The story of the first Composable Infrastructure

By Richard Arneson

In 2016, HPE introduced the first solution to the marketplace. Actually, they didn’t just introduce the first solution, they created the market. HPE recognized, along with other vendors and customers, some of the limitations inherent in hyperconvergence, which provided enterprise data centers a cloud-like experience with on-premises infrastructures. But HPE was the first company to address these limitations, such as the requirement for separate silos for compute, storage and network. What this meant was that if there was a need to upgrade one of those silos, the others had to be upgraded, as well, even if it wasn’t needed. And hyperconvergence required multiple programming interfaces; with composable, a unified API can transform the entire infrastructure with a single line of code.

HPE Synergy was the very first “ground-up” built composable infrastructure platform, and is the very definition of HPE’s Idea Economy, which is a concept to address, in their words, the belief “that disruption is all around us, and the ability is needed to turn an idea into a new product or a new industry.”

HPE set out to address the elements that proved difficult, if not impossible, with traditional technology, such as the ability to:

  • Quickly deploy infrastructure through flexibility, scaling and updating
  • Run workloads anywhere, whether on physical or virtual servers…even in containers
  • Operate any workload without worrying about infrastructure resources or compatibility issues
  • Ensure the infrastructure can provide the right service levels to drive positive business outcomes

Hardware

The foundation of HPE’s Composable Infrastructure is the HPE Synergy 12000 frame (ten (10) rack units (RU)), which combines compute, storage, network and management into a single infrastructure. The frame’s front module bays easily accommodate and integrate a broad array of compute and storage modules. There are two (2) bays for management, with the Synergy Composer loaded with HPE OneView software to compose storage, compute and network resources in customers’ configuration of choice. And OneView templates are provided for provisioning of each of the three (3) resources (compute, storage and network), and can monitor, flag, and remediate server issues based on the profiles associated with them.

Frames can be added as workloads increase, and a pair of Synergy Composer appliances can manage, with a single management domain, up to twenty-one (21) frames.

A Unified API

The Unified API allows users, through the Synergy Composer user interface, to access all management functions. It operates at a high abstraction level and makes actions repeatable, which greatly saves time and reduces errors. And remember, a single line of code can address compute, storage and network, which greatly streamlines and accelerates provisioning, and allows DevOps teams to work and develop more rapidly.

Compute

HPE Compute modules, which come in a wide variety based on types of workloads required, create a pool of flexible capacity that can be configured to rapidly―practically instantaneously―provision the infrastructure for a broad range of applications. All compute modules deliver high levels of performance, scalability, and simplified storage and configurations.

Storage

Composable storage with HPE Synergy is agile and flexible, and offers many options that can address a variety of storage needs, such as SAS, SFF, NVMe SFF, Flash uFF, or diskless.

Network (aka Fabric)

HPE Synergy Composable Fabric simplifies network connectivity by using disaggregation to create a cost-effective, highly available and scalable architecture. It creates pools of flexible capacity that provisions rapidly to address a broad range of applications. It’s enabled by HPE Virtual Connect, and can match workload performance needs with its low latency, multi-speed architecture. This one device can converge traffic across multiple frames (creating a rack scale architecture) and directly connects to external LANs.

Talk to the experts

For more information about HPE Synergy and what it can provide to your organization, contact the talented, tenured solutions architects and engineers at GDT. They’re experienced at designing and implementing composable and hyperconverged solutions for enterprises of all sizes. You can reach them at Engineering@gdt.com.