Rafay Systems Simplifies Running VMs on Kubernetes

Rafay Systems has made it easier to deploy virtual machines encapsulated in containers on top of a Kubernetes cluster.

Mohan Atreya, senior vice president of product and solutions for Rafay Systems, says the Kubernetes Operations Platform (KOP) now supports kube-virt, open source software that makes it possible to run virtual machines within a container. Rafay Systems has developed a wizard that makes it simple for the average IT administrator to employ kube-virt, explains Atreya.

IT teams can employ kube-virt to migrate monolithic application workloads running on virtual machines to Kubernetes. Doing so can reduce the total cost of IT by eliminating the need to manage two separate IT environments. An add-on allows KOP to automatically deploy the necessary virtualization components on multiple clusters. The status and health of VMs deployed across a fleet of clusters can then be centrally monitored.

As more organizations begin to deploy Kubernetes at scale, the need to centralize cluster management is becoming more pressing. However, the best way to manage Kubernetes clusters is still subject to debate. Some organizations that have adopted DevOps best practices are hiring site reliability engineers (SREs) to manage their Kubernetes environments. SREs, however, are challenging to find and often hard to retain. Platforms such as KOP promise to make Kubernetes more accessible to the average IT administrator while at the same time providing DevOps teams with programmable access.

The level of collaboration between DevOps teams and administrators working for a centralized IT organization should improve as management platforms that provide access to both APIs and GUIs become more widely deployed. There are, for example, a lot of low-level tasks that don’t require the expertise of an SRE to complete. Kubernetes environments, however, are also complex because there are so many additional components and modules necessary to, for example, provide monitoring capabilities. A full stack of software deployed on top of a Kubernetes cluster can require a fair amount of expertise to deploy across hundreds of systems. Ultimately, IT teams will require a management platform that provides flexibility using the smallest number of IT professionals possible.

Regardless of how fleets of Kubernetes clusters are managed, the one inescapable fact is that there are a lot more of them showing up in IT environments in 2022. The platform itself is becoming more accessible and the number of microservices-based applications built using containers deployed in production environments is steadily increasing. In fact, arguably the single biggest factor limiting the deployment of Kubernetes clusters is the lack of IT personnel that have hands-on experience managing the platform.

That supply and demand imbalance could be resolved as IT professionals get certified to manage Kubernetes clusters and take advantage of the higher salaries the positions offer. Managing Kubernetes clusters will likely get easier as more tools make it simpler to manage this very complex platform at a higher level of abstraction.

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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