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November 12, 2019
Dell Technologies Brings Cloud Business Models “on Prem”

November 5, 2019
Microsoft Cortana Pivot Highlights Evolving Role of Voice-Based Computing

October 29, 2019
Samsung Embraces Intel Project Athena Vision

October 22, 2019
Nvidia EGX Brings GPU Powered AI and 5G to the Edge

October 15, 2019
Poly Extends Collaboration Options

October 8, 2019
Arm Extends Reach in IoT

October 1, 2019
A 5G Status Report

September 24, 2019
Revised Galaxy Fold Adds New Twist to Fall Phone-a-Palooza

September 3, 2019
Huddle Rooms and Videoconferencing Reshaping Modern Work Environments

August 27, 2019
VMware Paints Multi-Faceted Picture of Computing Future

August 20, 2019
Server Chips Now Leading Semiconductor Innovations

August 13, 2019
Samsung and Microsoft Partnership Highlights Blended Device World

August 6, 2019
IBM Leveraging Red Hat for Hybrid Multi Cloud Strategy

July 30, 2019
T-Mobile, Sprint and Dish: It’s All about 5G

July 23, 2019
The Contradictory State of AI

July 16, 2019
Changes to Arm Licensing Model Add Flexibility for IoT

July 9, 2019
Intel Highlights Chiplet Advances

July 2, 2019
Ray Tracing Momentum Builds with Nvidia Launch

June 25, 2019
AT&T Shape Event Highlights 5G Promise and Perils

June 18, 2019
HPE and Google Cloud Expand Hybrid Options

June 11, 2019
AMD's Gamble Now Paying Off

June 4, 2019
Apple Blurs Lines Across Devices

May 21, 2019
Citrix Advances the Intelligent Workspace

May 14, 2019
Next Major Step in AI: On-Device Google Assistant

May 7, 2019
Microsoft Bot Frameworks Enable Custom Voice Assistants

May 1, 2019
Dell Technologies Pushes Toward Hybrid Cloud

April 23, 2019
Intel and Nvidia Partner to Drive Mobile PC Gaming

April 16, 2019
Samsung Galaxy Fold Unfolds the Future

April 9, 2019
Google Embraces Multi-Cloud Strategy with Anthos

April 8, 2019
Intel Helps Drive Data Center Advancements

April 2, 2019
Gaming Content Ecosystem Drives More Usage

March 26, 2019
PCs and Smartphones Duke it Out for Gaming Champion

March 19, 2019
PCs and Smartphones Duke it Out for Gaming Champion

March 12, 2019
Proposed Nvidia Purchase and CXL Standard Point to Data Center Evolution

March 5, 2019
Tech Standards Still Making Slow but Steady Progress with USB4 and WebAuthn

February 26, 2019
Second Gen HoloLens Provides Insights into Edge Computing Models

February 19, 2019
IBM’s Watson Anywhere Highlights Reality of a Multi-Cloud World

February 12, 2019
Extending Digital Personas Across Devices

February 5, 2019
Could Embedded 5G/LTE Kill WiFi?

January 29, 2019
Successful IT Projects More Dependent on Culture Than Technology

January 22, 2019
XR Gaming Market Remains Challenging

January 15, 2019
The Voice Assistant War: What If Nobody Wins?

January 8, 2019
Big CES Announcements are TVs and PCs

January 2, 2019
Top Tech Predictions for 2019

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TECHnalysis Research Blog

November 19, 2019
HPE Debuts Container Platform

By Bob O'Donnell

In the world of enterprise computing, few topics are as hot as hybrid cloud and cloud-native containerized applications. Practically every company that sells to enterprise IT now seems to have an offering and/or an angle that speaks directly to at least one, if not both, of those areas.

Most of the attention, of course, comes from software companies or the software divisions of larger conglomerates because of the critical role that software plays in enabling these technologies. As a company that’s been known almost exclusively for hardware over the last several years, HP Enterprise (HPE) was seemingly at a significant disadvantage—at least until their announcement this week at the KubeCon conference.

