Just days after Google announced that it would acquire Velostrata to help customers migrating more of their operations into cloud environments, HPE under its new CEO Antonio Neri is also upping its game in the same department. Today the company announced that it would acquire Plexxi, a specialist in software-defined data center solutions, aimed at optimising application performance for enterprises that are using hybrid cloud environments.
A spokesperson confirmed that the companies are not currently revealing the terms of the deal, which is expected to close in the third quarter of 2018 (ending July 31). Plexxi has 100 employees and all will be joining HPE, a spokesperson said. A role for Rich Napolitano, Plexxi’s CEO who joined after having been the president of EMC, “is still being finalized.”
For some context and a possible price range for this deal, Plexxi, founded in 2010, was last valued at around $267 million as of its last financing round, more than two years ago in January 2016, according to PitchBook. And the previous cloud infrastructure acquisition HPE made, of SimpliVity over a year ago, was for $650 million. Plexxi’s investors included GV (formerly Google Ventures), Lightspeed Venture Partners, Matrix and more.
Cloud services — propelled by the rise of mobile hardware with less on-device storage, advances at major platforms like AWS, Microsoft’s Azure and Google, and the rise of companies like Box to help manage cloud services — have exploded in their ubiquity as a way to deliver and store software and data among enterprises.
But many organizations are, in fact, not throwing all of their eggs into the clouds, so to speak, and are taking a more gradual path to migrate some or all of their IP out of on-premises-based solutions.
This, in turn, has given rise to a second market for hybrid cloud services, deployments that are more flexible and allow for a mix of legacy and on-premises hardware alongside more modern distributed architectures. HPE and Google are not the only ones building solutions to address that market: Microsoft, Dell, Accenture, NTT, and many more have also made large investments to cover these different bases.
And that has proven popular not just with vendors — but with enterprises as well. BCC today released a report that estimates hybrid cloud services could reach a market size of $98.8 billion globally by 2022.
Ric Lewis, the VP & GM of HPE’s software-defined and cloud group, said that the plan will be to integrate Plexxi into HPE’s existing products in two areas.
The first of these is in the company’s hyperconverged solutions business, where HPE’s acquisition of SimpliVity also sites. “Plexxi will enable us to deliver the industry’s only hyperconverged offering that incorporates compute, storage and data fabric networking into a single solution, with a single management interface and support,” he wrote in a blog post.
The second of these will be to bring Plexxi’s HCN tech to HPE Synergy and its composable infrastructure business. This, Lewis explained, is “a new category of infrastructure that delivers fluid pools of storage and compute resources that can be composed and recomposed as business needs dictate.” Plexxi will enable this approach to extend also to rack-based solutions in private clouds.
“Plexxi and HPE’s values and vision for the future are closely aligned,” Plexxi CEO Rich Napolitano wrote in his own announcement. “We share the same mission, to help the enterprise effectively leverage modern IT to accelerate their business in the digital age.”
While the two wait for the deal to close, it seems to be business as usual for Plexxi. Just earlier today, the company announced an expansion of its integrations with VMware.
Updated with more detail from Plexxi.