December 15, 2017

Kubernetes running on multiple platforms clearly has the potential to significantly advance hybrid cloud computing by making it easier to move workloads between on-premises and public cloud computing environments. To advance that goal, Platform9 is now extending the reach of the managed services it provides for a curated instance of Kubernetes to platforms including bare-metal servers, enterprise Linux distributions, VMware vSphere and Nutanix AHV, as well as to cloud services Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform and OpenStack.

Platform9 CEO Sirish Raghuram says his company now provides a unique managed service through which multiple instances of Kubernetes can now be managed via a common pane of glass.

Managed services will play a key role in isolating IT organizations from changes to a platform, he notes. For example, just about every major Kubernetes application programming interface (API) broke between the release of Kubernetes 1.7 and the current 1.8 version of Kubernetes.

Most IT organizations, adds Raghuram, barely have to skills required to manage a single on-premises IT environment and one public cloud computing service. As IT organizations aim to take advantage of multiple clouds, most of those IT organizations will have to rely more on external service providers that have developed Kubernetes expertise, he says.

Raghuram says managed services spanning multiple cloud platforms also presents IT organizations with an opportunity to bring shadow IT spending under control. It’s still relatively easy for developers on their own to use a credit card to provision compute resources. A managed service provider helps apply structure to provisioning cloud services that provides organizations with more visibility into costs without sacrificing agility, he says. That’s especially critical for any organization attempting to implement integrated DevOps process across multiple classes of computing environments.

There’s a lot of interest in being able to achieve true hybrid cloud computing. Most IT organizations today are down a path to supporting multiple clouds. But each of those cloud computing environments has its own set of management interfaces that need to be mastered. That results in each cloud computing environment being managed in isolation. Over time, that approach often results in a higher total cost of ownership because more IT expertise is required. Rather than requiring IT organizations to acquire or build a cloud management platform that spans multiple platforms and services, Platform9 is making the case for a service that already provides that capability by taking advantage of the fact that Kubernetes clusters uniquely provide a higher level of abstraction on top of both legacy on-premises platforms and public cloud services.

It remains to be seen just how widely Kubernetes will be deployed in production environments. But all the elements needed to drive widespread adoption of Kubernetes are falling into place. The only real issue at this point is determining to what degree that adoption will be driven solely by internal IT organizations or managed service providers that, for a fee, can dramatically accelerate that transition.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.