HP’s Composable Infrastructure: Infrastructure As Code

LAS VEGAS: There weren’t a flood of announcements at this year’s Discover, but HP and friends — including , , , , and — has unveiled the HP Composable Infrastructure API and to support a new class of infrastructure that will be “composable”, built to fit the specific needs of an application or workload that will run on it. The company stated that with the new offering ISVs and developers can treat hardware infrastructure as code so that they can programmatically control infrastructure and build out new workflows.

While terms like composable infrastructure, composable services and composable business have been kicking around for a few years, much like Converged Infrastructure, HP apparently feels that if the rest of the world is going to ignore a perfectly good buzzword, they’ll grab it.In addition, now they can get double-duty out of any CI swag, a cost-savings which no doubt fits into the company’s turnaround initiatives.

In a blog introducing the new initiative, HP CTO Martin Fink wrote that organizations must transition from applications that fundamentally “run” the business, to applications that are designed to “be” the business, and HP believes this new class of infrastructure will be “Composable” They are built on ‘fluid pools of compute, storage and fast flexible fabric, disaggregated so they can be quickly composed, decomposed back into the pool and then re-composed in a software template to fit the specific needs of an application or workload that will run on it. Most importantly, this new class of infrastructure will be built to integrate with existing solutions and will not require a new architecture.’

The combination of the CI — not be confused with converged infrastructure — API and partner program will provide the initial automation and integration of orchestration tools with today’s infrastructure, he noted. In his keynote at HP Discover 2015, Fink said organizations need to compress time, and composable computing will help do so.

He used two analogies to describe where we are, and where we need to go. A brick building is a solid construct, rigid in nature, and dependable. However, as we move to the API economy — and its companions mobility, Big Data and security — speed, agility and flexibility are the new imperatives. In that paradigm, the symphony is more appropriate. A symphony consists of notes, instruments, tempo and keys: change any one of them, and you have new music. “We cannot be concrete buildings any more.”

Fink said HP thinks of composable infrastructure as infrastructure as code. He also said the company is launching a multi-year project, Synergy, to support CI.

‘Project Synergy is our incubator for accelerating the path to a composable infrastructure and providing a customer experience of its benefits,’ according to a blog from HP’s Paul Miller, VP Marketing, Converged Data Center Infrastructure. The first phase is the release of a Unified API, native in HP OneView, and the HP Composable Infrastructure Partner Ecosystem Program, open to all HP Alliance One.

In addition to Composable Infrastructure, Wednesday’s keynotes also included a little more detail on the epic journey involved in transforming HP into two separate but still massive organizations. “We believe it is the biggest split of its kind,” said John Hinshaw, Chief Customer Officer and EVP of Technology & Operations, HP.

The numbers he gave are certainly indicative of the complexity of building two new IT environments:

-5,000 IT people working on the split;

-it involves 2,800 applications, 300,000 employees and 75,000 application interfaces;

-50,000 servers and 6 data centers; and,

-1,700 applications have been migrated into the cloud; they’re also moving applications onto Helion.

Hinshaw said it’s been a lot of work, and they’re about 80% done. The next big step is to take IT live on August 1, to give three months to make sure everything is working as expected by the November one launch date.

Dirty Details Done Dirt Cheap

Composable Infrastructure partners including Chef Software, Docker, Puppet Labs, Ansible, and VMware have signed-on to support this initiative which provides the following benefits:

-by essentially treating hardware infrastructure as code, ISVs and developers can programmatically control infrastructure and build out new workflows through HP’s Composable Infrastructure. This single, open API is native in HP OneView, which automates the provisioning, configuration, and monitoring of HP infrastructure;

-by integrating with the HP’s Composable API, ISVs can provide solutions that let customers reduce the time spent on managing their environments and accelerate time to value. By providing interoperability with this API, ISVs can support customer requirements for both traditional IT environments and the rapidly growing digital economy;

-continuous delivery of applications and services requires policy-based automation of applications and infrastructure across Dev/Test/Production in a fast, fluid manner. HP’s Composable API enables integration into the Dev/Test/Production automation tool chains to drive a more aligned and responsive delivery of IT services to meet the needs of business; and,

-the HP Composable Infrastructure Partner Program, part of HP Alliance One, provides a set of tools and resources that enable ISVs and developers to build interoperability between HP OneView and other software for programmatic access to infrastructure.  Access to the program is available to all Alliance One members.

DISCLAIMER: HP paid for my accommodations, and I paid for their shares.

 

Author: Steve Wexler

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