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Datera Joins HPE Complete to Accelerate Enterprise Transition to Software-Defined Storage

Combination of Datera data services platform and HPE servers

Datera, Inc. will be joining Hewlett Packard Enterprise Complete on February 4, 2019.

The companies’ mutual customers will be able to procure integrated solutions on a single HPE purchase order with the Complete Assured compatibility and interoperability validation and Complete-facilitated troubleshooting for issue resolution. The Complete Datera Solution provides the enterprise performance flash storage arrays on a software-driven platform that delivers greater automation and agility, often at lower cost than competing solutions such as the Dell/EMC ScaleIO solution.

“Global 2000 companies are actively evaluating options for software-defined, scale-out storage and are looking for truly differentiated offerings to future-proof their strategies and implementations,” said Marty Lans, GM, storage connectivity engineering and global interoperability, HPE. “Datera’s programmable infrastructure approach to automating and powering enterprise data for existing and not-yet-designed applications with applied machine learning, combined with the power and backing of HPE’s leading server portfolio is the right combination and the right time to enable today’s enterprise to eliminate the data hurdles and transform their businesses to a digital future.”

As a recent report from Gartner* notes, “by 2022, more than 80% of enterprise data will be stored in scale-out storage systems in enterprise and cloud data centers, up from 40 percent in 2018,” and, “the steep growth of unstructured data for emerging and established workloads is now requiring products driven by infrastructure software-defined storage (ISDS) that are capable of leveraging hybrid cloud workflow.”

HPE Complete
The Complete program gives resellers third-party branded products that complement and complete high-priority HPE solution areas with interoperability assurance, enabling customers to purchase and deploy a complete solution with the ease and confidence that HPE provides. Partner products go through Complete interoperability validation with key HPE infrastructure components and the Complete team facilitates third-party expertise for installation, support, warranty, and issue resolution. Datera customers also benefit from collaborations on validation tools, standards, and processes, and can rest assured knowing partner products work well together.

Datera Data Services Platform
Datera’s software platform is a software-based data services platform that powers high-performance application environments at global scale with game-changing automation and applied machine learning to eliminate manual tuning in close partnership with the leaders in server and memory technology. The Datera platform delivers the cloud experience to data storage infrastructure for enterprises’ most essential applications running on virtual machines, containers and bare metal and harnesses the latest, high performance storage media like flash and NVMe through its collaboration with the leaders in server and memory infrastructure like HPE and Intel. The combination of HPE Proliant DL Series, Apollo Series servers and Datera provides higher IO/s and lower latency across an environment of flash media server nodes, enabling customers to finally bring the power of the software-defined approach to their most demanding applications in a cloud-like, multitenant data environment.

The Datera platform is designed to exceed the scale-out storage needs of Global 2000 enterprises looking to consolidate existing storage arrays, power their existing virtual machine-based applications, and adopt cloud-native technologies like containers with Kubernetes orchestration, and transition to a new software-defined data center future. The integration of Datera and HPE provides a superior alternative to the Dell/EMC VxFlex OS (formerly ScaleIO) solution by combining automation, performance and block and object storage data services to meet enterprises’ requirements and provides a foundation for changes in the future, including new server, memory and application development technologies.

“Today’s announcement is another key milestone on our journey to deliver an entirely new approach to powering data for the software-defined data center,” said Guy Churchward, CEO, Datera. “We are pleased to take our existing partnership with HPE to the next level and believe that our participation in the Complete program will inspire a new level of confidence by customers and channel partners to count on the integration of Datera and HPE to embrace the software-driven future for enterprise data.”

* Magic Quadrant for Distributed File Systems and Object Storage Published 18 October 2018 – ID G00338327


Announced in a Datera press release, the company has been chosen by HPE to join the HPE Complete program and fit in their enterprise storage portfolio as a SDS product.

Good news for Datera as it will basically extend their market footprint via HPE and its channel worldwide.

First, it's surprising to see listed multiple times in the PR Dell EMC VxFlex with the technology behind ScaleIO. It has a positive impact, position the offering as an alternative but also potentially narrow it and competitors will probably use this as an argument.

Values for HPE
The first feeling we have confirms that HPE strengthens its storage portfolio, no doubt about this. But it illustrates once again holes in the product line and the difficulty for HPE to develop organically such solution. The time-to-market dimension is a key factor here as well and had probably invited HPE to consider external partnership as they’re behind in that category.

It also means that HPE is able to identify right technologies, partners and offers integrated solutions based on their server hardware in that case. Sold to Micro Focus around mid-2017, HPE lost some interesting data management products such Data Protector so we understand HPE has a platform strategy not a software one. It is illustrated by this Datera partnership as they’ll push a HPE hardware - Proliant or Apollo - powered by Datera SDS engine.

Values for Datera
It's a big win for Datera in term of technology recognition, and it will fuel the business at a significant level with deals coming from all geos. 2019 starts as a new era for Datera seen as a niche player to now able to address serious IT challenges. Datera enters a new dimension.

