HPE unveils Gen10 at Discover 2017

HPE building with sign

HPE has refreshed its ProLiant server range with Gen10, what it claims is the most secure server infrastructure on the market.

Key to the security claim is the notion of a "digital fingerprint" built into its silicon and firmware if they don't match at start up, then the server won't boot.

Speaking to IT Pro at HPE Discover Las Vegas, where the technology was announced, Andrew Watson, chief technologist for global industries at HPE, said: "One of the weaknesses that we've seen in hardware is firmware attacks. We can build in a fingerprint, effectively, into [the server's iLO chip], and then when your firware boots up, unless the fingerprint of that firmware matches the fingerprint of what you've put into the hardware it won't boot."

Importantly, as all the technology from the silicon to the firmware is proprietary, the only way a mismatch could happen is if the firmware had been tampered with, HPE claims.

"We think it is even more secure is because we have got that connection now right down into the firmware." Watson said.

In addition to the silicon fingerprinting technology, Gen10 also has an Enterprise Secure Key Manager tool built in, which enables companies to secure cloud, storage, and server together, giving a greater consistency of experience.

Sat on top of all this is technology from Niara, which HPE acquired in February, which provides behavioural monitoring that can, in combination with its Clear Pass technology, identify and isolate potentially infected devices that are trying to access the network.

The technology was built to have a secure end of life, too, with Alain Andreoli, SVP and GM of the data centre infrastructure group at HPE telling Discover conference delegates: "We thought about the lifecycle of the server and planned for the grave", meaning that when it reaches end of life after 7-10 years, the data can't be reconstructed.

Antonio Neri, executive VP and GM of the enterprise group at HPE, told Discover delegates during his conference keynote: "This is the most secure server you're going to find on the planet. This is an incredible achievement that I'm incredibly proud of."

Gen10 will start shipping later this year.

Jane McCallion
Deputy Editor

Jane McCallion is ITPro's Managing Editor, specializing in data centers and enterprise IT infrastructure. Before becoming Managing Editor, she held the role of Deputy Editor and, prior to that, Features Editor, managing a pool of freelance and internal writers, while continuing to specialize in enterprise IT infrastructure, and business strategy.

Prior to joining ITPro, Jane was a freelance business journalist writing as both Jane McCallion and Jane Bordenave for titles such as European CEO, World Finance, and Business Excellence Magazine.