Managing Kubernetes – Part 1: Where We Are Today

Kubernetes is the hottest technology in IT today. It has been the rising star for the last couple of years and is gaining traction within the IT community as the new standard for deploying applications.

It all started a few of years back when Docker created an easy way to run containers. That was the start of a new evolution for running apps in a different way than people were used to. Container pioneers went out into this uncharted territory to create a path forward for the container to become the new standard for software deployment. At first in test/dev environments, but naturally the container technology moved into production environments over time.

However, one container is no container. So that started a race for a container management system. A system that could manage, maintain and scale containers easily. Several initiatives were started, but in the end the open-source project Kubernetes became the standard management control plane for running containers at scale.

Kubernetes was initiated by Google building on their 15 years of experience running their applications at scale. That experience was shared in an open-source project with the open-source community in 2014, leading to highly active participation by the community into that project and resulting in the Kubernetes we have today. Today you can find all the information about the Kubernetes project at kubernetes.io.

State of Kubernetes Today

The Kubernetes project has been going on for a number of years now. And while at first it was something that container pioneers would participate in, we now see a huge uptake in participation and consumption of Kubernetes.

This is happening across the Dev and Ops divide. By developers who see it as a practical framework for application development and management. And by infrastructure operators who appreciate how Kubernetes utilizes containers and provides an easy platform for their consumers, the developers and application operators.

For more information on how Kubernetes is evolving on this view the link to VMware’s “The State of Kubernetes 2020“.

Some key takeaways from this white paper are:

  • Kubernetes is a fast-moving space and hard to keep up with. Expertise and knowledge on the topic of Kubernetes is scarce.
  • The Kubernetes ecosystem is very fractured at the moment. Lots of different vendors, small and large, trying to fill the operational challenges that come with Kubernetes.
  • It is interesting to both developers and infrastructure operators, but with different perspectives on what Kubernetes is and does. Developers want to consume it, infrastructure operators need to provide it.
  • One thing is certain: Kubernetes will come to your Enterprise one way or the other. You don’t necessarily need to have developers demanding to run Kubernetes. More and more software vendors are leveraging Kubernetes to deploy their application packages.

Kubernetes at VMware

VMware has incorporated Kubernetes into its strategy. It is the technology that is evolving the application runtime space. While previously the virtual machine was the preferred delivery method, now the container is becoming the “new normal”. This does not mean virtual machines will go away. The result is that providers of infrastructure resources now need to be able to provide two things to their consumers: virtual machines and containers enabled by Kubernetes.

VMware wants to provide software to its customers to deliver and manage a platform that can do both and be ready to support any type for application runtime environment that might rise to the occasion in the future. The infrastructure software to build such a platform needs to provide the capabilities out of the box and needs to have management tooling that can manage all application frameworks natively.

The goal is to productize and industrialize Kubernetes so that is easy to consume, deploy and manage, by both developers and infrastructure operators, with or without extensive Kubernetes experience. To create a similar experience to the management and operations of virtual machines.

This is where VMware can help. Over the years VMware has gained extensive experience in managing and operating virtual machines. That knowledge and experience can now be leverages to solve the challenges to operate Kubernetes at scale.

In part 2 of this blog post we will look into where VMware is going and how VMware is going to help in building, running and managing Kubernetes in the IT environments of our customers.


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