HPE’s edge compute systems now support full-fat datacentre software

Edgeline systems can now run SQL Server, Azure, SAP HANA, Citrix XenApp and more

HPE is adding compatibility for full-fat datacentre software to its Edgeline range, demonstrating its commitment to what CEO Antonio Neri has dubbed 'the intelligent edge'.

The company has validated a number of enterprise software stacks for use with its Edgeline EL1000 and EL4000 systems, including VMware, Microsoft SQL Server, SAP HANA and Citrix XenDesktop, allowing customers to run virtualisation and compute tasks at the edge with the same tools they use in their datacentre.

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"Not a junior version, not a light version, not a pared-down version, but rather the full enterprise-class power is now coming out of the cloud, unleashed and delivered at the edge," announced Tom Bradicich, PhD, HPE's vice-president and general manager of IoT & converged edge systems, speaking at HPE Discover today.

"The presence of the full software stack - the power of that - is extremely, extremely game-changing. Because today, with other systems, competitors' systems, pared-down versions have to be run. There's not enough memory, there's not enough storage, there's not enough processing power."

HPE's Edgeline systems, which were launched last year, are converged edge computing infrastructure packages designed to be used in remote and inhospitable locations.

Businesses who want to perform tasks such as data capture and analysis or autonomous control of industrials systems in these locations are often stymied by bandwidth issues caused by shuttling data to and from a centralised datacentre or cloud service - issues that can be mitigated by putting processing and compute capacity closer to the locations where these tasks need to be performed.

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Edge computing itself isn't a new idea, but by ensuring that organisations can run the same software at the edge as they do in their cloud or datacentre, HPE aims to help reduce the management overheads, cost and complexity associated with it.

"The way you manage your edge with Edgeline converged edge systems is the same way as the cloud and as the datacentre," Bradicich said. "And when I speak to customers about this, the IT professionals absolutely love this idea. They can tap into remote manageability. When these systems are at the edge - on an oil rig, for example, or in a power plant - they can be managed remotely, just like they can remotely manage a cloud."

"But more, the customers can use their own management tools, or they can use an industry-standard management tool, because when you have the platform certified for Red Hat, Microsoft, Citrix; when you have a platform for that - and I'm not joking - thousands of applications can now run at the edge."

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This area has become a big strategic focus for HPE; Neri yesterday announced that the company would be investing a total of $4 billion in edge technology over the next four years, allocated to research and development into new product lines and consulting offerings.

The company also announced that it is upping the storage allocation available on the EL1000 and EL4000 units by more than ten times, thanks to a new hardware add-on. The Edgeline Extended Storage Adapter kit enables Edgeline units to support up to 48TB of software-defined storage, up from the previous limit of 4TB. It's also compatible with storage management tools like VMware vSAN and HPE's StoreVirtual VSA.

HPE's new Storage Adapter kit will be available in September for an initial list price of $299, while the validated support for enterprise software stacks will be rolled out over the next few months. Bradicich also teased the announcements of new Edgeline hardware at HPE's next Discover event in Europe later this year.

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