Canonical Launches Kubernetes Consulting Services

As part of an effort to help IT organizations jump start their deployments of Kubernetes container orchestration projects, Canonical announced it will make available two distinct classes of turnkey consulting engagements.

Dustin Kirkland, vice president of product at Canonical, says Kubernetes Explorer consulting service is an engagement in which Canonical Kubernetes specialists help IT organizations deploy Kubernetes on either a public or private cloud based on virtual machines. A second Kubernetes Discover consulting engagement focuses on IT organizations that want to deploy Kubernetes on a bare-metal server running on-premises. That latter engagement involves Canonical engineers being deployed on-site to train local IT personnel and provide up to 30 days of support, while the Kubernetes Explorer expertise and support is provided remotely. says Kirkland.

Pricing for the Kubernetes Explorer engagement starts at $15,000, while a Kubernetes Discoverer engagement is priced starting at $35,000.

Given the proliferation of virtual machines inside and outside the cloud, Kirkland says most deployments of containers and Kubernetes involves virtual machines. But, he notes, IT organizations that prefer to run their workloads in their own data centers are starting to see 15 percent to 30 percent increases in I/O throughput when they opt to deploy Kubernetes on bare-metal servers.

The Canonical consulting engagements also extend to serverless infrastructure from Galactic Fog, container management workflow software developed by Rancher and WeaveCloud container monitoring software from Weaveworks. All three companies make extensive use of the Kubernetes distribution curated by Canonical, says Kirkland.

As the provider of the Ubuntu distribution of Linux, Canonical is working with customers across both Kubernetes deployment options. Kirkland notes there are some organizations that have given up owning their own data centers altogether, while others would not dream of ever deploying a workload on a public cloud.

Kubernetes has become much easier to set up over the last few months, Kirkland points out. Now, most IT organizations are contending with how to manage Kubernetes. Most don’t have the processes in place to manage, for example, continuous rolling updates to Kubernetes software every few months.

Kubernetes is not the only container orchestration platform available, but Kirkland says inbound inquiries to Canonical suggest that uptake of Kubernetes is starting to accelerate. Given the number of vendors contributing code and making distributions of Kubernetes available, the number of IT professionals with Kubernetes expertise may soon overwhelm the number of IT professionals skilled in managing rival platforms. As that trend continues, one of the major factors that could determine the outcome of the container orchestration wars may be as much the availability of expertise as it is the core technologies.

Regardless of which path they choose, however, most IT organizations will need help mastering the intricacies of Kubernetes. IT organizations can either choose to gain that knowledge organically by waiting for their own people to get trained, or they can learn by standing up Kubernetes clusters working alongside consultants as part of on-the-job training. Given the pressure to be agile that most IT organizations are under these days, chance are there will be more IT organizations than usual deciding to pursue the latter approach.

Mike Vizard

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.

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