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Kubernetes in the enterprise — with HPE

OK, I might have had a glimpse of what Kubernetes in the enterprise will look like…

So, I’ve spent a bit of time recently with Don Wake from HPE. Don’s a decent bloke and a proper engineer. Anyway, he gave me an opportunity to see and play around a bit with their enterprise container platform (my words not theirs) called HPE Ezmeral. And I’m not gonna lie, it looks to me like it’s ticking a lot of the boxes Kubernetes will need if it wants to be a success in the enterprise.

Now then… I’ve no interest in banging the drum for any vendor. And I’m not saying anything about how stable the platform is or anything like that. I’m gonna keep big picture and list the stuff I see in HPE Ezmeral that I like, and that I think Kubernetes needs for the enterprise. 

Here goes…

  • Easy integration with Active Directory (AD)
  • Easy integration with enterprise-grade storage backends
  • Istio service mesh
  • Easily deploy business apps
  • Deep integration with Kubernetes
  • A decent UI

I’m sure it does a ton more, but those are the things that jumped out to me. 

Here’s my top three.

Kubernetes integration with Active Directory (AD)

My last role at a major bank was in a strategy team that assessed and recommended new technologies. It was a great little gig, but I was constantly frustrated when we loved a technology, but couldn’t get it accepted in the bank as it didn’t integrate with existing platforms such as AD.

Soooooo…. if I was still in that role and trying to get Kubernetes into the bank, integration with AD would be a huge deal.

Kubernetes integration with enterprise-grade storage backends

Data loss is one of the biggest fears of every enterprise I’ve worked for. That’s why integration with existing enterprise-grade battle-tested storage systems is essential if Kubernetes is going to make it big in the enterprise.

Easily deploy business apps to Kubernetes

Large enterprises have hundreds, sometimes thousands, of apps. So, deploying and managing them is crucial. Sadly, it’s still too hard for most enterprises to deploy and manage apps on Kubernetes.

While I’m sure it’s not the finished article yet, HPE Ezmeral looks like it’s got the beginnings of something looking a bit like an app store. I know that’s a cliche, and don’t take the analogy too far, but you can pick a few select applications off a shelf with hugely simplified installs. 

For example, one of the demo environments allowed a bare knuckle infa guy like to deploy a Jupyter Notebook app. And I know nothing about Jupyter Notebook apps, in fact, I had to check Google to make sure I spelled it right.

Summary

In short, HPE Ezmeral has added to my growing excitement that ecosystem partners are stepping up to the plate and preparing Kubernetes for the enterprise. 

Is it the real deal?

Only time will tell. But Don’s a real engineer, and he speaks highly of it. Add in what I’ve seen, and it’s definitely facing in the right direction.

Check out my latest video whizzing through what it looks like in a demo environment…https://www.youtube.com/embed/LOxdQws3Flc

And as always… feel free to connect on Twitter where I’m happy to talk about all things tech!

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