SEATTLE – Verizon is running around 80 applications in production or near-production capacities on cloud native platforms like containers and Kubernetes as it sits near the halfway point on its 5-year journey in taking advantage of public cloud platforms.
Nanda Kumar, a fellow systems engineer at Verizon, told a panel at this week’s KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America 2018 event in Seattle that most of those applications were stateless, meaning that they were more simplistic applications that did not need embedded memory support. However, the carrier is beginning to expand into more robust stateful applications.
Kumar explained that the carrier viewed containers and Kubernetes as integral to its public cloud migration plans. He noted that what got Verizon excited about containers and Kubernetes is that it was rare when such technologies come along that can have such a large impact on operations.
“It’s not just about operators getting excited, it’s about security teams getting excited, and getting your management excited from a cost saving standpoint,” Kumar said. “And it helps us to fast track our transformation.”
He also noted that Verizon was experimenting with running containers and Kubernetes in bare metal environments for applications that need more robust resource support, as well as in virtual machine (VM) environments for scalability.
AWS for Public Cloud
Verizon earlier this year joined its subsidiary Oath in picking Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its preferred public cloud provider. Verizon at that time said it will migrate more than 1,000 applications and database backend systems to AWS platforms as part of a corporate-wide initiative to increase agility and reduce costs. Verizon will be standardizing on AWS’ open source cloud resources, including the Aurora platform.
The agreement will also see Verizon invest in AWS-specific training initiatives to allow developers to ramp up on AWS technologies.
Verizon has been working with AWS since 2015, and it runs business and consumer applications in the AWS ecosystem. This includes the carrier’s Virtual Network Services (VNS) enterprise-focused virtualization platform.
Verizon’s Oath subsidiary, which was formed by the consolidation of the carrier’s AOL and Yahoo acquisitions, earlier this year made the same commitment to AWS. This includes the migration of legacy workloads and building new cloud-based applications into AWS.
Looking ahead, Kumar said the carrier sees a gap in support for migrating existing workloads into a cloud native environment, adding that, “there is a bridge needed.” He also said that the carrier was challenged in terms of finding the right level of support for logging and authentication of its workloads between existing platforms and cloud native.
Kumar did note that one area that has made progress was in terms of overall management, explaining that the Kubernetes community had come a long way in that respect over the past two years. “We have crossed that maturity curve,” he said.