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Composable Infrastructure: Harnessing the value of the digital economy

Chris Purcell

Realizing the competitive promise of the digital economy, requires a plan that transitions IT from mainframe and client/server computing to the new IT for mobile devices, cloud services, social networks, and big data analytics. At HP, we call this transitioning to the Idea Economy, because it gives IT the ability to deliver new business opportunities and strategies by quickly providing revenue-generating products, services, and experiences.


But today’s complex infrastructures make it difficult for IT to deliver on this promise. And to make it even more challenging, Enterprises now needing to support two very different models for delivering applications. Everyone is familiar with first, it’s the traditional model, where IT is tasked to deliver infrastructure and applications that “Run the business”. These workload-specific hardware platforms, tools, and processes runs packaged applications designed to automate the business in a conventional, steady-state environment. But because of the overall design, they undermine service delivery, speed, and quality as well as top-line business performance.


The second model, is a new emerging mode I labeled above as the Idea Economy. This mode operates mobile, big data, and cloud applications and services in a nonlinear, high-speed model that requires low latency and can continuously adapt to high levels of uncertainty and change. In this second mode of the Idea Economy, “IT is the Business”.


The differences between these two models are numerous and fundamental. Moving forward requires a two-mode (Bi-Model) approach: one that allows IT organizations to align the infrastructure around the needs of both traditional and New Style of Business applications.


The answer is composable infrastructure, HP’s vision for a new class of infrastructure, which is designed around three core principles:

  • A Unified API – that provides a single line of code to abstract every element of infrastructure
  • Fluid resource (physical, virtual, and container) pools that effortlessly meet each application’s changing needs by allowing for composing, decomposing, and then the recomposition of single blocks of disaggregated compute, storage, and fabric infrastructure
  • Software-defined intelligence—with template-driven, single-touch provisioning and management—that provides true infrastructure as code capabilities (i.e. using software to control hardware quickly, programmatically, and without human intervention). Think about this as turning hardware infrastructure into code.

Together they deliver a new level of agility and speed, with better consistency, governance, and operational efficiency.

This new class of unified, two-mode infrastructure facilitates the move to a continuous services and application delivery model and enables applications to be updated as needed, rather than just once or twice a year. It turns IT into an internal service provider that can:

  • Run anything, store everything
  • Deliver new applications and services dramatically faster
  • Simplify lifecycle operations and integration
  • Unlock value creation

This new class of Composable infrastructure lets IT operate like a cloud provider to lines of business and the extended enterprise. It maximizes the speed, agility, and efficiency of core infrastructure and operations to consistently meet SLAs and provide the predictable performance needed to support the core workloads—for both today and tomorrow.


Moving to a composable infrastructure is an incremental, not all-or-nothing, process. You can get started today with HP OneView and continue to build on HP ConvergedSystem, HP BladeSystem, and add our Composable Infrastructure API. Establishing this level of composability and infrastructure as code lets you immediately begin reducing costs and increasing administrative efficiencies. Composable infrastructure’s ability to disaggregate and reaggregate underlying blocks of infrastructure means the investments made today can be built upon and adjusted in the future.


The new HP Composable Infrastructure Partner Program provides a new set of tools and resources that help ISVs and developers build interoperability between HP OneView and other software for programmatic access to infrastructure. Ansible, Chef, Docker, Microsoft, Puppet, and VMware, are just a few industry players starting to use our composable infrastructure to give companies the ability to provide infrastructure as code access to their internal environments.


We have recently introduced this new class of infrastructure at HP Discover which has now creating a lot of interest in the industry. If you want to learn more about HP Composable Infrastructure and currently available solutions, I have added a link to a recent white paper. And click here if you have interest in finding out more about the Composable Infrastructure partner program.


I hope you found this worth reading.




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About the Author

Chris Purcell

Composable Infrastructure, Integrated and Multi-Cloud management, Hyperconverged Infrastructure and Cloud

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