HPE launches Ezmeral software portfolio – but is it just SBS in disguise?

Company talks up importance of its software division at HPE Discover 2020

Not three years since it spun out its Software Business Segment to Micro Focus in an $8.8 billion deal, HPE has launched a new overarching software portfolio called HPE Ezmeral.

The name is “inspired by” the Spanish word for emerald – esmeralda – giving it a touch of the green-coloured branding that permeates the company now, from its logo to GreenLake “as a service” platform.

Ezmeral is, according to the company, a brand new software portfolio designed to help organisations make the most of their computing with an edge-to-cloud strategy. It includes two products, currently: Ezmeral ML Ops and Ezmeral Container Platform.

Ezmeral Container Platform, as the name suggests, allows organisations to deploy and manage containerised applications, be they cloud-native or cloud non-native, at scale on any infrastructure, be that in the cloud, a colocation facility, on-premises data centre or at the edge.

Ezmeral ML Ops, meanwhile, is focused on machine learning. It uses containerisation to manage the machine learning lifecycle in its entirety across edge, cloud, and on-premises infrastructure, allowing users to standardise workflows and, the company claims, reduce the time taken for AI deployments from months to days.

But is Ezmeral just SBS by another name? When asked by IT Pro, HPE CEO Antonio Neri said this was not the case.

“We made the decision to spin the software business [in 2016] because we felt there was not a cohesive strategy to begin [with]. You know, it was a very good portfolio of assets, in the wrong domains but not architected for the cloud reality [in which] we all live – and AI reality,” Neri said

“So not only did we do the right thing by spinning them and combining with a company which was way more focused on that space, but it also freed us up to really pivot harder to this new way to deploy software. And obviously it’s taken us a little bit of time, but I’m super excited about what we’re doing with HPE Ezmeral, with our Container Platform, with the integration of the acquisitions we’ve done, with the utilisation of AI in the form of HPE Infosight, and also the security aspect.”

It also, he said, allows the company to make the best use of assets from recent acquisitions including MapR and BlueData

Both of the current elements of Container Platform and ML Ops will be available on a consumption-based pricing model via the company’s GreenLake “as a service” platform, and as traditional software, too. It’s open in beta currently and HPE is taking applications to join the beta platform, with general availability expected in Q4 this year.

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