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Application modernization with HPE Ezmeral Container Platform on HPE Synergy

Many organizations want to modernize their on-premises applications using containers and Kubernetes. 

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Some enterprises want to containerize non-cloud-native workloads without significant refactoring while ensuring production-grade security. Others want to run containers at scale, but avoid the virtualization performance and licensing tax.  And still, other organzations are looking to simplify their infrastructure manageability or increase high-performance block storage for persistent application storage needs.

These are all popular goals when modernizing your on-premises information estate using containers. But achieving them can be challenging. This blog will discuss typical challenges enterprises face and how to solve them. 

Challenges in IT environments

When modernizing the infrastructure and applications from a traditional to containerized environment, the IT team needs to address both infrastructure and DevOps/automation challenges.

In terms of infrastructure challenges, cost of ownership is a big concern. To meet long-term needs, often the existing infrastructure is overprovisioned, thus adding to both CapEx and OpEx costs. Broad expertise and deep knowledge of technologies and products are also required when transitioning to containers, as the right choices will ensure smooth life cycle management. IT also needs to ensure the infrastructure is provisioned at scale so that it has the agility to meet business demands. Availability is important to ensure the new architecture meets business demands.

When it comes to DevOps & Automation, IT must consider lifecycle management. This include provisioning, managing, and retiring/repurposing infrastructure to meet current and future needs. IT also needs to think about the complexity of the solutions, as managing different infrastructure components frequently requires multiple tools – which add complexity. Security is also vital. Enterprise IT shops must provide protection against threats and ensure compliance.

HPE Ezmeral Container Platform solves these challenges

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) can address all of these challenges with the HPE Reference Architecture for HPE Ezmeral Container Platform on HPE Synergy and HPE Nimble Storage.

Containerization and Kubernetes are rapidly changing the way organizations develop, deploy, and manage applications. Enterprise organizations are adopting containers and embracing cloud-native microservices architecture in order to accelerate the speed of application development and innovation—and benefit from greater efficiency and portability. Kubernetes has emerged as the de-facto, open-source standard for container orchestration and a fundamental building block for cloud-native architectures.

HPE Ezmeral Container Platform provides an enterprise-grade platform to deploy Kubernetes at scale for a wide range of use cases. It enables an enterprise-grade solution to accelerate your application modernization efforts and run data-driven apps with persistent container storage—in your data centers, on any cloud, or at the edge. It is empowered with HPE Ezmeral Data Fabric, a globally distributed data store with unequaled scale, performance, and reliability that simplifies management and provisioning for data-driven applications.  The result is simplified movement of data and analytics from edge to cloud.  

Figure 1. HPE Ezmeral Container PlatformFigure 1. HPE Ezmeral Container Platform

HPE Synergy brings together next-generation compute, a variety of storage options, future-proofed networking, and one integrated management platform. With software-defined intelligence, HPE Synergy uses automation to remove the complexity and time needed for your day-to-day operations, thereby increasing productivity and reducing costs. HPE Synergy is 100% programmable, with a single interface and repeatable templates to drive simplicity for on-premises infrastructure. And, with a unified API, you can seamlessly integrate dozens of popular management, open-source automation, and DevOps tools such as Chef, Docker, and OpenStack.

In this solution, HPE simplifies the deployment and lifecycle management of infrastructure via Ansible and Python automation, which accelerates HPE Ezmeral Container Platform deployment and updates. HPE Nimble Storage provides enterprise-grade persistent block storage including data management and high availability. Sysdig Secure and Sysdig Monitor are used to secure and monitor the container platform in this solution. Figure 2 depicts the solution architecture.

Figure 2. HPE Ezmeral Container Platform Solution ArchitectureFigure 2. HPE Ezmeral Container Platform Solution Architecture

A summary of the aspects covered by the reference architecture include the following:

  • Guidance on deploying HPE Ezmeral Container platform with physical resources:
    • HPE Ezmeral controller, gateway, master, and worker nodes are deployed on bare metal on eleven (11) HPE Synergy 480 Gen10 Compute Modules running Red Hat Enterprise Linux to enable a highly available architecture.
    • The operating system for all the HPE Ezmeral nodes is configured and provisioned programmatically based on the node requirements.
  • Programmatic post-installation configuration for all the HPE Ezmeral nodes.
  • Guidance on using HPE Nimble Storage enabling high-performance block storages for persistent storage needs for your application. It provides Raw Block Volume, Volume Snapshots, Volume Expansion, and Volume Cloning and Inline Ephemeral Volumes for applications.
  • Guidance on security and monitoring of containers in the HPE Ezmeral Container Platform
    • Lightweight Sysdig Agent is installed on the nodes within the cluster. These agents run as a daemon to enable Sysdig Monitor and Sysdig Secure functionality.
  • Using KubeDirector to enable containerization and deployment of applications on the HPE Ezmeral Container Platform

This reference architecture in conjunction with the deployment guide demonstrates a simplified and effective automation mechanism for creating infrastucture for the deployment of HPE Ezmeral Container Platform. This solution enables an accelerated deployment of HPE Ezmeral Container Platform resulting in a reduction of manual effort by 85% and deployment time by 70% while bringing up the container solution on HPE infrastructure. HPE Ezmeral Container Platform then enables you to deploy non-cloud-native monolithic applications on containers using KubeDirector with persistent storage.

Connect to more information

HPE Reference Architecture for HPE Ezmeral Container Platform on HPE Synergy with HPE Nimble Storage addresses key requirements of infrastructure provisioning, manageability, scalability, app modernization, persistent storage and security.

You can refer to the Reference Architecture here: www.hpe.com/info/ra.

You can access the deployment guides and accompanying Ansible & Python deployment scripts here: https://github.com/HewlettPackard/hpe-solutions-hpecp/.

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Rahul Raghavan is Solutions Architect with the Enterprise Solutions and Performance Team at HPE and is focused on developing curated architectures for container-based solutions. Apart from being an around-the-clock IT evangelist, he also likes to trek, hike, swim and travel around the world and capture the memories.Rahul Raghavan is Solutions Architect with the Enterprise Solutions and Performance Team at HPE and is focused on developing curated architectures for container-based solutions. Apart from being an around-the-clock IT evangelist, he also likes to trek, hike, swim and travel around the world and capture the memories. Ragashree is a Software Development & Solutions Engineer at HPE focused on developing curated architectures for container-based solutions. She also contributes to software development and application security. Besides being a technology enthusiast, she contributes towards society through NGOs focused on child welfare and animal welfare.Ragashree is a Software Development & Solutions Engineer at HPE focused on developing curated architectures for container-based solutions. She also contributes to software development and application security. Besides being a technology enthusiast, she contributes towards society through NGOs focused on child welfare and animal welfare.

 

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