SEATTLE – VMware sees three important hurdles that need to be overcome before Kubernetes can hit mass enterprise adoption. And by that the company means adoption by at least 100,000 enterprises.
During a keynote address at this week’s KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America 2018 event in Seattle, Wendy Cartee, senior director of cloud native advocacy at VMware, explained that the first hurdle was in getting enterprise technology adoption strategies to become business strategy decisions. She said this involves helping those organizations discover the business outcomes that come from their technology decisions and not just looking at the technical merit of adopting technology platforms. This includes laying out return on investment plans as well as the impact of adopting technology sooner rather than later.
“It’s showing how does Kubernetes provide a business outcome for the business,” Cartee said.
The second is working with an organization to figure out if it has the resources to handle technology deployments on its own or if it makes more sense to work with a vendor for management. Cartee said this is often referred to as whether an organization or a vendor will handle “chopping the wood and carrying the water.”
“This is not rocket science, but it does take time,” Cartee said later in an interview with SDxCentral. “In terms of operationalizing Kubernetes there are a lot of capabilities that need to be built and developed. And it might pay for an organization to work with a partner.”
A recent survey conducted by CIO.com and released by Robin Systems also called out this challenge. It noted that while Kubernetes itself can provide and support the building blocks for an enterprise looking to adopt cloud native, the management of those building blocks can be too advanced for some organizations.
“Although Kubernetes provides interfaces for storage (CSI) and networking (CNI), it requires significant expertise from IT managers and architects to integrate all the required technology pieces,” the survey noted. “Managing the integrated pieces and the applications that run atop them can be difficult.”
The final task Cartee cited was the importance of training and certification of employees that will be tasked with running and maintaining the technology. She noted that this issue is being targeted by organizations like the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), which “has a strong certification and training program.”
VMware’s Kubernetes Focus
Cartee also touted VMware’s work in meeting these challenges, citing its contribution of enterprise-focused projects into the open source ecosystem. These include Harbor, which is a cloud native registry platform; and Tern, which is an open source tool for container image inspection and reporting.
VMware also offers its PKS packaged enterprise Kubernetes platform and Cloud PKS (formerly called VMware Kubernetes Engine or VKE), its fully managed orchestration system that is offered through a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model.
The company today also closed on its acquisition of Kubernetes-focused Heptio, which should help further bolster its Kubernetes cred.
“Kubernetes is really strategic for our customers, and we think the future will see a combination of Kubernetes running on VMs and containers,” Cartee added. “The cloud native movement is a key part of that and a key part of that is Heptio.”