Pensando integrates with HPE servers, adds partners to deal cards

Server offload card startup Pensando has its product available as a factory-installed option on HPE servers and is partnering with Elastic, Guardicore, ServiceNow, and Splunk to extend its product’s usability.

The news was announced at HPE’s virtual Discover event. Pensando’s Distributed Services Card is a PCIe-attached device bearing its proprietary chip that carries out security, networking and storage functions on behalf of its host server, freeing the host to run more application code. Infrastructure services such as security, encryption, flow-based packet telemetry, and fabric storage are deployed on the DSC with Pensando’s Policy and Services Manager (PSM) software collecting events, logs, and metrics from the installed DSCs to help with troubleshooting.

Prem Jain, CEO of Pensando, provided a canned quote: “While the last year has been challenging on many fronts, we’re very excited with the progress we’ve made, in particular what we’ve done with our ecosystem partners and HPE.”

The DSC can be factory-installed on HPE’s ProLiant and Apollo servers and Edgeline Converged Edge systems with single-call HPE hardware and software support. 

Pensando’s new partnerships provide ecosystem support for security and infrastructure troubleshooting:

  • Integration with Elastic and Splunk aids network and security operations with identifying issues before they grow into major problems. Operations can uncover workload and workload connection issues and begin remediation in real time.
  • Guardicore integration offloads and separates security functions from the environment, operating system or hypervisor, automating application and flow discovery, delivering the advantages of a dedicated security appliance at the server edge.
  • ServiceNow integration means customers can track hardware associated with virtual machines/containers and troubleshoot application/network issues within or between servers. It also provides an automated and searchable inventory of all Pensando-enabled nodes within any infrastructure deployment.

Pensando asserts that, as data centre traffic moves to East/West, the traditional North/South firewall is no longer sufficient; the Pensando and Guardicore partnership is a response to this problem. 

Interested readers can find out more on the Elastic, Splunk, Guardicore and ServiceNow integrations by clicking the links.


Pensando’s DSC is not supported by HPE’s cloud-based InfoSight predictive analytics system health service, based on source device and software telemetry. The HPE-Pensando relationship is roughly similar to the HPE Nebulon partnership, although that lacks a factory-installation option.

Nebulon’s smartCore and smartEdge products are intelligent cards, managed through the cloud, that offload various infrastructure tasks from their host CPU. HPE appears to be using the Pensando and Nebulon cards to answer customer requirements for its servers to be equipped with so-called SmartNICs.

We could not imagine an HPE server being fitted with both cards so, to this extent, the two suppliers are competing for HPE’s favours.