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HPE IT moves to a Shared Services model based on home-grown and Docker technologies

celialawren

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is no different than any other enterprise business when it comes to needing more flexible infrastructure and more collaborative business processes. Two big items on the HPE IT wish list were to accelerate development of applications and enable everything as code. Developing apps in a monolithic fashion was taking too long, and moving from dev to test to production was too cumbersome. IT needed a continuous delivery pipeline for applications, compute, storage, database, network and OS changes. And like most businesses, HPE needed to support both traditional apps and distributed apps as it moved to a self-service DevOps model. Another big item was to empower development teams and IT Ops teams to become better integrated and self-organize around the DevOps manifesto to develop, deploy and maintain the platform.

The approach: Docker in the Data Center

HPE IT built a centralized Shared Services approach based on Docker DataCenter and HPE Composable Infrastructure and other HPE solutions with these elements:

  • Composable Infrastructure to meet today’s AppDev needs with HPE Synergy, HPE OneView + HPE BladeSystem c7000 + HPE Insight Control server provisioning and Docker Machine Plugin
  • Container as a Service using Docker Datacenter to enable an IT Ops managed and secure application environment for developer self-service to build and deploy apps
  • HPE 3PAR Storage with the HPE Native Docker Volume plugin for containers that required data persistence across infrastructure nodes
  • Built-in security and trust for building, shipping and running Docker containers with solutions like HPE App Defender and Docker Content Trust services
  • Proactive Analytics for Automated discovery of containers and swarm infrastructure leveraging HPE SiteScope and HPE Ops Analytics for disaster avoidance

Initial use case: HPE OneView Test/Build Infrastructure team

The new architecture was piloted by the HPE OneView Test/Build Infrastructure team which supports more than 700 remote Java developers working on the development of HPE OneView. The architecture was composed of open source software, such as Docker Engine and Jenkins; Docker containers running on HPE BladeSystem c7000 with bare metal HPE ProLiant 460c Server Blades, and HPE OneView enterprise software integrated with the Docker Machine plugin.

DIDC image.png

Figure 1. HPE Docker in the Data Center Architectural Blueprint

This configuration did not require a hypervisor to host virtual machines. The architecture enabled developers to design apps as independently deployable services that have stable contracts and are composed together through standard discovery and communication protocols. The developers could add new components, services and features more quickly and extend and improve each of these independent services in isolation. In fact, the Test/Build team realized a 50% reduction in software build time, handling 1,000 plus automated builds and tests daily. Read about this use case and the reference configuration. Learn more about the Docker Machine and HPE OneView integration.

Adding operational intelligence to further empower IT teams

HPE IT incorporated several powerful HPE intelligence and monitoring tools into the solution. HPE SiteScope provides a centralized, scalable architecture that is implemented as a Java server application and supports key functions, such as data collection, alerting, event management and reporting. HPE SiteScope support for Docker Swarm allows it to remotely monitor an entire cluster without requiring an agent to be installed on every node. It uses templates that don’t require expert knowledge on the app so less effort and time are required to configure and deploy monitors for complex apps environments. And it runs in Docker container Universal Control Plan (UCP) clusters, automatically providing a single pane for IT Ops to see everything in one dashboard. HPE Ops Analytics leverages machine learning and advanced analytics to help identify insights hidden in system silos to resolve root cause of failures faster and improve operational performance with predictive analytics.

Providing security and trust for the ecosystem

HPE thought long and hard about what it would take to run mission critical apps on a Shared Services platform using Docker technology. Central to providing security and trust is the Docker Trusted Registry, which manages over 500+ internal and external images that represent over 5,600 tags. Providing a central repository of images that R&D developers can leverage and share content. This allows teams the autonomy to build fast solutions while still federating on content that can be curated for the internal masses to consume and run with lower risk for operations. HPE Application Defender, a Runtime Application Self-protection (RASP) solution, was added to help manage and mitigate risk from home grown or 3rd party applications, once again providing centralized visibility in application use and abuse while protecting from software vulnerability exploits and other violations in real time. Managed from the cloud or data center, it is pre-configured to provide instant visibility into the security of applications, protecting against security vulnerabilities in production software without any changes to the code.

Implementation of the new Shared Services architecture continues, the latest milestone is the integration of Docker in virtual machines on an HPE HC380. Although only in phase 1 of 3 of the implementation, the new enterprise platform is delivering a robust ecosystem for developing, testing, deploying and operating mission critical workloads in a much faster and more productive manner. It is hybrid cloud ready and hosts on physical, virtual or cloud platforms, and its Composable Infrastructure with HPE Synergy provides the foundation for delivering hardware as code.

For more information on the HPE IT project and Docker integration stories, visit HPE and Docker.

Also check out the Docker Machine plugin for HPE OneView, and the Docker-HPE web page.

Celia

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About the Author

celialawren

Technology marketing professional with over 25 years of experience in energy, semiconductor and IT industries.

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