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By Robert Christiansen
We’re undergoing a transition in the computing industry. As organizations develop more applications as a result of digital transformation initiatives, developers are focused on the speed of building applications and quality of application delivery. Businesses want to move quickly, shifting from one innovation to another as fast and efficiently as possible – much like a skilled automobile driver, effortlessly shifting gears to gain acceleration.
With a higher preference for simplicity and delivering compelling software faster, cloud-native applications allow companies to achieve this same type of acceleration – that is, deploying the apps users want at the pace the business needs. Cloud-native is more about how applications are deployed rather than where they are deployed. Often cloud-native applications are developed and deployed as a set of scalable, stateless microservices running in containers, which is a simpler and more cost-effective than virtualization. Building cloud-native applications typically involves grouping small, independent, and loosely coupled services to ensure consistent development and automated management experience across clouds—which is central to agile software delivery.
A cloud-native approach is great for net-new applications, but what about everything else that’s been powering businesses up until now?
Stalled out: the challenge of monolithic, non-cloud-native apps
Traditional, non-cloud-native apps tend to be monolithic in design, not loosely coupled. Instead, non-cloud-native apps are more rigid in their connections to infrastructure resources, such as storage, security, and networks. It’s easy to “break” an app if changes are made to the hard-coded resources, forcing IT to keep them virtualized in a more complex, expensive environment. These apps are also stateful, retaining critical app data on local hosts that can go out of sync when the apps is moved by the orchestrator.
These monolithic, non-cloud-native applications represent the lion’s share of business applications today, which is why many businesses are stalled in their application modernization efforts. You may be wondering how difficult is it to refactor these apps using cloud-native principles.
Re-architecting many of these applications will likely prove impractical, time-consuming, and costly due to the following:
Interrelationships and dependencies on other applications and data stores;
Data gravity and latency;
Economic obstacles and unclear ROI to refactor/re-architect applications; and
Organizational challenges in pivoting to cloud-native practices, including culture and skills.
According to ESG Research, organizations report needing, on average, 27 days to refactor and migrate an application to public cloud services. At this rate, it would take 7.4 years for a business to migrate 100 applications.
These stats highlight the reality that a large portion of most organizations’ software applications and data will remain on premises or transition to a co-location provider. And every day, more data will be created, analyzed, and actioned at the edge. To jump start this much needed transition to modern applications, we offer a container platform for both cloud-native AND non-cloud-native.
HPE Container Platform now available to accelerate application modernization
HPE container software, new professional services, and use case-specific reference architectures are now available to help organizations overcome the challenges of modernizing any application with containers. In March of 2020, HPE announced three important milestones that will help you shift more quickly to a modern, containerized data center.
The HPE Container Platform software introduced in November 2019 is now generally available. An enterprise-grade software solution, the HPE Container Platform allows the enterprise to deploy containerized environments at scale with open source Kubernetes, for both cloud-native and non-cloud-native applications – enabling hybrid cloud deployments across on premises, public cloud, and the edge. The HPE Container Platform is built on proven innovations from HPE’s acquisitions of BlueData and MapR, and uses 100% open source Kubernetes. This next-generation solution extends the benefits of containers beyond cloud-native microservices-architected applications, providing the ability to containerize non-cloud-native monolithic applications with persistent data storage.
New HPE Pointnext consulting and implementation services help organizations build the skills, culture, and practices necessary to adopt cloud-native computing across any hybrid multi-cloud container environment. Implementation services for HPE Container Platform accelerate and de-risk deployments, while driving rapid digital transformation.
New use case-specific reference configurations and reference architectures (RAs) provide best-practice blueprints for workload-optimized configurations on HPE infrastructure. These include AI, ML, DL, and data analytics workloads running on HPE Apollo; edge analytics and IoT workloads on HPE Edgeline; and DevOps workloads and CI / CD pipelines on HPE Synergy. The HPE Container Platform also works with storage solutions such as HPE Cloud Volumes and the HPE Container Storage Interface (CSI) Driver for hybrid cloud deployments with Kubernetes.
Get into high gear quickly with the HPE Container Platform
HPE eliminates the need to maintain cloud-native and non-cloud-native application deployment environments by delivering a container platform for a broader range of application architectures, with portability across on-premises, public cloud, and edge environments. HPE also eliminates the complexity and expense of a virtualization layer supporting deployment in the cloud, in a VM, or on bare metal while ensuring enterprise-grade security, performance, and reliability. IT teams benefit from greater efficiency, higher utilization, and improved performance by “collapsing the stack.” Developers benefit by having 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.
 Source: ESG, Hybrid Cloud Trends, Jun 2019.
 The HPE Container Platform is a software product that runs on HPE and third-party infrastructure.
About Robert Christiansen
Robert Christiansen is a cloud technology leader, best-selling author, and speaker. As Chief Technologist in the Office of the CTO at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Robert’s role is to connect client needs and HPE’s strategic goals. His client base includes Fortune 500 and Global 2000 customers, and his team’s leadership model encompasses the entire IT transformation journey, from inception to execution.