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HPE to gobble software defined data fabric networking startup

Plexxi hoovered up for an undisclosed sum

Hewlett Packard Enterprise has agreed to slurp software-defined data fabric networking maker Plexxi for an undisclosed sum.

The buy fits into the hardware giant’s hyperconverged and data centre modernisation play, and HPE’s consultancy business as it sells advice for punters migrating to the hybrid cloud.

Rick Lewis, HPE senior veep and GM for the software-defined and cloud group, said the firm would twin its existing software-defined infrastructure with Plexxi's data centre fabric.

This, he said, will give customers a "cloud-like experience" via their own data centre that with its composable infrastructure box, Synergy, can "automatically create or re-balance bandwidth to workload needs".

Lewis said HPE will integrate Plexxi tech into its hyperconverged portfolio to sit alongside tech acquired in the SimpliVity deal last year, as well as providing a "composable rack solution".

New Hampshire-based Plexxi was founded in 2010, has bagged some $87m in its lifetime and was last valued at $267m in 2016. Customers include Washington State Uni and Kronos. Neither party revealed the purchase price.

Martin Courtney, analyst at TechMarketView, said Plexxi's tech was "built on the concept of 'intent-based networking', embedding virtualisation within integrated server, storage and networking solutions to deliver more flexible, automated application hosting and delivery options for larger enterprises and cloud service providers".

The purchase agreement comes hot on the heels of HPE's deal to buy Brit cloud consultancy Red Pixie. HPE isn't selling cloud services itself – as such – but it is providing the plumbing for those that do.

The deal is expected to close during HPE's third quarter of fiscal '18 ending 31 July. ®

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