HPE adds a little edge to its cloud services strategy

HPE took another step toward being an as-a-service company with several new cloud services that the company claims make it easier for users to connect the cloud to edge devices.

Continuing its pursuit to be an as-a-service company, HPE debuted a handful of new cloud software and services to make it easier for users to send workloads from the cloud to the edge.

The offerings, part of the new HPE Ezmeral portfolio, play a central role in the company's edge-to-cloud PaaS initiative. Included in the portfolio is the Ezmeral Container Platform and Ezmeral ML Ops. The portfolio also includes a number of services for data analytics and IT automation.

Ezmeral Container Platform and Ezmeral ML Ops will be delivered as cloud services through HPE GreenLake, further pushing the hybrid cloud service to the heart of its cloud initiative. GreenLake will serve to simplify and speed up containerized application development, as well as add DevOps agility to machine learning, according to the company.

In his keynote at the HPE Discover digital conference this week, CEO Antonio Neri said the new services address the need of customers entering the next phase of cloud adoption, namely adapting their existing workloads at the edge and on premises to work seamlessly with the cloud.

"We can deliver a more consistent cloud experience through GreenLake cloud services and with software that can accelerate the transformation many users are making in trying to access whatever platform their data resides on," he said.

One analyst said the newest products move HPE closer to its goal of being an as-a-service company.

"This is a continuation of what they've been doing since [Neri] took over," said Dana Gardner, principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions LLC. "They are trying to convert the idea of cloud from a destination into a business or consumption model. This is the progression of making everything in its portfolio consumable as a service on a subscription basis as you need it."

[HPE is] trying to convert the idea of cloud from a destination into a ... consumption model ... making everything in its portfolio consumable as a service.
Dana GardnerPrincipal analyst, Interarbor Solutions LLC

Edge to cloud forms a tangled web

Life is getting more complicated for CIOs and other IT professionals piecing together an edge-to-cloud strategy with the vastly different edge devices tied to data centers that house public and private clouds. And that's not to mention the challenge of managing applications and services flying back and forth. Tim Crawford, an IT consultant and CIO advisor at the IT services firm AVOA in California, said those are the issues HPE hopes to address with its latest technologies and others into the future.

"They are not bringing cloud to the edge, it's more bringing an as-a-service perspective to the edge," Crawford said. "They are creating this management layer that sits across their entire portfolio, as well as beyond their portfolio, and into the public cloud. That's what users are interested in."

Contained within Ezmeral Container Platform is an HPE-developed open source project called KubeDirector, according to HPE, that offers the ability to run non-cloud-native monolithic applications on Kubernetes.

HPE GreenLake updates

Highlights of the new HPE cloud services include:

  • Cloud services for containers that allow users to run containerized applications in data centers, colocation facilities, public clouds and at the edge;
  • Cloud services for Machine Learning Operations that allow users to subscribe to workload-specific offerings built on the Ezmeral Container Platform for the complete ML lifecycle; and
  • Cloud services for the Intelligent Edge, which helps users better predict and manage network operational costs. (One part of this service is Aruba's new Managed Connectivity Services, available as a cloud service through GreenLake.)

The GreenLake cloud services for containers and ML Ops are available in beta now. General availability will be sometime in the fourth quarter.

HPE Ezmeral is generally available now and can be purchased with the company's existing license models, including HPE Ezmeral ML Ops and HPE Ezmeral Container Platform as a subscription.

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