HPE Ezmeral: Uncut
Don_Wake

Empowering large-scale applications to find the golden needle

HPE Golden Needle.pngLooking for a needle in a haystack seems kind of pointless, right?

But what if finding that needle allowed you to identify genetic markers in a data lake full of DNA files? Or it enabled you to teach a computer how to tell the difference between a mailbox and a bicycle? Or perhaps, it let you create a media platform that shows every movie ever made to everyone all at the same time?

These types of applications are called big data or large-scale applications, and they are not pointless. They often lead to cost savings, strategic decisions, or medical breakthroughs. In essence, the golden needle can be derived from a massive haystack of data. Yet, the challenge remains how to find it – the elusive golden needle?

Large-scale Solutions to Large-scale Problems

The analogy of a needle in a haystack (although a bit overused) helps me visualize a large data set with a valuable gem of information hiding within it. The haystack is the data, and compute and software resources are the pitchforks used to sift through it.  

This is why I like to use the term large scale rather than big data, since it includes both data and compute resources that usually need to scale independently of each other. Some of those large-scale application examples I reference above fall into the artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) category, along with their derivatives such as deep learning. No matter what you call them, to create a solution that can grow and shrink elastically, you need to combine a few pieces of technology. For example, you will need:

  • Very portable and customizable applications that can be launched across a cluster of compute resources (containerized applications) and terminated easily when not needed
  • A distributed, scale-out storage solution that can grow and shrink as the application requirements change, has the flexibility to be deployed anywhere, yet keeps everything synchronized and protected
  • A centralized control plane to manage everything and provide monitoring, alerting, and integration with source control -- along with open-source tools and support for security (including existing authentication systems like your Active Directory [AD] and LDAP systems.)

The need for Enterprise-Grade Software and Hardware

I created a pretty long list above of things you need to tackle these large-scale problems. Until recently, most of the solutions (both hardware & software) available to enterprise customers looking to tackle these problems included solutions that were anything but enterprise grade. Many application and infrastructure solutions require lock in with specific public cloud vendors or hardware vendors. They also force you to use many different tools that don’t directly integrate and certainly aren’t designed to simply interface with other clouds or on-premises solutions.

HPE has identified the need for more open, enterprise-grade solutions and, as a result, launched HPE Ezmeral. This portfolio of products includes HPE Ezmeral Container Platform and HPE Ezmeral Data Fabric, along with offering them as-a-service with world-class services and support.

HPE Ezmeral Container Platform

First, let me introduce you to the HPE Ezmeral Container Platform – designed to support my earlier list of things such as teaching a computer how to find genetic markers in a data lake full of DNA files. HPE recently published a technical white paper, HPE Ezmeral Software Solutions: Delivering unique cloud experiences for data-intensive workloads from edge to cloud, which goes into detail about the platform.

What is HPE Ezmeral Container Platform?

At its core, the HPE Ezmeral Container Platform is software. This software started life at a very successful startup called BlueData. HPE acquired BlueData, which formed the backbone of HPE Ezmeral and was renamed HPE Ezmeral Container Platform. The software is, in effect, a central control plane for your applications, including the underlying physical or virtual compute, networking, security, and storage.  

Figure 1 - HPE Ezmeral Container Platform ArchitectureFigure 1 - HPE Ezmeral Container Platform ArchitectureHPE Ezmeral Container Platform can be installed onto physical or virtual servers (hosts) and provides an API or WebUI management interface. You can import and manage compute and storage resources that reside anywhere – on premises, in your favorite cloud, or at the edge. You can also import entire clusters from your favorite public cloud and manage those clusters side-by-side with your on-premises clusters.

Example deployment of the Ezmeral Container Platform software on physical or virtual serversExample deployment of the Ezmeral Container Platform software on physical or virtual servers

Next you can use the platform to deploy Kubernetes clusters running AI/ML tools like TensorFlow, XGBoost, JupyterHub or any containerized workload using CNCF-certified, standard, open-source Kubernetes as your container orchestrator.

kd-logo (002).pngIncluded in the platform is KubeDirector, an open-source Kubernetes custom controller that simplifies the creation of stateful applications. You don’t need to write your own operator to bring in a traditionally non-cloud native application that requires connectivity to large-scale, persistent data sources and stateful management. 

What is the HPE Ezmeral Data Fabric? 

At its core, the HPE Ezmeral Data Fabric is also software. HPE acquired the software company, MapR, and added it to the HPE Ezmeral software division as the premiere, large-scale data fabric solution designed for modern application storage requirements. HPE Ezmeral Data Fabric allows you to manage your data at scale – anywhere. It is a multi-protocol data fabric that provides multiple storage and application APIs.

Figure 3 - HPE Ezmeral Data FabricFigure 3 - HPE Ezmeral Data FabricHPE Ezmeral Data Fabric was designed from the ground up to support modern data-intensive workloads – specifically targeting complex solutions like AI/ML and other analytics-driven applications. When you combine the power of this scale-out data fabric with the HPE Ezmeral Container Platform, you get everything you need to modernize your applications.

Finding the golden needle in an ever-growing haystack may not be easy. Yet, with HPE Ezmeral, it is no longer as daunting!

To learn more, contact us or visit the HPE Ezmeral Container Platform website. To take a test drive, explore the HPE Ezmeral Interactive Demo. For more information, join the HPE Developer Community for HPE Ezmeral Container Platform and HPE Ezmeral Data Fabric, and access the most recent documentation for HPE Ezmeral Container Platform and HPE Ezmeral Data Fabric.

Don Wake

Hewlett Packard Enterprise

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About the Author

Don_Wake

Don has spent the past 20 years building, testing, marketing, and selling enterprise storage, networking, and compute solutions in the rapidly evolving information technology industry. Today he is focused on the HPE Ezmeral Container Platform. The HPE Ezmeral Container Platform is exciting to work on as it offers the ultimate toolkit to manage, deploy, execute, and monitor data-centric applications on software- and hardware-based architectures in the cloud, on premises, and at the edge.