Inside Advanced Scale Challenges|Wednesday, December 12, 2018
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HPE Upgrades its Cloud Services Manager 

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As application containers handle more production workloads and the de facto standard orchestration tool Kubernetes is used to scale those deployments, more cloud-native applications can be “built once and run anywhere.”

To achieve that goal, say infrastructure vendors, enterprises require managed container services for handling production workloads running on private and public cloud platforms. The idea is to give a comprehensive view of what’s happening across private and public clouds along with in-house infrastructure as administrators struggle to keep up with requirements for constant orchestrating and scaling.

Among them is Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE: HPE), which this week rolled out a container service upgrade to its OneSpherehybrid cloud manager. The value proposition is allowing Docker and Kubernetes users to accelerate deployment of container-based applications in private VMware-based clouds.

The service also seeks to anticipate the forecast shift to production containers using cloud-native services from public cloud vendors, a trend that market watchers think will only accelerate over the next few years.

For example, Google announced a partnershipwith VMware in July to offer a batch of hybrid cloud tools, including several based on its Kubernetes Engine. Among them is a new data orchestrator dubbed Cloud Composer, a managed service based on Google’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) distribution of the Apache Airflow workflow management tool.

Therefore, HPE, Google and other managed cloud services vendors continue to promote their automation tools as a way for customers to spend “more time on apps, and less on ops.”

These vendors also are betting they can fill a skills gap on the fast-moving hybrid infrastructure side so developers can simply focus on leveraging Kubernetes to get applications out the door faster.

“IT organizations hoping to adopt these rapidly evolving technologies must employ highly skilled staff with deep understanding of open source in order to deploy, operate and maintain these platforms,” Wayland Jeong, vice president and general manager of HPE’s hybrid cloud unit, noted in a blog post. Among them are Docker images and charts from the Kubernetes package managerHelmused to deploy applications. The tradeoff for convenience is the possibility of introducing security and compliance risks from these open source repositories.

“Such skills are difficult to hire and retain making it a challenge for many [infrastructure and operations] teams to adopt these modern frameworks,” Jeong added.

HPE’s approach to managing Kubernetes-based workloads includes the ability to use the same container tools across private and public clouds. That capability, for example, would allow developers to deploy container workloads on a Kubernetes cluster via VMware (NYSE: VMW) or a public cloud service without application code changes, the company said Monday (Aug. 20).

The OneSphere upgrade is designed to allow users to deploy and manage a Kubernetes cluster to an existing VMware private cloud either through a user interface or APIs.

Along with expanding support for Kubernetes to the VMware ESXi bare metal hypervisor, HPE also said it also now supports the container orchestrator running on Amazon Web Services (NASDAQ: AMZN).

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).

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