Can Container Platforms Co-Exist?

BrandPost By Dejay Noy
Mar 23, 2021
ContainersDevopsIT Leadership

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Credit: HPE

Container adoption is on the rise as more developers are using containers to develop, deploy, and run both stateless and data-intensive stateful applications and workloads more quickly. But to ensure developers have access to the right tools to do their jobs, organizations may find the need to invest in multiple container platforms to support specific and varied uses cases – leading organizations to wonder: can container platforms co-exist and run side by side?

In most cases, the answer is yes – and is an option that should be considered based on the business use cases and workloads being addressed. In Take Your Analytics into Hyperdrive in 2021, Matthew Hausmann explains, “Stateful apps are a different beast – running petabyte scale analytics is very different from running microservices web search.” To solve such a challenge, Hausmann advises, “Using the right tool for the right job is necessary. Don’t be afraid of co-existing multiple platforms to complement your existing solutions and address your varied use cases to deal with scale, performance, and data gravity issues.”

An example of two container platforms that co-exist and complement each other well to address a variety of use cases is Red Hat® OpenShift® and HPE Ezmeral.

How Red Hat OpenShift and HPE Ezmeral complement one another

Red Hat OpenShift is the clear leader when it comes to agile and modern application development as it was created to address the complexity of a DevOps platform. With advanced deployment tools and a tight integration with Red Hat’s Ansible® automation suite, OpenShift is the platform for a host of microservices-focused workloads.

While Red Hat OpenShift is strong with building and deploying stateless microservices-focused applications that don’t contain data, the offering is still immature when it comes to delivering data-intensive applications requiring persistent data that may span from edge to cloud. Red Hat’s acquisition of NooBaa, renamed to Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage, has helped with persistent data intended to be a part of the OpenShift environment but is not a highly resilient global data fabric with a single global namespace.

Fortunately, with HPE Ezmeral (a software portfolio that consists of HPE Ezmeral Container Platform, HPE Ezmeral Data Fabric, and HPE Ezmeral ML Ops) as the data platform, customers can strengthen and future-proof Red Hat OpenShift’s ability to run applications that require large quantities of data and take on an AIOps and MLOps workloads from the comforts of the OpenShift management plane. HPE Ezmeral can strengthen the capabilities of OpenShift by providing:

  • A data lifecycle platform that allows Red Hat OpenShift to run both stateless and data-intensive stateful applications on one unified solution.

  • A mature and extremely fast persistent data store that is based on a distributed data store.

  • An integrated global data fabric to connect disparate storage solution into a single global namespace.

  • The ability to tap into data anywhere in the world – from edge, cloud, core, and far edge environments.

  • Integrated tools to make AIOps and MLOps workloads easy to deploy and repeatable across all environments.

  • A zero-trust security solution based on SPIFFE and SPIRE to secure any and all containerized applications.

Handling different workloads

Now don’t get me wrong – HPE Ezmeral and Red Hat Openshift are both designed around the Kubernetes Container Orchestrator so there will be overlapping features, but the two platforms really are designed for different workloads.

Red Hat OpenShift was created with application developers in mind – with its rich ecosystem of developer tools available through a single click on the same platform. HPE Ezmeral was designed to handle all data-intensive workloads with a focus on data science, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML). Both platforms are very good at what they are developed for, so in most organizations the two can co-exist and run side-by-side to address different use cases (Figure 1). The proverbial glue that will hold everything together will be the HPE Ezmeral Data Fabric, whether you are just running Red Hat OpenShift or running it in parallel with HPE Ezmeral to do both application development and advanced analytics workloads.


Figure 1. Red Hat OpenShift and HPE Ezmeral can run side-by-side to address different use cases

Sample customer scenario

Let’s examine how a global oil and gas company is currently running HPE Ezmeral and extending the capabilities of Red Hat OpenShift to link all their sites together. The company has data in multiple clouds and local data centers and has drilling sites located across the globe. In certain countries, there isn’t a reliable connection to the public cloud, or it may be prohibited by the government. For those sites, the data is stored locally. By implementing HPE Ezmeral Data Fabric, this customer can use a single global namespace and connect disparate systems together to form a common data plane. Now the data and application can live anywhere – whether it’s on-premises or in the cloud – and are able to communicate with each other. In addition, HPE Ezmeral Data Fabric provides a very fast and resilient persistent data storage solution for Red Hat OpenShift so it can host applications with large amounts of data.

To expand and enable new use cases, the customer is currently evaluating the power of HPE Ezmeral Data Fabric to host a data lake and take advantage of DataTap technology within HPE Ezmeral Container Platform to access and share data. In this scenario, Red Hat OpenShift is the Kubernetes platform to host their applications – whether it is on-premises or in the cloud – and HPE Ezmeral Data Fabric is the modern common data platform. These are just a couple of examples of how container platforms can co-exist to address varied business use cases and create an environment that is truly better – together.

For a demonstration on how Red Hat OpenShift and HPE Ezmeral work together, contact HPE.


About Dejay Noy

dejay noysm
Dejay Noy has been in the IT industry for over 25 years. He has held every job from technical support at AOL to running his own virtualization and consulting practice.