There’s a lot of debate these days concerning the merits of curated instances of Kubernetes. On the one hand, a curated instance isolates organizations from raw bits being distributed by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) that might not be ready for prime-time deployment in the enterprise. On the other hand, that curation process delays access to the latest innovations being added every quarter.
Decidedly favoring access to innovation over caution, Nirmata is now making available a multi-tenant instance of Kubernetes that can deployed in an on-premises IT environment. Previously, the company made a multi-tenant instance available only as a managed service hosted on a public cloud. Now IT operations teams have the option of managing instances themselves or relying on Nirmata to manage Kubernetes in the cloud or on-premises on their behalf.
Ritesh Patel, vice president of product for Nirmata, says a multi-tenant platform for Kubernetes is critical because different application development teams are likely to want to be running different versions at any given time. The Nirmata approaches enables all those instances of Kubernetes to be managed centrally regardless of what version is being employed, says Patel. IT operations teams then can also elect to integrate local instances within to the context of a larger framework spanning everything from monitoring and continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) frameworks to cybersecurity architectures.
Nirmata also makes available a service catalog on top its platform as part of what Patel describes as a more applications-centric approach to providing a container-as-a-service (CaaS) environment based on Kubernetes, designed with the needs of an IT operations team in mind. Nirmata also makes available a discovery capability that enables IT operations teams to discover instances running on, for example, an Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure public cloud.
Those capabilities will be required to enable IT organizations to employ Kubernetes as a foundation from any hybrid or multi-cloud computing strategy they may wish to employ, given the highly portable nature of containerized applications running on Kubernetes clusters, adds Patel.
It may be a while before organizations fully realize the hybrid cloud capabilities afforded by Kubernetes. But as IT organizations become more comfortable with containers, many of them are starting to realize how much control over the underlying computing platform it provides. There are still often proprietary hooks to storage and networking services that come embedded in public cloud services. But overall, it’s much easier to move a containerized application between instances of a Kubernetes cluster than it is to, for example, refactor an application running on virtual machines from VMware to run on virtual machines from AWS.
In the meantime, Patel says it’s clear Kubernetes is emerging as a de facto standard at the expense of rival container orchestration platforms such as Docker Swarm or the open source Mesos project. The challenge now is to put a framework in place that makes managing multiple instances as simple as possible.