BROOMFIELD, Colorado – Kubernetes is best known as a container orchestration platform, but has quickly learned to branch out musically. And that expansion has surprised even those that were around for its first music lesson.
Speaking at this week’s Gluecon 2018 event, Joe Beda, co-founder and CTO at Heptio, noted his amazement at where Kubernetes has come in a few short years.
“Kubernetes has blown us away and has taken us by surprise,” Beda said. “It has advanced further and faster than any predicted.”
Beda and Heptio CEO Craig McLuckie were part of the initial Kubernetes team at Google. Kubernetes began as Google’s Borg platform before being spun out into the open source community. It currently resides inside the Linux Foundation’s Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF).
Heptio from its inception has had a close relationship with Kubernetes. It formed in late 2016 under the guise of making the Kubernetes platform more accessible to developers running apps on premises or in the public cloud.
Beda explained that people are drawn to Kubernetes in an attempt to improve their workflow and the use of APIs to drive utilization. But, once exposed, they realize even more potential.
“Kubernetes does a good job of this, but then throws off other benefits that have not been fully realized,” Beda said.
In fact, Beda downplayed the core designation of Kubernetes as just a way to orchestrate the management and deployment of containers.
“I don’t like the term orchestration,” Beda said. “If you are orchestrating, you have a plan from the start.” He instead preferred the term “jazz improve” in that “you are not sure what’s going to emerge.”
Beda said he sees the platform gaining more musical knowledge. This includes using the core concepts of Kubernetes to make the platform better at solving problems, or extracting out those concepts for an entirely new platform.
“I think Kubernetes will become an extensible toolkit,” Beda predicted.
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As an example of Kubernetes’ increased traction and talent, Gabe Monroy, project manager lead for containers at Microsoft Azure, noted in a blog post that the company has seen a 10-fold increase in Kubernetes usage on Azure since it began offering support last year.
Ryan van Wyk, assistant vice president of cloud platform development at AT&T, said the use of the open source Kubernetes project will add agility and remove cost from running the AIC platform.
“For our future AIC deployments, both the OpenStack and non-OpenStack components that make up our cloud will run on top of Kubernetes,” van Wyk explained. “This is not just an experiment.”
Heptio itself recently tackled a similar project with Yahoo Japan subsidiary Actapio on something called the Gimbal project. That initial work focused on infusing Kubernetes into Yahoo Japan’s infrastructure that already included an OpenStack architecture. This is becoming a common request by enterprises looking to merge legacy systems with container platforms.
The Gimbal initiative is at its heart a load-balancing platform that manages web traffic across backend applications. It’s built on Kubernetes so it can run on commodity infrastructure instead of proprietary systems needed by traditional load balancers. It also uses Kubernetes’ native role based access control (RBAC) and an extensible API to allow an organization to manage the platform.
Photo: Heptio CTO Joe Beda talks Kubernetes at this week’s Gluecon 2018 event.