HPE

Hewlett Packard Enterprise has moved to strengthen its flash storage portfolio by acquiring Nimble Storage Inc. for $1.09 billion in cash.

Nimble’s entry- to mid-range flash-based products will become part of HPE’s 3PAR package of data storage solutions. The overall flash market, estimated at about $15 billion in 2016, is expected to expand to nearly $20 billion by 2020, according to research firm IDC.

“The biggest technology transition in storage today is the move from spinning disk media to flash,” Antonio Neri, HPE executive vice president and general manager of its Enterprise Group, said in a news release.

He said Nimble’s “value proposition is the most compelling for HPE customers when compared with other recent market entrants and, in combination with 3PAR, can provide the best lineup in the industry of flash optimized solutions for hybrid IT.”

HPE will pay $12.50 per share for Nimble, which makes hybrid storage devices that combine hard disks and flash drives and competes with NetApp and Dell’s EMC Corp.

As Reuters reports, HPE Chief Executive Meg Whitman “has been focusing on a few areas such as networking, storage and technology services since the company was spun off from Hewlett-Packard Co in 2015.”

Earlier this year, the company said it would buy analytics software provider Cloud Cruiser for an undisclosed amount and acquired cloud software company SimpliVity for $650 million. In August, it agreed to acquire Silicon Valley legend SGI for $275 million in a move to boost its presence in the growing big data and high performance computing markets.

“[HPE] can bring Nimble’s operations to scale more quickly,” Mizuho Securities analyst Abhey Lamba said in a note to clients.

Neri said Nimble would strengthen HPE’s flash storage portfolio by “expanding market reach and enabling a transformed, analytics-based customer experience.  Together, we’ll be able to bring flash optimized data services, which provide the right balance of price, performance, and agility, to customers across SMB, Enterprise and Service Provider segments.”

“In other words, we’ll have a comprehensive, best-in-class portfolio across the full range of the market,” he added.

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