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Kubernetes is Transforming Operations in the Enterprise

Craig McLuckie

Craig McLuckie is Co-Founder and CEO of Heptio.

At many organizations, managing containerized applications at scale is the order of the day (or soon will be). And few open source projects are having the impact in this arena that Kubernetes is.

Above all, Kubernetes is ushering in “operations transformation” and helping organizations make the transition to cloud-native computing, says Craig McLuckie co-founder and CEO of Heptio and a co-founder of Kubernetes at Google, in a recent free webinar, ‘Getting to Know Kubernetes.’  Kubernetes was created at Google, which donated the open source project to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation.

As was historically true for the very first Local-Area Networks and Linux alike, McLuckie noted that small groups of upstart staffers at many organizations are driving operational change by adopting Kubernetes.

“For a lot of organizations, the road to cloud-native computing starts with small groups of rebels,” he said. “Organizations are tired. They’re tired of toil. They’re tired of the pain associated with relatively traditional operations models. The rebels learn about Kubernetes, they’re curious, and then they become the internal champions for their organization.”

Kubernetes brings agility

Cloud-native computing has created a world where a specialized operations team can maintain technologies and make them accessible for everyone.

“There is tremendous value in moving from traditional operations functions that are ticket driven, and involve a high amount of manual toil, to a world where you live with expert operators,” McLuckie said. “Expert operators are not just dealing with things that are scoped to a single application, or a single department, or a single division.”

That’s precisely where container orchestration systems come in. Tools like Kubernetes can enforce decoupling between layers of the serving stack, ranging from machines to operating systems to application code. Through decoupling, specialized teams can operate on their specific parts of the technology stack and do so in an agile way.

This kind of agility has a profound impact on availability and downtime.  As organizations move from traditional static software to services, they can actively and dynamically update the services with minimal impact on availability and downtime.

Operations become more efficient

Organizations also want self-scaling, self-healing, and easily updatable mechanisms, he said. For a lot of operational workloads, organizations want to scale the processes they are working with, but they need a single organizing concept so that they can address a collection of processes as if they were a single thing.

“That need provided the original concept behind Kubernetes,” McLuckie noted. “It can bring the patterns of the Internet giants to enterprises of all sizes, and the value proposition is key.”

Organizations that move into cloud-native computing by using Kubernetes to create logical infrastructure, paired with a service-oriented operational structure, can create opportunities to leverage complementary roles across their teams. As a result, the end team that’s actually responsible for applications becomes much smaller, and much more autonomous.

“With Kubernetes, you start to see organizations operate far more efficiently,” McLuckie said. “They’re able to do more with less. They’re able to create small, empowered teams that are more closely aligned with the business, and are able to deliver business value much more efficiently. With Kubernetes, we sometimes see two orders of magnitude improvement in how quickly organizations can actually get code into production.”

At the end of the day, what Kubernetes is all about is giving the enterprise much easier and more accessible technologies.

Would you like to learn Kubernetes? CNCF offers online training that teaches the skills needed to create and configure a real-world Kubernetes cluster. The Kubernetes Fundamentals course maps directly to the requirements for the new Certified Kubernetes Administrator exam.