The News: At the annual HPE Discover 2022 event running this week, HPE announced that it was deepening its relationships with key Linux and open source providers Red Hat and SUSE. Read the release from HPE here and SUSE here.
HPE Discover 2022 News: HPE Deepens Relationships with Red Hat and SUSE
Analyst Take: There are many interesting announcements coming out of HPE’s Discover 2022 event, but the ones that caught my attention today were the announcements around HPE deepening its relationships with both Red Hat and SUSE. HPE has endeavored to position itself as the preeminent private cloud provider, fueled by its GreenLake consumption-driven approach. In order to provide the cloud native experience that so many clients are looking for but delivered within the client datacenter, a crucial technology is Kubernetes. For customers looking to deploy a container orchestration layer leveraging Kubernetes, the obvious choices include VMware with Tanzu, Red Hat with OpenShift, and SUSE with Rancher.
Why Customers Opting for a Hybrid Cloud Based Approach Need a Cloud Native Orchestration Layer — and Independent Kubernetes Provider Options
As clients look to truly deploy a hybrid cloud-based approach, the need for a cloud native orchestration layer than can span both on-premises deployments and multi-public cloud deployments is crucial. Hyperscalers will naturally position their own in-house Kubernetes distributions, but for many customers who seek a hybrid multi-cloud model, a hyperscaler based Kubernetes distribution will be a pinch point. Against this backdrop, an independent Kubernetes provider makes perfect sense, and thus the announcements today by SUSE and Red Hat around collaborating with HPE for the GreenLake platform make perfect sense.
HPE GreenLake is a fully-managed service through which the company manages HP server-based IT environments and that organizations consume similar to the manner in which clients would consume infrastructure in a public cloud model. The announcements today mean that the company is now offering support for container platforms from Red Hat and SUSE alongside its own HPE Ezmeral container management platform.
HPE’s Goal in Partnering with Red Hat and SUSE is Clear
HPE’s goal with the announcements is to position itself as a provider of an IT platform capable of running virtual machines, containers, and applications that run on bare metal servers in a way that maximizes server and storage utilization. Against this backdrop, forging a partnership with Red Hat and expanding its alliance with SUSE, in addition to offering the Ezmeral container management platform, makes sense. Customers demand choice, and these alliances will deliver that choice. In addition, ability for IT teams to consume those Kubernetes platforms as part of a larger set of services that HPE provides via one integrated bill is exactly the cloud consumption model that clients are looking for.
While containerized workloads are not the majority of on-premises deployments today, I see this shifting over time. HPE is betting on the same trend I see happening. Namely that clients will be seeking to deploy cloud native applications on-premises for compliance and security reasons, which they don’t feel comfortable deploying in a public cloud computing environment. In addition, HPE is also gambling on a pretty sure bet, and that’s that increasingly these workloads will be deployed at the network edge, as more data is processed and analyzed closer to where it is created and consumed. As SUSE with Rancher and Red Hat with OpenShift position their Kubernetes deployments to be more lightweight and edge computing friendly, partnering with HPE, and in particular the GreenLake offering, is smart. While I see the hyperscalers providing edge compute connectivity, I also see numerous uses cases where for connectivity, latency, or security reasons, an on-premises deployment is the most prudent approach.
Looking Ahead for HPE and Red Hat and HPE and SUSE
As Kubernetes becomes the default model for delivering and orchestrating cloud native applications, clients will look to be able to leverage their chosen orchestration layer across hybrid and multi-cloud deployments. For the sake of simplicity and ease of use, I expect to see clients looking to standardize in this space on one Kubernetes distribution, regardless of the target infrastructure destination, be that on-premises or in a hyperscale cloud provider. Why have different Kubernetes tools when you can have one?
Against this backdrop, the partnerships announced between HPE and Red Hat and HPE and SUSE today are prudent and speak to the maturity of the approaches from each vendor. I was surprised that VMware Tanzu was also not on the docket for a similar announcement, but the HPE discover event is not over yet so maybe we’ll hear more on that before the event is over.
I think that HPE providing options for customers, with the in house Ezmeral container management solution as well as by partnering with Red Hat and SUSE is a wise move for all the players here and I expect that we will see strong adoption emerge in the coming months.
Disclosure: Futurum Research is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.
Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of Futurum Research as a whole.
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Steven Dickens is Vice President of Growth and Business Development and Senior Analyst at Futurum Research. Operating at the crossroads of technology and disruption, Steven engages with the world’s largest technology brands exploring new operating models and how they drive innovation and competitive edge for the enterprise. Read Full Bio.