Powering ‘production ready’: the partner perspective on containers, Kubernetes and VMware Tanzu

Posted on 24/03/2021 by osanders

Jean Philippe Barleaza, VP Partners, Alliance and General Business EMEA, VMware

Speed is vital in today’s world. First to market, first mover advantage, being able to capitalise on new opportunities as they arise – it’s all down to speed.

And it’s not just a driver for business – the rate of adoption for new technologies is increasing all the time too. Just look at how the adoption of containers, and in particular Kubernetes, is accelerating. According to Gartner, by 2025, more than 80% of software vendors will offer their application software in container format, up from less than 10% today.  

The future is contained

This isn’t just analyst predictions, either – it’s making waves in our partner ecosystem.

As Ruurd Keizer, vice president of Cloud Native at ITQ, a leading VMware partner, points out; “The container and Kubernetes landscape is in such rapid motion that even the early adopters are still finding out ways in which Kubernetes can further improve their efficiency and time to market.”

With 86% of containerized apps on Kubernetes, the open-source platform offers a major opportunity for enterprises that want to transform applications and infrastructure in a way that’s right for them.

Yet even the first-movers are still trying to fully work it out, and as Ruurd notes; “success is never the result of just introducing new technology. If you treat it as such, you’re setting yourself up for failure. This is especially true for Kubernetes.”

What then are the key considerations for enterprises, and therefore our partner community, looking to realise the opportunity at hand?

Overcoming the human factor

“It should be about what outcomes you want to achieve, and for whom,” continues Ruurd. “This is why the real questions (and hurdles) are at the interface between people and technology; what do my internal customers really need? How do I give maximum freedom while embracing security? How do we enable everyone to work with the new tech? How do we control cost? What does the path to production for my applications look like on the new platform?”

This focus on people is at the heart of the approach championed by Sivaguru Sankaranarayanan, CTO at HUCO. The main hurdles he witnesses “are a resistance to change and the challenge of upskilling; of bringing the required modern application skillsets into the existing operations teams.”

In fact, the issue of overcoming the human factor was highlighted in a recent post looking at how partners can best support enterprises to use Kubernetes effectively with the help of VMware Tanzu. Amongst other points, the post notes how bringing together different stakeholders (particularly developers and operations) is so important.

Why? The opportunity lies in making Kubernetes simple and ‘enterprise consumable’ – delivering developer-ready capabilities to ensure that it is easy to implement and scale across the organisation when the time is right. 

From enterprise consumable to production ready

This is critical, according to Ruurd; “while installing Kubernetes itself is easy, turning it into a production ready platform isn’t, as you have to embed, extend and integrate it with your other infrastructure.” At a point when enterprises are looking for speed, this could pose a major issue.

That’s why VMware and our partners are in a unique position to help enterprises harness the power of Kubernetes. Through our Tanzu strategy, we’ve brought Kubernetes to the 70 million+ workloads already running on vSphere – the single fastest way businesses can configure an enterprise-grade Kubernetes infrastructure.

And for Sivaguru, the role of trusted partners is vital in making this a reality. “Partners can help enterprises significantly. Our recommendation would be that a dedicated, skilled team helps establish quick wins demonstrating the benefits that Kubernetes can bring. This can then help position Kubernetes ‘ambassadors’ within the organisation, who can lead an increased adoption across the enterprise to drive business value.”

With this, enterprises can bring together Dev and Ops teams to power ‘production ready’. They can deliver better software to production, faster and continuously, to capitalise on first-mover advantage and future-proof their businesses in this era of modern applications and innovation.

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