In a move that was both surprising and encouraging, the company debuted a new Kubernetes-based tool called the HPE Container Platform that it says will help organizations hasten their adoption of hybrid cloud architectures by, among other things, allowing legacy, non-native applications to be containerized and managed in a consistent fashion. Ever since Dell Technologies’ purchase of VMWare, in particular, HPE has been seen by many as a company that understood and evangelized the concept of hybrid cloud but didn’t really have the tools to back up that vision. With its Container Platform, however, HPE now has what appears to be a solid set of software tools that will allow organizations to address some of their biggest challenges around legacy software modernization.

Unbeknownst to many, HPE has been acquiring a number of smaller software companies over the last few years, most notably BlueData and MapR. It’s the combination of those companies’ technologies, mixed in with a healthy dose of pure, open source Kubernetes, that gave HPE the software capabilities it apparently needed to build out this new hybrid cloud-friendly platform.

As HPE and many other companies have pointed out—and the market itself has started to recognize—cloud-based software technologies and public cloud-style computing-as-a-service capabilities are incredibly powerful, but they don’t work for all types of applications and all types of companies. In fact, IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) and PaaS (Platform as a Service) services represent only a small percentage of the workloads in most companies. Because of costs, regulation, complexity, data gravity (that is, the attraction of applications and services to large amounts of data, much of which has yet to migrate to the cloud because of storage costs, etc.), and most importantly, the wealth of difficult-to-change legacy applications that still play an incredibly important role in organizations, there’s been a significant shift in thinking over the last 12-18 months or so. Instead of presuming that everything would eventually move to the public cloud, there’s been a recognition that a hybrid computing model that supports both public cloud and on-premise private cloud is going to be with us as the mainstream option for many years to come. In fact, there’s still a huge percentage of total computing workloads that don’t have much, if any, connection to the cloud at all.

On the one hand, that recognition has brought a new sense of vigor to the enterprise hardware computing companies like HPE, Dell Technologies, Lenovo, Cisco, etc. that many had essentially written off as dead a few years back when the general thinking seemed to be that everything was going to move to the public-cloud. On the other hand, there have been learnings from the consumption-based business models of cloud computing (e.g., witness HPE’s GreenLake announcements from earlier in the year and Dell Technologies On Demand offering from just last week), as well as the cloud-native software development model of containerized microservices. As HPE’s Phil Davis succinctly points out, “The cloud is not a destination — it’s an experience and operating model.”

The end result is that organizations want to figure out ways in which they can combine many of the benefits of that cloud-based operating model with the reality of their own on-premise hardware and legacy applications, while fulfilling the unique requirements of those older applications. HPE’s Container Platform—which is expected to be available in early 2020—attempts to merge the two worlds by containerizing older applications without having to go through the long, painful, and expensive process of rewriting or refactoring them.

More importantly, Container Platform provides the ability to run those containerized legacy applications (as well as regular cloud-native containerized applications) on bare metal servers, without having to incur the costs of running virtual machines—a clear knock at Dell Technologies, and more specifically VMWare. In addition, the HPE Container Platform’s other twist is that it can automatically provide access to persistent storage for these containerized legacy apps. Many older apps need persistent storage to run properly, but that’s not a capability that containers easily enable. As a result, this one requirement has prevented many apps from being modernized and moved to the cloud. By directly addressing this need, HPE believes it can work with its base of customers—who are more likely to be running legacy applications anyway—to move them to a unified environment based on containers. That, in turn, should let them more easily manage their applications in a consistent fashion, thereby saving costs and reducing complexity for IT organizations.

The logic and vision behind this new platform strategy are sound, and it’s encouraging to see HPE take a significant new jump back into the software world. It remains to be seen, however, how well the company can convince potential customers of its software acumen and its ability to function as a key software platform provider. For certain customers, the capabilities of the HPE Container Platform seem like they could be very appealing, but the world of enterprise software is extremely complex and fragmented. Others with large existing investments in other platforms might have a harder time making a switch. Still, this seems like a strong strategic move by HPE and its management team, and one that’s clearly going to point the company in some interesting and exciting new directions.

Here's a link to the column:

Bob O’Donnell is the president and chief analyst of TECHnalysis Research, LLC a market research firm that provides strategic consulting and market research services to the technology industry and professional financial community. You can follow him on Twitter @bobodtech.

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