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What to expect from HPE Discover 2018

What will CEO Antonio Neri make of his first year as head of HPE?

HPE Discover is upon us once again, and the infrastructure company's executives, representatives, customers and fans will shortly be descending on Las Vegas' Palazzo hotel to hear what the company has in store for the forthcoming year.

CEO Antonio Neri will need to come out swinging, too. Despite HPE's first-quarter revenue beating estimates to the tune of $600 million, his first year in the role has seen the company lose ground to main rivals Dell EMC in the server market in both revenue and market share.

HPE does have some things to shout about, however; the last few months have seen the company announce major deals, including a network modernising contract with Gatwick Airport worth $15 million, and the installation of a supercomputer cluster across three UK universities. The company has also launched new offerings based around AI and blockchain - two themes that will be pushed hard at next week's event.

Of course, hand-in-hand with AI and machine learning comes big data and analytics. Hardcore number-crunching and AI algorithms are two big reasons for companies to upgrade their servers, so expect these to be big use-cases for HPE to use in promoting its latest ProLiant data centre products. After all, that's what Dell did at its conference earlier this year.

HPE also launched its Greenlake pay-per-use pricing structure last year, so we wouldn't be at all surprised to see new announcements around this as part of the conference. Flexible consumption models are all the rage at the moment as more and more businesses shift their expenditure towards OpEx and away from CapEx, so now is an excellent time for HPE to big up its capabilities in this area.

Another thing we wouldn't be surprised to see the company making a big deal about is the work it's doing in the field of high-performance computing. The aforementioned partnerships with UK universities are one such example, but a far more impressive one is the fact that HPE has sent a number of its servers into space we'd love to hear more about this, and we suspect that we won't be disappointed.

We're also hoping to see some new metal from Neri and company. The last few products that IT Pro has had the pleasure of testing have been deeply impressive, including the ProLiant DL560 Gen10, MSA 2052 Storage, and the ProLiant ML110 Gen10 five-star scores and Editor's Choice awards across the board. If HPE continues this trend, it may be able to gain some ground back on Dell.

All in all, HPE has some points to prove to investors and customers alike - but it's got some good cards in its hand. Whether it'll be able to play them correctly is something we'll have to wait and see.

Image courtesy of HPE

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