HPE's New OEM Deal With Mesosphere Makes It Easier For Partners To Natively Deliver Container Orchestration To Enterprise Customers

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) raised its bet on container tech on Tuesday through a new alliance with Mesosphere that will embed the powerful Mesos container orchestration platform onto its servers and storage products.

The two companies struck a global OEM and reseller agreement, in which Mesosphere's enterprise product, Mesosphere Datacenter Operating System (DC/OS), a commercial distribution of the open source Mesos platform, will come pre-integrated on the HPE ProLiant hardware line.

The partnership will make it easier for HPE channel partners to deliver container-focused solutions to their enterprise customers, said Peter Schrady, general manager of SMB and enterprise server solutions at HPE.

[Related: Get On Board: Docker's Channel Maturity Unlocks The Container Tech Opportunity]

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Mesos powers some of the world's largest container deployments at places like Twitter, eBay and Airbnb. Mesosphere founder Florian Leibert was a Twitter engineer who helped implement the technology at the social networking site to overcome scaling challenges spawning the infamous "fail whale" downtime notice.

HPE, based in Palo Alto, Calif., will resell DC/OS on its ProLiant servers and storage, and the company's services division will support the product.

"We're really wrapping the whole Mesosphere offering around our hardware and our global support system," Schrady told CRN.

Prior to the arrangement, HPE partners were tackling on their own the challenge of integrating and selling Mesosphere, he said.

HPE has been busy in the container space. In June, the company introduced a partnership with Docker to natively support the container standard that has revolutionized the industry.

Mesos, which orchestrates clusters of Docker containers, is highly differentiated from competitors like Kubernetes, a technology developed at Google, and Docker's own clustering solution, Swarm, Schrady said. And Mesosphere DC/OS is unique in that it enables data centers to operate as individual nodes.

"It's extremely flexible, extremely fast," Schrady said of Mesos. "This offers a complete solution to those companies born-in-the-cloud, with infrastructure built for cloud-native applications and microservices as well as those with traditional infrastructure."

While the collaboration will immediately benefit mutual consumers of HPE hardware and Mesosphere's container solutions, the greater potential for delivering value to the channel comes from HPE's efforts to develop an ecosystem around its key technologies, said Paul Casey, chief technologist at Computacenter, a U.K. consultancy.

Customers are increasingly deploying bare metal, virtualized, containerized and cloud workloads all in parallel, Casey said, while integrating those workloads with development and service management tools.

They don't need discrete products that require a lot of effort to integrate, but an ecosystem that's "pre-integrated and co-developed to work better together, resulting in a value-chain effect in what they enable IT to deliver," Casey told CRN.

"Bring this value together into one ecosystem and then layer in the deeply integrated management tooling of HPE and suddenly a lot of the trial and error is being taken away from the customer," Casey said.

The OEM agreement is the latest escalation of the partnership between HPE and Mesosphere, but there's even more to come, said Schrady.

HPE will continue integrating Mesosphere solutions more broadly across its software stack, with more developments likely to be announced in late spring or early summer, he told CRN.