Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) announced today that a container platform it previewed last year is now generally available.
Tom Phelan, a fellow for big data and storage organization at HPE, says interest in deploying Kubernetes clusters is on the rise. The challenge now is making it easier to deploy applications and Kubernetes clusters consistently across on-premises and public cloud computing environments. HPE Container Platform rises to that challenge by making it possible to automate those deployments, he says.
In some cases, those organizations are looking to deploy Kubernetes on top of either virtual machines or on bare-metal servers. In either case, HPE will provide customers with both options. Longer-term, however, HPE expects a more efficient bare-metal approach to gain more traction as it becomes easier to isolate workloads on Kubernetes clusters without having to rely on legacy virtual machine platforms, says Phelan.
In addition, HPE plans to make HPE Container Platform available on the HPE Greenlake platform, which is a set of hyperconverged platforms managed by HPE on behalf of customers.
The HPE Container Platform traces its roots back to the acquisitions of Blue Data, a provider of a big data analytics platform, and MapR Technologies, a provider of IT infrastructure designed to run Hadoop clusters. A distributed file system and object store for persistent data for containers that HPE gained with those acquisitions are now foundational elements of the HPE Container Platform.
Phelan says interest in HPE Container Platform is especially high in regulated industries where IT teams are trying to process large amounts of data in support of advanced analytics applications infused with machine and deep learning algorithms without losing control of the IT environment. HPE is now also making available blueprints in the form of reference designs for deploying certain classes of workloads, such as data analytics, on HPE Container Platform.
The applications HPE is primarily interested in are stateful. As more of these types of applications are built using containers deployed on top of Kubernetes, the more relevant HPE Container Platform becomes. HPE is also betting IT organizations soon will be looking for a platform that makes it easier to manage multiple instances of Kubernetes clusters strewn across the extended enterprise. In fact, Phelan says the single biggest technology that will advance the adoption of hybrid cloud computing is Kubernetes application programming interfaces (APIs).
There’s no doubt that thanks to the rise of Kubernetes almost every aspect of IT will be transformed. The challenge now is determining the best way to operationalize Kubernetes at scale. Naturally, there will be some organizations that will prefer to outsource the management of Kubernetes clusters. However, in time it’s also clear that the management of Kubernetes will become increasingly automated using various IT management frameworks. In many IT environments, direct interaction with Kubernetes is even likely to be comparatively low. After all, Kubernetes as much as anything is also simply a platform on which other platforms will be built.