HPE: Alletra is our storage brand to rule them all

HPE says it is trying to simplify its portfolio branding by moving from a multitude of product and service tags to just six.

Jim Jackson

This will take place over the next three years and was confirmed by EVP and CMO Jim Jackson in a blog. Jackson is a 22-year HP/HPE veteran, and so will know about all the sometimes bewildering array – no pun intended – of product names and services that confront customers.

“At Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) we are driving toward one customer experience, delivered through one integrated platform, leading with the Hewlett Packard Enterprise and HPE GreenLake edge-to-cloud platform brands.”

The branding structure is being simplified from today’s 29 product and service brands to two computing brands and one brand each for storage, networking, software and services. 

HPE branding scheme

The chosen brands include ProLiant and Cray in the compute sector, Alletra storage, Aruba networking, Ezmeral for software and just HPE for services. Existing brands outside these six will be renamed

“To minimize disruption as we transform, we will implement these changes through the natural course of business over the next three or so years. When we introduce new products, or change the value proposition of existing products, we will apply the new brand architecture and naming strategy. When existing products reach end of life, we will retire that brand name.”

In the Storage arena, HPE currently has the Alletra brand, the SimpliVity HCI product and StoreOnce, a range of deduplicating backup target appliances that come with the InfoSight cloud-based management tool. SimpliVity and StoreOnce are not market leaders in their respective – and mature – product areas. Jackson’s post signals that these brand names now have a maximum three-year life span. 

The OEM’d Hitachi Vantara VSP 5000, sold as the high-end XP8 array and a PowerMAX competitor, is not a focus for HPE, judging by its lack of HPE website prominence, although a search for the term will present options. The second generation XP8 was announced by HPE in October 2021. Hitachi Vantara has enabled its VSP software to run in the public clouds. HPE may make a decision about the XP8 future when a gen 3 VSP 5000 comes along.

The Alletra brand encompasses the Alletra 9000, 6000, 5000, 4000, and dHCI. These products came to the Alletra brand from the Primera (9000) Nimble (6000, 5000, dHCI) and Apollo data server (4000) products.

There are a variety of branded GreenLake storage services, with HPE GreenLake for File Storage, Block Storage, Alletra Storage, HCI, Disaster Recovery, and Backup and Recovery. The File Storage and Block Storage services actually run on Alletra Storage MP hardware.

Jackson chose not to add Alletra prefixes to the Simplivity, StoreOnce and InfoSight brand names. We think this indicates they may continue under their current naming until they each EOL.

HPE, in a sense, is following Dell, which went through its own storage brand simplification following its EMC acquisition by applying a Power branding scheme to the many Dell and EMC storage products (VMAX, Data Domain, Isilon, etc.), resulting in PowerMAX, PowerProtect, PowerScale, etc. IBM has also imposed a unifying overall brand name on its storage software products, moving from the Spectrum brand to IBM Storage.

Jackson says: “By offering fewer brands, combined with descriptive naming, we will make it easier for customers to understand which products and services are right for them, know what is designed to go together, and what their natural upgrade path is.”