Speaking with the executive team recently, Guy Churchward, CEO, confirms that this deal can be seen as a light OEM, between a reseller and an OEM agreement.

HPE Storage portfolio
It’s not a mystery that HPE storage is based on acquisitions, OEMs or partnerships via its Complete program. We looked a current storage offering and realized that many things comes and came from outside.

  • Block storage
    Datera is a Complete partner.
    3PAR StoreServ obviously comes from 3Par, HPE Nimble Storage from Nimble Storage, XP7 from Hitachi, HPE StoreVirtual Storage from Lefthand Networks, MSA from Compaq like the EVA line.
  • File Storage
    HPE offers StoreEasy, File Persona and StoreServ File Controller (in front of 3PAR arrays).
    Qumulo is Complete partner.
    For some specific use cases, HPE sells DDN, Weka and Panasas. HPE tried to offer serious solutions based on Ibrix and Polyserve acquisitions several years ago.
  • Object Storage
    Scality is a Complete partner and is listed on the Pathfinder list.
    In EMEA, HPE seems to have an agreement with Cloudian and tactically we have seen SwiftStack and Ceph in some places. Even in the past, Cleversafe before the IBM acquisition was at the HPE catalog.
  • Secondary Storage
    Cohesity is a Complete partner and is listed on the Pathfinder list.
    HPE offers as well StoreEver product line for tape solutions and StorOnce as deduplication backup appliance.
  • Hyperconverged Infrastructure
    And even in HCI with HPE SimpliVity coming from SimpliVity.

    In two words with Datera partnership, HPE reaffirms its status of king of OEM (many different partnership flavors).

HPE picks a strong candidate
SDS is a large category and we have counted 120 players globally in various aspects of it: file, block, object, multi-protocol, secondary storage, CIS, HCI… In this specific Block SDS, HPE has probably tried some other candidates such Hedvig, ioFabric, Maxta, Nexenta, Open vStorage, StarWind, StorMagic, StorPool or even DataCore considering that some of them have some limitations or specific deployment models - Hyper-V and/or vSphere - thus limiting the uses cases targeted by HPE. Datera is probably among these few players one of the most comprehensive and flexible solution able to address demanding environments for tier 1 applications workloads and enterprise storage.

HPE SDS Strategy
Illustrated by this announcement, HPE relies on external technology in the growing and promising SDS segment. As listed above it's true in block with Datera, file with Qumulo, object with Scality, multi-protocol with Hedvig and secondary storage with Cohesity.

We anticipate also some integration with other HPE products, it won't be a surprise and reinforce the portfolio effect.

The other idea is around consolidation of usages, you start with one use case, you stress the platform, gain trust and then you add 1, 2 or more use cases. Thus you eliminate other silos and merge things, even isolated, on the same SDS foundation. More than that, here Datera offers a S3 interface, based on Minio - Minio is ubiquitous now - and this consolidation means also that block and object could reside on the same platform. And we go further here as Datera has never hidden the idea to add file interfaces so the platform will eventually offer an unified or multi-protocol SDS flavor. This resonates so well that we understand why HPE has selected Datera.

Currently 20+ POCs with HPE servers plus Datera are running and they should be converted rapidly.

Pricing model is pretty flexible and end-users via HPE have asked Datera to consider the perpetual approach as well.

HPE Pathfinder and Complete program
As mentioned on HPE Pathfinder portal, "this entity is a venture investment and partnership program that brings transformative external innovations into our customers’ organizations."

We found 13 companies where HPE has invested and now companies participating to the Complete program:

  • Pathfinder companies (13) (listed here)
    3 related to storage: Cohesity, Hedvig and Scality and the rest about management, big data, analytics, networking, security… like Barefoot Networks, Chargifi, Chef, Mesosphere, Platform9, SafeBreach, Shape Security, Synack, Tamr and ThoughtSpot.
  • Complete companies (23) (listed here)
    Antemeta, Arxscan, Brocade, Carbonite, Chef, CloudGenera, Cohesity, Commvault, CTera, Cyberinc, Hedvig, iTernity, Nokia, NVidia, SafeBreach, Scality, Shape Security, Smartoptics, Synack, Tamr, ThoughtSpot, Virtual Instruments and Zerto.

But it seems that there is no rule, a Pathfinder company doesn't belong automatically to the Complete program and of course vice-versa. Here we find only 9 common companies: Chef, Cohesity, Hedvig, SafeBreach, Scality, Shape Security, Synack, Tamr and ThoughtSpot.

Being asked about a potential investment from HPE via its Pathfinder entity, Guy Churchward answered that the company doesn't need money right now.

Datera next steps
We understood that Datera plans to unveil soon a cloud flavor available on AWS and GCP to offer an active/passive model across on-prem and cloud environments covering essentially data protection needs such disaster recovery… The second phase later in the year will introduce an active-active model acting as a stretched cluster between on-prem and AWS.

To conclude, 2019 starts very well with this win-win deal between HPE and Datera.