December 15, 2017

As containers rise in popularity, IT vendors are racing to develop management frameworks that will enable IT organizations to manage containers wherever they reside. Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) today announced that it will be one of the first vendors to deliver on that promise via suites of IT management software that are both optimized for containers and deployed on them.

Roy Ritthaler, vice president of Product Marketing for HPE IT Operations Management, says the containerized versions of the HPE IT Operations Management suites of software not only can be used to manage containers, but IT organizations now can choose to deploy them on-premises or in a cloud.

The HPE Hybrid Cloud Management, Data Center Automation, Operations Bridge and IT Service Management Automation suites of tools are designed to address everything from managing a container cluster to the lifecycle management of individual containers. Specifically, Hybrid Cloud Management enables service design and deployment of container-based applications, including testing and application release cycle management tools. Data Center Automation provides a means to provision containers, hardware and host operating systems. Operations Bridge provides a mechanism for monitoring and troubleshooting container infrastructure and applications. IT Service Management Automation addresses service management as well as discovery and configuration management of container-based applications.

Each suite can be deployed in a matter of minutes, which Ritthaler notes is crucial for IT organizations struggling to keep pace with the rate of adoption of new platforms in their organizations. IT organizations soon will find themselves managing containers deployed on both virtual machines and bare-metal servers running in public and private clouds, as well as in any number of platform-as-a-service (PaaS) or container-as-a-service (CaaS) environments. Ritthaler says HPE is working toward making it possible for IT organizations to employ a consistent approach to managing containers across a federated IT environment spanning multiple classes of cloud computing environments.

The rise of microservices enabled by containers clearly represents a major challenge for IT operations teams. Now only do most of them not have much in the way of management tools optimized for containers, the organizations they work for are demanding unprecedented levels of IT agility. They want to be able to deploy applications quickly in a production environment to judge their appeal faster. If the application doesn’t live up to expectations, the organization can limit its economic liability by abandoning it or making use of containers to rework it. If the application is a success, the organization would want the ability to scale that application rapidly. Those business requirements place a major strain on how DevOps processes need to be managed across the entire IT organization.

Naturally, each IT organization will respond differently to that challenge. In some cases, developers will assume complete responsibility for managing the container environment on an end-to-end basis. In other cases, IT operations teams will be required to work more collaboratively with developers. Whatever the approach, however, the one thing that is clear is containers are about to force a complete re-engineering of every aspect of IT operations.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.