HPE Advances Server Security and Automation

Mike Vizard

At a Discover 2017 conference today, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) made a bevy of additions to its server lineup, including what it describes as the first server to embed security functions into the silicon of forthcoming Proliant Gen 10 series servers based on Intel x86 processors.

Mark Potter, senior vice president and CTO for HPE, says that HPE has been able develop a “silicon root of trust” that makes use of HPE Integrated Light Out firmware running on a chip developed by HPE that ensures servers do not execute any compromised code. In addition, Potter notes that encryption and breach detection technologies are now built into servers configured with the HPE security chip as well. Given the level of sophistication of recent IT security attacks, Potter says, it’s apparent new approaches to IT security are now required.

“We have to think differently about security,” says Potter.

Along with improving the overall security of its servers, HPE today also says customers will be given access to tuning tools that will allow them to adjust processor clocks to meet the needs of various types of workloads, while also unveiling a Project New Stack, an approach to managing IT across hybrid cloud computing environments that will leverage embedded analytics to help IT organizations significantly increase utilization rates of both on-premises servers and cloud infrastructure services. Those capabilities are intended to extend the reach of HPE’s overall HPE Synergy software-defined infrastructure initiative that it refers to as Composable Infrastructure.

New updates to HPE Synergy announced today include compute modules that support 25/50 and 100G Ethernet links, faster storage provisioning, and an update to HPE OneView that further automates the management of firmware updates, while at the same time tightening integration with Cisco, Red Hat, Mesosphere and ServiceNow. HPE also announced it intends to develop a toolkit for HPE OneView that will enable customers to take automations developed using the Redfish application programming interfaces (APIs) and apply them via the HPE OneView framework.

HPE is also making available an HPE Persistent Scalable Storage Module that provides access to terabytes of memory that can be used as persistent storage.

In addition, HPE announced it will bundle ClearOS, a distribution of Linux specifically designed for small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) on low-end servers, in recognition of the fact that interest in Linux in that segment of the IT market is growing.

Finally, HPE announced extensions to its pay-as-you-go licensing models designed to improve utilization rates and more closely align spending with actual consumption.

Clearly, HPE is making a series of investments designed to differentiate its servers on multiple levels. The issue now will be getting IT organizations to appreciate those investments before rivals figure out how to catch up.


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