VMware and HPE: BFFs, Best Frenemies Forever!!

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Don’t let the title fool you. We love VMware. Everybody loves VMware, even if they don’t want to admit it. VMware has created a world where virtualization is more than just part of a company’s ecosystem, it’s practically the cornerstone on which infrastructures are built. The first question asked in any sales meeting is usually, “What percentage of your infrastructure is virtualized?”

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and VMware have enjoyed a long, successful history together. It’s often been suggested that HPE is VMware’s biggest partner, biggest reseller, biggest integrator, etc. Think about it: What industry benefits most from virtualization if not servers? And who holds the #1 market share for servers?

There’s clearly no question how much VMware and HPE have helped each other and benefited from being BFFs, and it’s more than just servers. A vast majority of VMs are connected to shared storage, which is why the top conversations at VMworld are typically related to storage integration into that ecosystem.

We’re so tight with VMware in 2014, a full year before VVols were actually released, HPE was running demos on a 3PAR StoreServ storage array at VMworld. (See Calvin Zito’s post VMware VVols and HP 3PAR StoreServ at VMworld.).

But getting to the heart of the matter: virtualization

In spite of the lovefest, we do compete with VMware, and that’s OK. VMware competes with almost everyone on some level.

HPE StoreVirtual is at the heart of HPE Composable Infrastructure, our Hyper Converged systems, and our Composable Data Fabric. While VMware offers VSAN as their software-defined storage, HPE StoreVirtual offers much more. It’s more flexible, more mature, more resilient. It offers unlimited replication targets – infinitely valuable where software-defined and hyperconverged products are used – and it isn’t limited to VMware only.

On to composability: making “IT” synonymous with “easy”

Composable infrastructure is removing the tedious planning and preparation that goes into traditional IT decisions. This way, admins can focus on the things that are really important: the business and the apps they need to keep it moving.

Remember, this is what composable infrastructure is:

  • Unified APIs across compute, fabric, and storage
  • Software-defined intelligence
  • Physical, virtual, and container-fluid resource pools

We’re finally getting to the place where everyone’s been wanting to go since the dotcom era. No more complicated IT and no more wasted cycles on ensuring interoperability and deciding whose “XYZ feature” is best. The world today loves simple management interfaces. That’s why as part of our approach to composability, we made HPE OneView, the management platform, as simple as it gets – without sacrificing a smidgen of its robustness and power. (You’re welcome.)

Maybe one of the best assets composable infrastructure brings to the table is the depth of its partner ecosystem capabilities. It integrates Docker, Microsoft, and a whole slew of other automation technologies. Why bother picking between “XYZs” when you can simply say, “Yes, please” and enjoy all the latest, greatest technologies available with a composable infrastructure?

I’m not writing a commercial for composability. I shouldn’t need to at this point – especially because we’re so far ahead of the technology curve with:

  • The ability to run almost any application and store almost any data
  • Data services (block or file based on application requirements) with “best-fit placement” and optimized QoS (actual QoS, not the stuff some of the other guys are pushing)
  • Partner programs with tools that enable ISVs
  • Pay-as-you-grow programs

If you love flash memory, we’ve got you covered with support for both flash-optimized systems and software-defined storage. We’re also going to give you the capability to move workloads non-disruptively between storage via federation (that’s a real data fabric).

And these are just some of the highlights.

It’s still all about virtualization – and VMware

No matter how great composable infrastructure is, without virtualization it’ll just feel like a really big Lego ®. I love Legos, but they don’t make anyone’s business better (although maybe if we can distract some execs with Legos and get them out of the way, actual work can get done…).

I digress…

We’re doing more work and staying ahead with EVERY virtualization vendor out there. We’re also investing in native container support. Although there’s no question here that VMware leads the virtualization pack, and we certainly recognize that because we love VMware.

What about the other vendors?

It’s already established that we’re frenemies with VMware at times, but what about the other vendors? Well, the simple fact is that we’re ALL frenemies.

Owned by EMC or not, VMware has always been an independent company and run independently. New VMware releases are often incorporated into other vendors before EMC has them, but beyond that, EMC’s ScaleIO is a direct competitor to VMware. Cisco absolutely competes with VMware in the software-defined networking space, and Dell’s most compelling product today is its XC product line, which is a partnership with Nutanix based on Nutanix software. VMware and Nutanix do not work together…at all. The way things have gotten downright ugly between those companies, I think we’d have to say they’re just enemies.

At the end of the day, VMware competes with almost EVERYBODY. That makes them frenemies with the whole industry, and that’s okay. Competition breeds improvement. We embrace that because we know HPE makes better products, and we know we can prove it. Best of all, partnering with VMware means we get to continue innovating together, and that’s good for everybody! After all, we’re BFFs!

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