Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. (HPE) will invest $4 billion in edge infrastructure. The software company’s new CEO and President, Antonio Neri, sees edge computing as a “revolution” in the computing era that represents a $28 billion market opportunity for HPE.
“We see significant areas for growth … (as) more assets and ‘things’ come online and the amount of data generated continues to grow exponentially,” Neri told The Wall Street Journal in an email. “Ultimately, this could be a hundreds of billions of dollars opportunity for HPE.”
HPE is one of several companies making significant investments in edge computing technologies and services, in which data is processed and analyzed on or near the device where it is generated rather than initially being sent to a data center or corporate cloud. Those backing edge computing believe that it represents the next big shift in the industry, envisioning a greater demand for real-time data analysis and personalization by corporations.
In 2015, HPE began to offer a number of edge computing services after it acquired wireless networking company Aruba Networks Inc., a deal that Neri spearheaded under HPE’s previous CEO Meg Whitman.
The rise in edge computing is partly a result of the massive growth in IoT devices. In 2017, 8.4 billion devices were connected to the Internet. Gartner predicts that the number of connected devices will surge to 20.4 billion by 2020. Currently, only 1% of enterprises have an edge computing strategy; Gartner predicts that by 2021, that number will rise to 40%. By 2022, Gartner estimates that 75% of enterprise-generated data will be generated at the edge.
Neri made the announcement about HPE’s investment into developing edge systems at the company’s Discover conference on Tuesday in Las Vegas. He said that the funds would be used to further develop “intelligent edge” products, services and engineering initiatives in areas across the organization, including in automation, AI, security and connectivity.
“The edge is where most of your data is being created; we live in a time where data lives everywhere and so will your clouds,” said Neri. “We believe the enterprises of the future will be edge-centric, cloud-enabled and data driven — I believe this next revolution requires an edge-to-cloud architecture.”
Neri noted that Aruba Networks will continue to play a crucial role in developing these initiatives.
HPE already boasts widespread loyalty from data center managers and is a rival only to Dell EMC for the first place in the enterprise server market. The company’s sizeable investment in edge services suggests its ambition to become the leading end-to-end computing infrastructure provider.