Cisco further stuffed its Kubernetes basket by adding support for the container orchestrator into its CloudCenter management tool and recently acquired AppDynamics monitoring platform.
Fabio Gori, senior director of cloud solutions marketing at Cisco, said the moves are part of an ongoing process to ease Kubernetes deployments while not limiting the power of the platform. He noted this has become increasingly important as enterprises move toward multi-cloud environments but are running into complexity challenges.
“We are one of the largest out there without a cloud of its own,” Gori said, adding that allows the vendor to approach Kubernetes from a cloud-agnostic angle. “We really try to be the glue of this multi-cloud space for enterprises.”
Matt Chotin, senior director for technical evangelism at AppDynamics, said enterprises continue to balk at moving containers and Kubernetes into a production environment due to this continued complexity in the ecosystem. He noted that many of the blocks needed to support the move to production are spread across various avenues and projects.
“Enterprises are being forced to cobble these all together, which makes them basically an open source aggregator,” Chotin said. “That’s not something they are prepared to handle at this point.”
The updates follow up on Cisco’s launch of its Kubernetes-infused Container Platform earlier this year. That platform uses Kubernetes as a management and orchestration component to support enterprises that aremigrating workloads and applications into production environments.
The CloudCenter updates allow containerized workloads to be deployed to a Kubernetes cluster on premises or in the cloud as if it were any other workload. It also allows for the use of a declarative blueprint that includes container-based, virtual machine (VM)-based, or cloud-based services in a mix of Kubernetes, VM, or cloud environments.
CloudCenter can also now auto-generate deployment specifications after the user selects the deployment destination. This removes that task from the IT department and supports portability of the content between deployment destinations.
Basically, it allows for greater mixing-and-matching of where content is housed. “CloudCenter can now fundamentally treat Kubernetes as just another target to deploy workloads,” Gori explained.
In addition to the Kuberntes support, CloudCenter also now supports Microsoft Azure and the latest OpenStack release.
Gori said the CloudCenter update was more significant than typical “point releases” for the platform. “We don’t usually make a lot of noise about these, but this push with native Kubernetes as native support is very different and important,” Gori said.
Cisco launched CloudCenter last year. It’s targeted at customers that want an application-focused management tool that allows users to add cloud application deployments to their service offerings.
CloudCenter also remains key to Cisco’s planned hybrid cloud offering partnership with Google that is set to launch later this year. With CloudCenter, customers will be able to run production-grade containers on any infrastructure using Container Platform and the Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE).
AppDynamics, now With Kubernetes
Container monitoring is becoming more important as an increasing number of organizations are using containers to maximize their cloud investments. However, being able to monitor what is happening across thousands of often short-lived applications can be challenging.
Chotin said that by driving native Kubernetes support into AppDynamics it now provides deeper and broader performance visibility into applications, Kubernetes, and Docker containers. This is provided by the ability to trace all activity happening within those deployments and filtering performance metrics based on Kubernetes labels.
The update also uses machine learning to filter out alert storms caused by cascading microservice failures. Chotin said this goes beyond just being notified that something is impacting an application and instead goes toward optimizing a way to fix the problem.
AppDynamics can now link Kubernetes performance with business metrics. These include customer conversion rates and end-user experiences for applications running on Kubernetes.
Chotin said the key for AppDynamics is that it provides a systemwide view instead of being limited by platform silos.
“We take all of the data collected from the end user touchpoint and down through all of the interactions and provide a correlation in terms of a business need,” Choti said. “We provide that context instead of isolation.”
Cisco acquired AppDynamics early last year for $3.7 billion. The platform enables performance monitoring of hybrid applications running tiers on Cisco’s HyperFlex hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) platform and across multiple clouds.
The CloudCenter update is available now, while the AppDynamics update is set for May 9.