Antonio Neri: Ezmeral Eliminates VMware Virtualization Costs, Reduces Opex By 50 Percent

‘We believe with HPE Ezmeral we have the ability to run both the legacy apps and the cloud native apps without paying all that middleware in the virtualization of the infrastructure,’ says HPE CEO Antonio Neri. ‘Ezmeral is able to run both stateful and stateless applications on bare metal solutions, so you don’t have to pay for the cost of virtualizing anything. So you can run the legacy and the container versions of the workloads.’


Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Antonio Neri told Best of Breed Virtual 2020 conference attendees that HPE’s groundbreaking Ezmeral platform eliminates costly VMware virtualization software licensing expenses for enterprise customers modernizing their applications.

“We believe with HPE Ezmeral we have the ability to run both the legacy apps and the cloud native apps without paying all that middleware in the virtualization of the infrastructure,” said Neri, answering a question on the cost advantages of Ezmeral versus VMware.. “Ezmeral is able to run both stateful and stateless applications on bare metal solutions, so you don’t have to pay for the cost of virtualizing anything. So you can run the legacy and the container versions of the workloads.”

Neri told attendees at The BoB Conference, the channel thought leadership conference hosted by CRN parent The Channel Company, that Ezmeral is simply a “more modern and more effective way to run workloads on premises” than rival VMware’s virtualization portfolio. That translates into a whopping 50 percent reduction in IT operating expenses for enterprise customers, said Neri.

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“Because everything’s automated, we can reduce opex by 50 percent,” said Neri. “That’s because we have technologies like BlueData storage and HPE InfoSight, where we use AI and predictive techniques to solve those problems.”

VMware declined to comment.

VMware’s multi-cloud strategy is tightly tied to its legacy virtualization offerings, specifically VMware Cloud Foundation, a multi-cloud software platform consisting of vSphere, vSAN and NSX components. VMware has formed numerous partnerships with public cloud and infrastructure market leaders including HPE which offers VMware Cloud Foundation on its GreenLake pay per use platform. HPE, in fact, has pledged to offer customers choice beyond VMware Cloud Foundation with a blockbuster partnership with Nutanix that is paying off in dramatic server sales growth.

Neri’s comments came in a in a Zoom chat with The Channel Company’s Executive Chairman Robert Faletra and Editor News Steven Burke. Another big HPE technology advantage, said Neri, is the company’s MapR technology which provides enterprise customers a highly scalable, edge to cloud data fabric for data intensive workloads.

Ultimately, the innovative Ezmeral technology stack opens the door for legacy and cloud native infrastructure to be “optimized all the way down” to the infrastructure level- maximizing cost and performance advantages for customers adopting the HPE GreenLake pay per use cloud service, said Neri.

The bottom line: “Depending on the data size and the workloads and the way you architect, you can actually have a quite significant amount of savings,” said Neri.

Ezmeral is resonating with customers that are tired of paying what some refer to as the VMware tax, said Patrick Shelley, senior solutions architect for PKA, one of HPE’s original Platinum partners,

“Over the last six months with budgets shrinking and IT expenses going up customers are starting to look at the VMware tax,” said Shelley. “That was not an issue over the last couple of years. But with shrinking budgets customers are starting to look at those costs that were never questioned before. It’s definitely something we are talking to customers about.”

One enterprise customer with hundreds of VMware servers has an initiative to reduce the size of that VMware infrastructure because of the high VMware licensing and support costs, said Shelley. “That is one of the reasons customers are looking at Ezmeral,” he said. “Those kinds of conversations are happening way more frequently than they ever have before.”

Ezmeral’s ability manage, control, secure and run a company’s complete hybrid IT estate in a 100 percent open source Kubernetes platform is driving big operating expense savings for customers, in some cases by as much as 50 percent, said Shelley.

“Ezmeral’s Kubernetes capabilities, including Kubernetes clusters with a unified control plane, is a massive benefit for customers,” he said. “What customers are looking for is a unified fabric to manage both their internal cloud and public cloud. HPE is making hybrid IT a reality and in the process making businesses more agile.”

Ezmeral is providing a tremendous leap forward in DevOps AI capabilities for customers, said Paul O’Dell, a director at CPP Associates, a Clinton, N.J. HPE Platinum partner which was named HPE US Solution Provider of the year for 2020.

“Think about the benefits that virtualization had for general purpose compute for many years, that is what Ezmeral is doing for DevOps,” said O’Dell. “What HPE has done with BlueData and MapR – which are now packaged with Ezmeral- is providing AI DevOps capabilities that gives customers tremendous economies of scale.” That is translating into huge cost advantages for customers, said O’Dell.

Ultimately, Ezmeral is providing a modern development envioronment that will power radical data intelligence insights across the enterprise that up until now have been out of the reach of mainstream enterprise customers, said O’Dell. “HPE is being very innovative here, creating an ecosystem for the next generation of applications to be created,” he said.

CPP Associates is making a $1 million investment over the next five years to bring a wide range of breakthrough artificial intelligence data solutions to customers.

The $1 million bet is part of the Clinton, N.J.-based company’s heavy investment in a new data intelligence practice that is aimed squarely at bringing heretofore out-of-reach AI solutions to midmarket customers.

As evidence of the coming data intelligence boom, O’Dell cited a study by a survey by solution provider behemoth Accenture that showed that 75 percent of C- level executives in large corporations believe if they do not aggressively deploy AI across their organizations they risk going out of business by 2025.

“AI couldn’t be more important to the future of businesses,” he said. “We have a staff meeting every week on the progress we are making with our data intelligence team. That group includes AI, machine learning, high performance computing. The heart of our data intelligence practice is around helping organziations make more money with new revenue streams or make existing operations more cost efficient. Nothing could be more important. These are the projects that are getting funded at the board level. AI and security are front and center with every C level executive and board member that we speak to.”

The Ezmeral sales offensive comes with HPE doubling down on software innovation to power a new era of edge to cloud platform as a service growth. That investment includes increased R&D around HPE software with 8,300 plus software engineers working on the HPE next generation software stack.

Neri said that HPE’s innovative software offerings are providing a critical competitive advantage against competitors who are “copying” HPE, attempting to make an everything as a service software shift that HPE began making years ago.

“All our competitors are copying us,” he said. “I mean there is one in particular that just announced they will offer Everything as a Service. Well, I would argue it’s not as simple as that. You need to have the software to deliver that experience.”

Competitors are going to have a hard time catching HPE’s it fast moving software innovation offensive, said Neri. “We will continue to add these capabilities that will sustain margin and add more value for our customers,” he said. “And that’s hard to imitate, to be honest with you. So for me, it’s about driving scale, adding more value and keep innovating faster than ever before.”