Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Wednesday, December 6, 2023

HPE, Portworx Partner to Speed Container Workloads 

The explosion of on-demand applications like ride hailing and movies is said to be fueling the shift to cloud-native and container-based application frameworks that can meet growing performance requirements. With that in mind, stateful container specialist Portworx unveiled an approach this week designed to quickly deploy and scale container workloads.

Teaming with Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Portworx said Thursday (Jan. 18) their "reference configuration" would allow users to deploy container platforms on bare metal. Along with HPE's Synergy platform that combines computing, storage and networking as a "composable" unit, the configuration runs on the Portworx storage platform and the Kubernetes container orchestrator.

The partnership also illustrates how on-demand applications have hastened the transition from "stateless" containers in which data is destroyed as each instance is shut down to stateful containers better suited to production.

"Running enterprise container workloads at scale requires compute and storage that are highly flexible, scalable and available," said McLeod Glass, HPE's vice president of production management. Hence, the partners combined a cloud native storage layer with the Synergy platform to scale computing services on a Kubernetes cluster.

The result is simplified delivery of stateful container services that "strikes an important balance for enterprise IT between automation and control," added Portworx CEO Murli Thirumale. The partners said Synergy is used to automate the provisioning of hardware while Kubernetes and the Portworx PX-enterprise storage layer designed for stateful workloads automates application management.

Portworx, Los Altos, Calif., maintains that embattled DevOps teams require greater automation as they scramble to keep up with the demand for applications needed yesterday. By teaming with HPE, it is attempting to expand the user base for application containers by easing deployments that can scale to many nodes with the performance of bare metal. The partners said the new configuration runs container applications and back-end databases on either bare metal or via virtual machines based on Synergy hardware.

Along with Kubernetes, the Portworx platform also runs on Docker Swarm and Mesosphere's datacenter operating system.

Meanwhile, HPE (NYSE: HPE) and other IT vendors have been touting "composable infrastructure," or "infrastructure as code," as a software-defined platform that combines physical computing, storage and networking resources and treats them as a service. Those services can then be allocated so DevOps teams don't have to configure hardware for specific applications like container workloads.

HPE's partnership with Portworx emphasizes these DevOps functions. Along with automating the provisioning of bare-metal cloud infrastructure, the new configuration is designed to ease the integration of container orchestration tools like Kubernetes while making it easier to spin up instances on demand and, HPE further claims, eliminate the need for outside service providers.

Hence, the partners said their reference configuration could be deployed in 30 minutes or less to deliver container-based applications.


About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).