Hewlett Packard Enterprise: New Kubernetes-Based Platform And Next-Gen HPC And AI Solutions

By Amit Chowdhry ● November 20, 2019
  • HPE made a couple of major announcements recently, including the HPE Container Platform and next-generation HPC and AI solutions.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise has made a couple of big announcements this past week, including the HPE Container Platform and next-generation HPC and AI solutions.

HPE Container Platform

The HPE Container Platform is the industry’s first enterprise-grade Kubernetes-based container platform designed for both cloud-native applications and monolithic applications with persistent storage.

Using the HPE Container Platform, enterprise customers can accelerate application development for new and existing apps running on bare-metal or virtualized infrastructure, on any public cloud, and at the edge. And the HPE Container Platform is built on innovations from HPE’s acquisitions of BlueData and MapR, together with 100% open-source Kubernetes.

This next-generation solution dramatically reduces cost and complexity by running containers on bare-metal while providing the flexibility to deploy on virtual machines and cloud instances. HPE’s customers benefit from greater efficiency, higher utilization, and improved performance by “collapsing the stack” and eliminating the need for virtualization.

This new platform addresses the requirements for large-scale enterprise Kubernetes deployments across a wide range of use cases ranging from machine learning and edge analytics to CI/CD pipelines and application modernization. And IT teams can manage multiple Kubernetes clusters with multi-tenant container isolation and pre-integrated persistent storage. Plus developers have secure on-demand access to their environments so they can develop apps and release code faster with the portability of containers to build once and deploy anywhere.

“Application development is migrating to containers, and Kubernetes is the de facto standard for container orchestration,” said Kumar Sreekanti, senior vice president and chief technology officer of Hybrid IT at HPE. “We’re combining our expertise and intellectual property from recent acquisitions together with open-source Kubernetes to deliver an unmatched enterprise-class container platform. Our container-first approach will provide enterprises with a faster and lower-cost path to application modernization, optimized for bare-metal and extensible to any infrastructure from edge to cloud.”

Enterprises recognize that in order to transform and compete in their industry, they have to innovate faster and modernize their applications. And to increase the velocity of new application development and drive digital innovation, they are using containers and Kubernetes to build cloud-native applications with a microservices architecture. Plus industry analyst research validates this rapid growth for container adoption in the enterprise:

As these organizations extend their use of containers and Kubernetes beyond development and testing to production environments, they have to address key considerations, including security, multi-cluster management, and load balancing. New use cases are emerging for edge computing, databases, and more. And in addition, a significant portion of their enterprise applications and systems are not cloud-native. These traditional monolithic applications are costly to maintain and many of them would benefit from containerization. But re-architecting or refactoring existing applications as cloud-native is time-consuming and expensive. Plus these applications have requirements that remain challenging with Kubernetes like root filesystem persistence and migration.

The HPE Container Platform is essentially a turnkey solution that uniquely addresses these aforementioned challenges with BlueData as the control plane for container management, MapR as the distributed file system for persistent data with containers, and Kubernetes for container orchestration.

When can you get it? The HPE Container Platform software will be available in early 2020 along with advisory, consulting, deployment, and support services from HPE.

Next-Generation HPC And AI Solutions

Hewlett Packard Enterprise also announced it will deliver the industry’s most comprehensive high-performance computing (HPC) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) portfolio for the exascale era — which is characterized by explosive data growth and new converged workloads like HPC, AI, and analytics.

Earlier this year, HPE acquired Cray and the subsidiary company bolsters HPE’s HPC and AI solutions to now encompass an end-to-end supercomputing architecture across compute, interconnect, software, storage, and services, delivered on-premises, hybrid or as-a-Service. And now every enterprise can utilize the same foundational HPC technologies that power the world’s fastest systems and integrate them into their data centers to unlock insights and fuel new discovery.

New software, compute, interconnect, and storage capabilities are required for customers to unlock the potential of their data and accelerate innovation. And HPE delivers solutions for any experience from single small systems all the way to exascale-class supercomputers with personalized software, interconnect, and storage capabilities. This includes solutions for modeling and simulation in weather forecasting, manufacturing and energy sectors, and artificial intelligence and big data analytics in precision medicine, autonomous vehicles, geospatial imaging, and financial services.

“The combination of HPE and Cray will redefine the supercomputing industry by delivering solutions and services that enable customers to thrive in the Exascale Era, helping them achieve significant breakthroughs and advances in business and society,” added Peter Ungaro, senior vice president and general manager of HPC and AI at HPE. “Customers increasingly turn to HPE as a trusted, global partner that can help them harness the full power of data to address their most pressing challenges. Through the combination of HPE and Cray offerings, we now give customers more choice and control in how they apply HPC, to span any size and scale, running in any environment, from on-premises to the cloud.”

HPE’s latest HPC and AI end-to-end portfolio is comprised of the following services:

HPC and AI accessible as a Service – Cray and Microsoft have collaborated to allow access to HPC technology and systems for Cray in Microsoft Azure offerings. And HPE plans to expand customer choice for customers by providing its HPC and AI solutions through HPE GreenLake — which is a market-leading as-a-Service offering from HPE.

HPC and AI systems run like a cloud – The Cray System Management Software is built on a container-based and multi-tenant architecture — which enables converged HPC and AI workloads to run simultaneously on a single system thus providing administrators and developers with a modern, cloud experience.

Simplifying and optimizing workloads – HPE is simplifying application development and management across complex HPC and AI workloads that consist of diverse processors and accelerators with the Cray Programming Environment (CPE). And CPE provides a complete and fully supported developer environment which is a fully integrated software suite, offering compilers and programming languages, tools, and libraries that maximize programmer productivity, application scalability and performance. And it is designed to allow easy porting of existing applications with minimal recoding while minimizing changes to existing programming models and simplifying developer transition to new hardware paradigm.

Extended support for HPE Performance Cluster Management – The HPE Performance Cluster Management (HPCM) software provides complete provisioning, management, and monitoring for clusters scaling to 100,000 nodes. And the software enables fast system setup from bare-metal, comprehensive hardware monitoring and management, image management, software updates and power management.

As part of the new portfolio, future planned releases of HPCM are going to expand system support to include new Cray systems. This new support will enable customers with a new system choices while maintaining their existing HPCM management environment.

Compute optimized for any environment, any size – HPE is extending its leadership in enterprise-grade computing with the HPE family of Apollo systems by adding Cray Supercomputers to the portfolio. And this new combined compute portfolio will bring customers a new level of choice for a range of workloads and delivered at any scale. The new Cray systems will be based on the Shasta architecture, which will be used for delivering the first three U.S. exascale systems.

Redefined high performance interconnect for growing data traffic – HPE is offering Cray Slingshot, which is a redefined HPC interconnect to address demands for higher speed and lower latency to process the explosion of new data and convergence of HPC and artificial intelligence workloads. Slingshot starts with 200 Gbps throughput and adds unique congestion control capabilities to deliver the performance and scale required to drive numerous data-intensive workflows simultaneously on a single system.

Faster, intelligent storage for modern HPC – The Cray ClusterStor E1000 is a storage solution and a new type of solution for HPE’s HPC portfolio, which supports ongoing data growth and converged workloads. And ClusterStor meets storage requirements while significantly reducing the need for additional storage drives through its intelligent new data management software. Plus HPE delivers a personalized experience with HPE Pointnext services, a consulting and technical services offering that provides collaborative efforts to advise, design and accelerate deployment of any digital experience or roadmap to meet an organization’s goals. HPE is further bolstering these offerings with Cray’s services, which include support features like installation, troubleshooting, system maintenance, system administration, and system optimization.