HPE has only gone full Kubernetes, pops open new Container Platform

Bare metal or run on any cloud thanks to, er, EPIC BlueData acquisition

HPE has announced its Kubernetes-based Container Platform, which can be deployed on bare metal, any public cloud or virtualized infrastructure. Availability is promised for early 2020.

The HPE technology is based on open-source Kubernetes (K8s), supplemented by software from two recent acquisitions. BlueData, acquired in November 2018, brought the EPIC (Elastic Private Instant Clusters) platform, with the ability to create a container environment quickly and to deploy commonly used frameworks, tools and applications.

EPIC uses Docker containers but not K8s; however, the company has been working on migrating EPIC to K8s and it looks like this forms part of the new HPE product, which promises "BlueData software as the control plane for container management."

The HPE Container Platform

The HPE Container Platform

One of the issues with K8s has been the challenge of running stateful applications, such as for big data applications such as those using the Apache Hadoop, Spark and Kafka projects. MapR, which became part of HPE In August 2019, offers the MapR Data Fabric for K8s, which addresses the issue of stateful containers and persistent storage for analytics.

MapR also brought expertise in edge computing, gathering and filtering data near its source, so it makes sense that HPE would meld technology from BlueData and MapR into its new product. HPE says that it uses "MapR's distributed file system for persistent data with containers".

BlueData has also been working on the stateful challenge, including KubeDirector, a project for running non-cloud native stateful applications on K8s. This may form part of HPE's claim to support containerization of "both cloud-native and non-cloud-native applications".

HPE's solution will not require HPE hardware, but will run "on bare-metal or virtualized infrastructure, on any public cloud, and at the edge". The pitch is that HPE's approach will make it easier to move to K8s and to use cloud technology both on-premises and in public cloud. The challenge for HPE is that this is a crowded space, even more so than the enterprise hardware which forms the bulk of the company's business. ®

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