According to a recent IDC survey, the enterprise market is at a roughly 50-50 split between running containers on-premises (51.55%) versus in the public cloud (48.45%). The same report found a similar 50-50 split when it comes to running on-premises containers on bare metal servers versus on virtual machines (VMs). The survey respondents reported that 51.79% of their containers are on VMs, while their containers on bare metal total 48.21%.\nEnterprise organizations want deployment choices for containerized apps\nI share this data because it demonstrates that enterprise organizations want a choice of deployment models\u2014whether it\u2019s to support a specific workload type, to accommodate staff skill, or for economic reasons.\u00a0They want the flexibility to run containerized applications on bare metal or virtual machines (VMs), in their data centers, on any public cloud, or at the edge.\nEnterprise adoption of containers is accelerating because of this inherent flexibility, agility, and portability. But enterprise organizations also want to be more efficient and reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) for their applications. And they want optimal performance, especially for data-intensive applications like AI and analytics.\nThat\u2019s why the industry is seeing increased interest in bare metal containers. By removing the hypervisor and hardware virtualization layer, enterprises can eliminate unnecessary overhead, avoid lock-in, and reduce \u201cvTax\u201d licensing.\nPulling a Ferrari behind a horse and buggy?\nVirtualization and containerization will likely co-exist for some time. I\u2019ve seen hardware virtualization mature and container adoption accelerate over the past several years. It may be an evolution rather than a revolution.\nSome vendors are merging these technologies, embedding Kubernetes with the hypervisor\u2014rationalizing that it allows customers to preserve their virtualization investment, tools, and training. But isn\u2019t it also a strategy for a vendor to stay relevant and maintain a grip on expensive license fees? And doesn\u2019t a hypervisor-centric strategy limit choice while adding cost and complexity for customers?\nI liken running containers on VMs to pulling a Ferrari behind a horse and buggy. That\u2019s why I believe a new approach is needed: one that brings agility and speed to accelerate application development powered by Kubernetes with enterprise-grade security and scalability. It\u2019s also one that recognizes the need to transition from virtualization to containerization -- to improve efficiency and reduce TCO. It\u2019s time for a container-first approach.\nA new approach: Flexibility and choice \nHPE\u2019s approach to containerization focuses on flexibility, providing our customers with a choice of deployment models. In early March 2020, we announced that the new\u00a0HPE Container Platform is generally available. It\u2019s an enterprise-grade container platform designed to deploy both cloud-native applications and monolithic applications with persistent data storage, using pure open source Kubernetes.\nThe\u00a0HPE Container Platform\u00a0is a unified solution based on proven software innovations from HPE\u2019s acquisitions of\u00a0BlueData\u00a0(providing the control plane for container management) and\u00a0MapR\u00a0(providing a unified data fabric for persistent container storage). It delivers the ability to deploy and manage multiple open source Kubernetes clusters at scale in a secure, multi-tenant environment.\nWith the HPE Container Platform, our customers have the freedom to deploy containerized applications on any infrastructure (whether VM or bare metal) and in any location (from edge to core to cloud). By accommodating different deployment models, the platform supports a hybrid cloud or multi-cloud strategy\u2014while ensuring enterprise-class security and reliability.\nHPE is also backing up our software with\u00a0new professional services\u00a0to ensure faster time-to-value, as well as several\u00a0new reference configurations\u00a0for a wide range of use cases\u2014including data-intensive application workloads such as AI, machine learning, deep learning, data analytics, edge computing, and IoT. The HPE Container Platform was designed to meet the unique requirements for an increasingly edge-centric, cloud-enabled, and data-driven world.\nHPE\u2019s container-first approach\nThe feedback from the market is clear: enterprises want flexibility and choice in deployment to support their hybrid cloud and multi-cloud strategies. HPE is delivering that, with a container-first approach and the HPE Container Platform.\nAnd HPE is just getting started. We are committed to continued software innovation to help customers drive greater business innovation, modernize app development, reduce costs, and accelerate digital transformation. To learn more about the HPE Container Platform, go to\u00a0www.hpe.com\/info\/container-platform.\n Source: Container Infrastructure Software Market Assessment, IDC Special Study, March 2020.\n____________________________________\nAbout Kumar Sreekanti\u00a0\n\nKumar Sreekanti is Senior VP and CTO of Hybrid IT at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). Kumar was the co-founder and CEO of BlueData, a leading provider of container-based software solutions acquired by HPE in November 2019. Prior to BlueData, Kumar was vice president of R&D at VMware where he was responsible for new technology innovations such as VSAN, Virtual Volumes, and Virtual Flash.