Platform9 announced this week it is adding support for a range of complementary technologies to the managed Kubernetes service it already provides.
Company CEO Sirish Raghuram says now that Kubernetes adoption is achieving critical mass, organizations are looking to invoke additional services. Platform9 now supports the open source Prometheus monitoring tools and an instance of the open source MySQL database to support stateful containerized applications running on Kubernetes that need access to persistent sources of data.
Platform9 is also adding an instance of open source Fluentd data collector software that soon will be followed by support for open source Elastic and Kibana software projects, to provide a complete logging and indexing capability.
Raghuram says Platform9 will also be partnering directly with various providers of Kubernetes Operators or specific open source projects. The first of those endeavors is with Percona, a provider of a distribution of the MySQL database.
Each of these services will be included as part of the services contract every time an organization moves to deploy an application on top of a managed instance of Kubernetes, says Raghuram. Each managed service can be invoked and administered either through a simple UI or with the native Kubectl command line interface, which eliminates the need to configure YAML files for each service.
Raghuram says the basic premise of the Platform9 service is to enable organizations to spend more of their time building and deploying code than managing Kubernetes infrastructure. Not only is Kubernetes often challenging to spin up, but ongoing maintenance of Kubernetes clusters also requires a level of skill many organizations don’t possess. Most developers would prefer to be consumers of a Kubernetes service than to be required to manage the platform themselves, especially a comparatively immature platform that is being upgraded at a regular quarter cadence, contends Raghuram.
A managed service provider (MSP) not only assumes responsibility for all the operational complexity, but they also manage and implement all the policies specified in any number of compliance specifications, adds Raghuram.
Platform9 is, of course, not the only MSP focused on Kubernetes. It is looking to differentiate itself by providing additional capabilities as part of the core out-of-the-box IT experience, rather than charging extra for a range of tools that are fundamental to deploying Kubernetes in a production environment.
The challenge for any organization working with an MSP is aligning its existing IT processes with those of the MSP. Raghuram, however, notes that at a time when DevOps skills are still in short supply, relying on an MSP to manage infrastructure creates the opportunity for organizations to maximize their own limited DevOps expertise into areas that add more business value.
It’s too early to say whether the rise of managed Kubernetes services will finally force the managed services issue within organizations. Historically, roughly a quarter of all IT has been consumed as a managed service. However, as IT continues to become more complex in the age of containers, microservices and Kubernetes, increased reliance on external expertise to manage core IT infrastructure appears all but inevitable.