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Craig McLuckie on Kubernetes and its Community-Driven Path


In his keynote address at KubeCon, Craig McLuckie said the success of Kubernetes has been driven by the community, excited end users, and organizations that have built out the Kubernetes ecosystem.

Kubernetes is one of the highest velocity open source projects around, attracting more than 80,000 commits from nearly 3,000 developers at more than 1,180 companies over the past three years. From the start, the project has managed its success by gauging whether its users are excited about the technology and using it, which they are. Likewise, Craig McLuckie, CEO of Heptio and co-founder of Kubernetes remains excited about the technology.

That excitement was showcased at McLuckie’s KubeCon keynote address, titled The Road Ahead on the Kubernetes Journey (see video below).

McLuckie has been steering Kubernetes toward success since its origin at Google. He has seen it emerge as a standard operating environment for distributed systems development over the past few years, and watched as it has become embraced by almost every significant vendor in the ecosystem. Kubernetes is helping solve tough problems in deploying and running applications and is supporting development of new approaches to building and running applications.

In his KubeCon address, McLuckie discussed the emergence of expert operations and how Kubernetes is driving change at organizations that build and manage distributed systems. He also discussed the increasing importance of cloud native technologies.

3 Driving Factors

McLuckie said Kubernetes’ success has been driven by three things: community, excited end users, and organizations that have built out the Kubernetes ecosystem. He is also focused on efficient development around the project. “Developer productivity really matters,” he said. “Anything we can do to drive even a five percent increase in developer productivity is worth it. Developers are moving from building static code to living services. Organizations should focus on the delivery of living services.”

Organizations everywhere are implementing container technologies, and many of them are turning to Kubernetes as a solution for orchestrating containers. Kubernetes is attractive for its extensible architecture and healthy open source community, but some still feel that it is too difficult to use. For some time now, new tools have been emerging that help streamline Kubernetes and make building container-based applications easier.

Kubernetes as a Service

McLuckie also foresees new security and governance policies taking shape at organizations as they strategize around technologies like Kubernetes. Additionally, he sees them embracing the multi-cloud trend. “I want to recognize the cloud providers out there that have introduced Kubernetes-as-a-service offerings,” he said. “These are providing high levels of assurance that Kubernetes is provisioned and is running exactly as it should. The available clusters feature consistency, and have the same behavior. If you see the certification logo, you can have confidence in this consistency.”

“These services make hybrid cloud deployments more viable,” he added. “And, people are building applications that can, say, run in two clouds. People should have the flexibility to do so, and to be able to pick which clouds they want to deploy their new services into.”

McLuckie has been working directly with cloud providers such as the Azure team at Microsoft to ensure that services around tools like Kubernetes are running correctly and are optimized. He sees such optimization of services growing along with the trend toward deploying applications in multiple cloud scenarios. Players like Microsoft have also built dedicated tools to streamline use of Kubernetes. For example, Microsoft has open sourced Draft, a tool that streamlines application development and deployment into any Kubernetes cluster.

Above all, McLuckie emphasized that Kubernetes will be driven forward by the community, and not by any individual. “If we hold together, there is so much more that we can do,” he said. “We haven’t felt the full potential of Kubernetes, not just around the issues that surround the deployment of software, but as a way to build new classes of distributed systems where Kubernetes is the core development environment.”

Hear more in McLuckie’s keynote address below:

Learn more about Kubernetes at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe, coming up May 2-4 in Copenhagen, Denmark.