Flexential Unfurls Managed Kubernetes Service

Flexential has launched a managed container orchestration service based on Kubernetes alongside a managed public cloud service.

Jason Konzak, senior vice president for professional services at Flexential, says the white-glove turnkey managed service with 24×7 support provided by Flexential can be provided either on Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure clouds. As part of this initiative, Konzak says Flexential is also currently evaluating container platforms from VMware and Morpheus Data.

Aimed primarily at customers in Tier 2 markets, Konzak says the managed services provided by Flexential complement the platform-as-a-service (PaaS) platforms provided by AWS and Microsoft by offloading the management of those platforms in a way that allows organizations to focus their efforts on building and deploying applications.

In most cases, IT organizations prefer to co-manage the IT environment with Flexential focusing primarily on the infrastructure, says Konzak. Flexential builds its services around a mix of open source as well as commercial cybersecurity tools and automation frameworks such as Ansible, Terraform, and offerings from Rancher Labs. For organizations that are deploying monolithic applications in the cloud there is support for VMware platforms, he adds.

In the wake of the economic impact brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s expected there will be increased reliance on external IT services providers. Many organizations will simply not have as large an internal IT staff as they might once have had. Even prior to the pandemic, there was a general shortage of Kubernetes expertise, which is likely to become even more chronic in the weeks and months ahead.

It’s not clear whether organizations will pull back on adopting emerging technologies or, in the case of Kubernetes, accelerate a transition that was already well underway. Many organizations are discovering they need cloud-native applications built using containers that are both more flexible and resilient than legacy monolithic applications.

Of course, not every organization that has built a containerized application needs Kubernetes. It depends on the level of complexity of the application. However, organizations that do embrace Kubernetes will generally be far along the path toward adopting DevOps. As such, it’s critical for organizations to make sure the managed service provider (MSP) they partner with can align their services to whatever level of DevOps maturity the organization has been able to attain.

Regardless of the path chosen forward, it’s not clear to what degree IT organizations are going to want to focus their efforts on managing infrastructure if they have limited resources. Konzak says Flexential typically requires a 12-month commitment plus some fees to cover its upfront costs for setting up the environment. However, it’s worth noting competition among MSPs is always fierce.

Some organizations will decide to plow all available internal resources into building and management applications, especially as the management of IT infrastructure becomes more automated. In fact, as part of the whole shift toward DevOps, it’s clear organizations are moving toward the ruthless automation of IT whenever possible. The question now is to what degree they will do it themselves versus opting to rely on third-party expertise.

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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