HPE launches Ezmeral containerised app framework

HPE wants to be part of the picture when businesses develop and deploy apps and workflows with AI and ML functionality in containerised environments and has announced a newly created software portfolio – Ezmeral – to that end. 

HPE is another mainstream vendor looking to grab a part of the emerging new Kubernetes container organisation territories.

HPE’s Kumar Sreekanti, CTO and head of software, provided a canned overarching quote: “The HPE Ezmeral software portfolio fuels data-driven digital transformation in the enterprise by modernising applications, unlocking insights, and automating operations.” Yes, OK.

“Our software uniquely enables customers to eliminate lock-in and costly legacy licensing models, helping them to accelerate innovation and reduce costs, while ensuring enterprise-grade security.” (That refers to an open source piece of the news.)

HPE is getting on a Kubernetes train with other passengers already onboard. NetApp also has a Kubernetes framework initiative with its Project Astra, and MayaData has its Kubera Kubernetes management service.

Ezmeral brand

Ezmeral is wrapped in a trendy digital transformation marketing framework and is a brand name developed from esmeralda, the Spanish word for emerald, with lots of high-flown HPE quotes talking about “The transformation of raw emerald to a cut and polished stone to reveal something more beautiful and valuable is analogous to the digital transformation journey our customers are on.” 

The marketing bods have clearly lined emeralds, which are green, with GreenLake, HPE’s all-singing, all-product dancing subscription deal.

Ezmeral portfolio

Back in the real world HPE has combined its acquired BlueData and MapR assets with open source Kubernetes-related software to build the Ezmeral portfolio. This applies to the range of IT environments from edge locations, data centres and the public cloud and includes:

  • Container orchestration and management, 
  • AI/ML and data analytics, 
  • Cost control, 
  • IT automation and AI-driven operations, 
  • Security

The Ezmeral Container Platform and Ezmeral ML Ops are two software items announced as part of the portfolio.

Ezmeral Container Platform

This enables customers to manage multiple Kubernetes clusters with a unified control plane, and use a MapR distributed file system for persistent data and stateful applications. Interestingly HPE says customers can run both cloud-native and non-cloud-native applications in containers without having to rewrite the legacy apps.

This involves use of the HPE-contributed KubeDirector open source project which provides the ability to run non-cloud native stateful applications on Kubernetes without modifying the code. 

But it is no silver bullet, being focused on distributed stateful applications. KubeDirector enables data scientists familiar with data-intensive distributed applications such as Hadoop, Spark, Cassandra, TensorFlow, Caffe2, etc. to run these applications on Kubernetes – with a minimal learning curve and no need to write GO code. 

OK – so forget running the broad mass of legacy apps in containers.

Ezmeral ML OPs software uses containerisation to introduce a DevOps-like process to machine learning workflows. HPE claims it will  accelerate AI deployments from months to days. The BlueData part of this refers to using container technology for Big Data analytics and machine learning.

The Ezmeral Container Platform and Ezmeral ML OPs products will be available as software and also delivered as a cloud service through GreenLake.