller agreement.

However, customers have been asking for alternatives to VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) as Broadcom narrows its focus to providing an on-premises alternative to the public cloud. This shift in focus leaves a gap in the market for larger customers who don’t want the VCF private cloud offering.

Can HPE Greenlake Virtualization Replace VMware vSphere?

HPE has steadfastly supported VMware technologies as part of the virtualization offerings managed by HPE Greenlake. In the announcement, HPE also promoted up to 5x savings for existing virtualization stacks. With VMware being the leading enterprise data center virtualization offering, it’s evident that savings are coming from reducing VMware licensing.

Can organizations shift from an operating model that depends on the VCF control plane to another solution? It’s important to note the technical differences in the stacks. An exhaustive comparison would be needed to compare the technical maxims. However, one of the most important technical specifications when considering virtualization platforms is the amount of RAM allowed for a given host. VMware vSphere supports up to 24TB of RAM per node, while Red Hat Linux distribution supports 16 TB of RAM per host. Customers needing the highest density level for power and cooling may find migration untenable now.

Technical maxims aren’t the only barrier to migration. VMware customers have spent considerable time integrating VMware vSphere into daily operations, from service provisioning to disaster recovery and security operations.

HPE Greenlake Hybrid Cloud Providing an Off-Ramp

HPE argues that Greenlake abstracts cloud services across private data centers, co-locations, and public clouds. That abstraction includes the virtualization stacks running in customer-managed environments such as private data centers and co-locations. The vision of HPE’s platform is to enable customers to standardize on the Greenlake Hybrid Cloud platform and leverage any supported virtualization stack.

Alongside the modernization of applications and operations, HPE advertises the 5X savings compared to existing deployments.

What About AI?

From a technical perspective, KVM supports GPUs. However, HPE extended its partnership with Nvidia to support Nvidia NIMs. The partnership and resulting engineered systems further HPE’s argument to adopt HPE Hybrid Cloud due to the advanced offering of HPE Greenlake Private Cloud AI.

HPE is looking to fill the first-party gaps within its Hybrid Cloud offering, and the virtualization product furthers that goal.

Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.

Other Insights from The Futurum Group:

Unlocking AI Potential: How HPE Private Cloud AI Accelerates AI Deployment and Innovation

Navigating AI: Enterprise Challenges and Hybrid Solutions – Infrastructure Matters

HPE GreenLake Is Better Than I Remember

How the Evolution of AI and Hybrid Cloud Impacts IT Investments – Futurum Tech Webcast

Author Information

Keith Townsend

Keith Townsend is a technology management consultant with more than 20 years of related experience in designing, implementing, and managing data center technologies. His areas of expertise include virtualization, networking, and storage solutions for Fortune 500 organizations. He holds a BA in computing and an MS in information technology from DePaul University. He is the President of the CTO Advisor, part of The Futurum Group.


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