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HPE to Shell Out $1 Billion for Nimble Storage

Nimble

Lynn Haber**Editor’s Note: Please click here for a recap of the biggest channel-impacting mergers in January.**

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), in shape-shifting mode ever since HP split into two companies back in 2015, on Tuesday announced its intentions to acquire predictive all-flash and hybrid-flash storage solution vendor Nimble Storage for about $1 billion.

In January, HPE made a $650 million bid to purchase hyperconverged vendor SimpliVity.

According to HPE, Nimble’s portfolio of predictive flash products for the small and medium-size business (SMB) market complements HPE’s scalable, midrange to high-end 3PAR solutions and MSA products, positioning the company to provide storage to business customers across the board.

HPE's Antonio Neri“Nimble Storage’s portfolio complements and strengthens our current 3PAR products in the high-growth flash storage market and will help us deliver on our vision of making hybrid IT simple for our customers,” Meg Whitman, president and CEO, HPE, said in a statement. “And, this acquisition is exactly aligned with the strategy and capital allocation approach we’ve laid out. We remain focused on high-growth and higher-margin segments of the market.”

HPE also plans to incorporate Nimble’s InfoSight Predictive Analytics platform across its storage portfolio.

Antonio Neri, executive vice president and general manager for the Enterprise Group at HPE, noted in a blog that InfoSight is a key element of HPE’s product road map.{ad}

“InfoSight’s ability to monitor customer deployed infrastructure from the cloud, apply machine learning and predictive analytics to radically simplify operations and deliver a transformed support experience, is a key differentiator in the storage market.”

What to expect from a combined HPE and Nimble portfolio:

  • The ability to seamlessly move data and replicate across hybrid flash and all-flash storage to meet unpredictable IT demands
  • Integrated data protection with application aware snapshots, encryption, replication and integration with leading independent software vendors
  • Effortless management of storage volumes along with data compaction to reduce capacity costs
  • Predictive support automation to anticipate and prevent most problems and solve remaining issues in a matter of minutes
  • Quality-of-service controls and full-stack analytics to ensure predictable performance in hybrid IT deployments
  • Increased dedicated sales specialist support
  • A future-proofed technology platform with a road map to support next-generation storage

IDC noted in 2016 that revenue growth in the all-flash array (AFA) space has continued to outperform expectations as customers are rapidly transitioning from …

{vpipagebreak}

… legacy to flash-optimized storage architectures.

“More than 80 percent of IT organizations believe that the ‘all flash for primary storage’ strategy is right for their environments and will be moving more workloads to all-flash storage platforms over time. IDC expects that by 2020, AFAs will drive more than 70 percent of all primary storage spend,” Eric Burgener, research director for storage at IDC, said.

The overall flash market was estimated to be approximately $15 billion in 2016 and is expected to be nearly $20 billion by 2020, with the all-flash segment rising at a nearly 17 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR), according to IDC.

That said, Nimble CEO Suresh Vasudevan admitted that the company faced a challenge of scale as a standalone storage company.{ad}

“Our aspiration has always been to be an innovation leader and see our technology deployed in organizations around the globe. But, as we weighed the opportunities and risks, we concluded that an acquisition makes sense at the right price with the right partner. We believe we’ve found both,” he wrote.

Kevin Rhone, an analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group’s Channel Acceleration Practice, told us the acquisition makes sense for HPE and it’s partners on a couple of fronts.

“Adding Nimble to the 3PAR and StorVirtual lineup gives partners a stronger mid-range portfolio to sell. Beyond that, InfoSight provides advanced analytics capabilities that customers love and is a real differentiator for partners that sell it,” Rhone said. “Will this persuade IT resellers to shift share of wallet to HPE? The challenge, as always, will be execution. If HPE quickly and smoothly integrates Nimble products, then the acquisition will be good for both HPE and partners.”

Nimble was founded in 2007 and has been shipping products since 2010. The company went public in 2013.

The deal is expected to close in April.


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