Pivotal simplifies Kubernetes for developers

Containers have become the preferred application for developers around the world. But running containers in production introduced a number of new operational challenges. There was a need for a system external to the container to efficiently accomplish tasks like application updates, networking across complex application topologies and others.

Kubernetes may not be the first container management project, but its scalability and extensible design have helped it become the most popular.  Kubernetes allows container apps to be portable across environments allowing developers to develop applications quicker, scale more granularly and cost-effectively. Kubernetes allows them to deliver consistent digital innovation to their end-users to achieve success in today’s digital economy.

Today, Kubernetes has moved from an open-source project championed by some cloud-native developers to a standard operating platform promoted by the three primary cloud service providers, AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.

Pivotal, a leading cloud-native platform provider, recently announced new products based on Pivotal Application Service (PAS) features that are expected to improve the developer and operator experience when using Kubernetes. Details of the new products can be read in their press release here

Following the announcement by Pivotal, Data Storage Asean spoke to Ian Andrews, Senior Vice President, Products and Marketing at Pivotal to understand more about Kubernetes and its impact on developers as well as Pivotal’s plans for the future.

Ian explained that Kubernetes would become one of the standard APIs into modern cloud infrastructure for the years to come. As that happens, he said it seems logical that organisations will take advantage of Kubernetes being everywhere to simplify their release engineering processes and improve portability across infrastructures. In fact, he said many organisations are already looking to containerization and Kubernetes as part of their application modernisation strategy.

“I think it would be fair to say that while Kubernetes may become a necessary part of your cloud infrastructure stack, alone it won’t be sufficient. Kubernetes will be able to reinvent business models, improve sales and developer productivity, but it should not be the sole factor that organisations focus on. To succeed in our software-driven world, enterprises will need to shift their culture – both corporate and IT – to align with a new way of doing things, focused around pipeline-driven automation, continuous deployment, and generally becoming more agile. Without these fundamental skills and mindsets in place, managing a Kubernetes deployment may add a lot of complexity with relatively little gain on the business front.”
Ian added that as a part of a holistic strategy that encompasses the people and process changes necessary to enable cloud-native development, deployment and operations, Kubernetes can empower businesses to take things to the next level in terms of innovation, creativity and efficiency.
“Kubernetes is becoming an increasingly ubiquitous part of the cloud infrastructure, but many organisations are struggling to bring it into production because it’s so complex. Just ask anyone who’s ever deployed an app to Kubernetes to compare it to the experience deploying to Cloud Foundry. Suddenly a developer is building a YAML release manifest and worrying about ingress controllers and DNS, or stateful sets. It’s not impossible to learn, but we think it can be much better.” 

Pivotal recently introduced the alpha version of Pivotal Application Service (PAS) on Kubernetes, as well as new products for Kubernetes based on PAS features that will improve the developer and operator experience when using Kubernetes. The alpha version of PAS on Kubernetes brings the popular “cloud foundry push” experience to Kubernetes, making it easier for developers to focus on code, and let the platform stitch together the required components for software deployment, networking, monitoring, and logging.
By offering more Kubernetes-based products, Ian said, “Pivotal are looking to expand its market opportunity, simplify our sales process and make it easier for customers to get started with Pivotal.”
When asked how the demand for Kubernetes will affect Pivotal, Ian said that Kubernetes plays an important role in their product strategy. Pivotal was an early pioneer in the world of containerization going back to the earliest days of the Cloud Foundry project.
“We first started working directly in the Kubernetes project in 2017 when we partnered with Google on the open-source effort named Kubo (Kubernetes on BOSH). That work was eventually commercialised in partnership with VMware as PKS in early 2018. In just over 18 months, that product now has over 140 customers.”
Going forward, Ian said Kubernetes will be more central to their efforts. They recently introduced a version of Pivotal Application Service (PAS) that runs on Kubernetes. Pivotal also released a product named Build Service that, in combination with Cloud Native Buildpacks, makes it easy for developers to build trusted container images that can be deployed to any container runtime. He added that Pivotal have got a lot more products coming over the remainder of the year that will focus on improving the developer and operational experience for users of Kubernetes.

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