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Hewlett Packard Enterprise Buys Nimble Storage

The $1.2 billion deal extends HPE’s flash storage solution portfolio into the entry-level and midrange market segments, and adds public cloud storage to its product line as well.

By Rich Freeman

Hewlett Packard Enterprise has announced a definitive agreement to acquire Nimble Storage, a maker of all-flash, hybrid flash, and cloud storage solutions headquartered in San Jose, Calif., in a deal valued at approximately $1.2 billion.

The deal positions Palo Alto, Calif.-based HPE to extend its flash storage solution portfolio, which currently centers around the 3PAR family of midrange and high-end systems, into the entry-level and midrange market segments. Global flash storage spending reached $15 billion last year and will rise to nearly $20 billion by 2020, according to IDC.

“Customers deploying hybrid IT not only need the performance of flash storage but are looking for predictive intelligence to optimize their infrastructure,” said Antonio Neri, executive vice president and general manager of HPE’s Enterprise Group, in a press release. “With Nimble Storage and 3PAR, we can now deliver on those storage needs and provide more effective on-premises control and performance, at public cloud economics.”

“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,” added HPE president and CEO Meg Whitman in the same press release. “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 offering, which identifies and addresses storage-related infrastructure issues, across its entire storage portfolio. According to Nimble, InfoSight detects 90 percent of problems that could affect storage performance and resolves over 85 percent of them automatically.

The Nimble acquisition adds cloud storage to HPE’s hybrid IT portfolio as well. Nimble introduced a new cloud storage solution for mission critical applications hosted in the Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure public clouds last week.

HPE competitor Lenovo announced an agreement with Nimble last October to offer jointly made converged infrastructure appliances as part of its new ThinkAgile product line. Those devices will now be discontinued.

“Change is continuous in our industry, so our strategy and operations are highly agile,” a Lenovo spokesperson said in prepared remarks to the media. “Lenovo announced the alliance with Nimble in October 2016 and the relationship was in its early stages. As such, there is virtually no impact on either our customers or product portfolio. Going forward, we will expand our efforts to bring the compelling benefits of flash-based storage to our customers, both in traditional data center infrastructure and next-generation IT solutions. In fact, we plan to introduce new flash storage offerings later this year.”

Nimble is the third company HPE has purchased this year. In January, it stated its intention to buy hyperconverged infrastructure vendor SimpliVity Corp., of Westborough, Mass., for $650 million, and it acquired Sunnyvale, Calif.-based security analytics vendor Niara Inc. last month.

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