Mesosphere expands HPE relationship with new strategic alliance

Mesosphere is looking for this new deal, which integrates their technology directly into HPE Synergy and HPE OneView, to further expand their reach among enterprises facing digital transformation.

Peter Guagenti, Mesosphere’s Chief Marketing Officer

LAS VEGAS – San Francisco-based Mesosphere has announced a new global strategic alliance with Hewlett Packard Enterprise here at HPE Discover. The deal will see Mesosphere integrated with HPE Synergy composable hardware, and HPE OneView’s management software platform.

Mesosphere’s technology is a commercialization of the Apache Mesos open source software project, which manages clusters by unifying CPUs, memory, storage and other computer resources.

“Ben Hindman, one of our co-founders, created Mesos as part of his PhD,” said Peter Guagenti, Mesosphere’s Chief Marketing Officer. “Mesos stitched a data centre together to be one logical computer. It’s an amazing platform, but it only works for the top one per cent of all software engineers. Mesosphere has democratized it to bring the technology to everyone.”

Created four years ago, Mesosphere has been selling their platform for two years.

“Our platform builds and runs new, modern applications, containerized for microservices, and across datacentres, private and public clouds,” Guagenti said. “It is all about maximizing compute. While only about six per cent of compute ability is typically used, our platform allows us to stitch things together so meaningfully that this allows us to overcome that lack of use, and provides much greater efficiency by maximizing the utilization of compute.”

Guagenti acknowledged that the technology is still in the early adopter stage.

“It is still very much a leading edge technology,” he said. “We have just over 100 customers, and they are Wave Zero and Wave One types. The leading edge has been in financial services, but we are increasingly seeing more traditional enterprises. Car companies are picking us up, and other manufacturing and retail organizations. It tends to be folks who are innovative, and in enterprises undergoing digital transformation.”

“Mesophere has the same impact on modern apps that virtualization had when it was first introduced,” said Edward Hsu, Mesophere’s VP of Product Marketing. “The use of Mesosphere’s technology is also about 60 per cent on-prem and 40 per cent cloud, so there is a strong hybrid story there.”

Guagenti said that Mesosphere has two principal types of competition – organizations who stitch various data services together on their own, and the public cloud providers, with the latter creating issues for some customers because of concerns about vendor lock-in. Mesosphere’s go-to-market strategy – independent of reselling agreements with large OEMs – has been mainly direct, but because of the tie-in to the data centre, they also work with a number of systems integrators.

Mesosphere has three major strategic partners – Microsoft, HPE and Dell EMC – with both HPE and Dell EMC having reseller agreements that significantly expand Mesosphere’s reach.

“We may ultimately have similar relationships with others, but these ones are our focus,” Guagenti said. “We want to make sure we make these ones work first.”

Mesosphere’s initial partnership with HPE was an OEM and reselling agreement, with that original reselling arrangement going further than the Dell EMC deal.

“With Dell today, we are mostly focused on creating the technical reference architecture and joint go-to- market,” Guagenti said. “Our sales teams are not co-selling yet. It’s not to that same level of integration.”

The HPE relationship is special to Mesosphere.

“HPE came in first, and Dell followed,” Guagenti indicated. “They invested in us through the HPE Pathfinder program, and offered to back us at a time when there were still questions about the technology. We are very appreciative about the impact that HPE delivers to our relationship.”

For HPE, the Mesophere partnership, which integrates it directly with HPE Synergy and HPE OneView, is a key element in HPE’s strategy of helping partners avoid what HPE calls the Cloud Cliff, where the public cloud is not the best choice for certain applications and use cases. Meg Whitman, HPE’s CEO, said that the Mesophere integration, along with others like Docker and Chief, allow for deploying applications efficiently and at very low costs.

“It allows for the consumption experience of the public cloud with the control of on-prem,” Whitman said.

Guagenti acknowledged that the extension of the HPE partnership isn’t a radical step forward.

“It extends it, but it’s not dramatically different,” he said. “Being able to go to market together with a single concentrated solution will provide more of a focus on the sales organization in delivering packaged solutions, because we can now provide a fully integrated solution with HPE hardware.”

Guagenti said that for them, the HPE deal is about extending their reach, more so than the validation which is often an attraction for young companies in partnering with an industry giant.

“This is an important deal for us, and we are incredibly proud of it,” he said. “At the same time, we are already well regarded in this space We have the hearts and minds of many of the taste makers in the dev/ops movement, especially when you go internationally. We did a deal with one of the top three banks long before this relationship happened. But what HPE gives us is the ability to take this beyond the leading edge, into more customers facing digital transformation. I want to be able to sell into all of their customers focused on that same use case – not just financial services. We built this technology to make it easy to build world-changing technology. That is our goal.”