Kubernetes at VMware Explore: Education is Critical to Adoption
At the Moscone Center in San Francisco during VMware Explore 2022, many attendees had a new topic on their minds: Kubernetes. Attendees had the opportunity to dive deep into Kubernetes at this event in different ways. Learning, using the platform, and topics such as keeping cloud native data and apps protected were covered in about 10% of the sessions at the event.
Kubernetes key challenges and adoption trends were highlighted by John Furrier and Lisa Martin from SiliconANGLE Media's theCUBE in this interview with myself and Matt LeBlanc, Systems Engineer North America.
In our interview, we discussed that Kubernetes adoption is accelerating. If you look at Google Trends since 2014 and compare VMware against Kubernetes, you see an interesting graph. The VMware adoption curve is practically complete, while the Kubernetes curve is taking off. What’s important to note is that the volume of searches for Kubernetes is almost as large as VMware, and that’s a big sign that adoption is picking up. Adoption, however, is dependent on education. We have to get engineers up to speed with using Kubernetes, so that adoption can take place.
That’s no easy task. However, at Kasten by Veeam, there’s a big focus on educating our customers and dialing down the complexity of Kubernetes, which is why we offers hands-on labs through our learning site, Learning.kasten.io
Our labs cover everything from installing a Kubernetes cluster, to learning, to building an application and backing it up in the safest way. They’re geared toward people in different roles, ranging from DevOps professionals, to administrators, and to reliability engineers, all of which are looking to automate many of the processes related to architecting resilient applications.
The idea is to be able to script and automate as much as possible and not have to create a request for a new VM or for an OS or app to be deployed. Adding that with Kubernetes, developers are empowered to automatically deploy applications.
Regardless of roles, the conversations around Kubernetes deepen as experience increases. For example, at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon, our engineers tend to have hour-long conversations with visitors that delve into the details of Kubernetes are typical. In contrast, conversations at VMware Explore have been a bit more basic. Increased interest in learning Kubernetes among VMware Explore attendees is exciting and indicates that adoption is increasing among this audience. The CNCF says that 97% of enterprises are using Kubernetes, but we want to see the entire ecosystem of users grow.
Self-Service, Reliability and Flexibility Are Key Drivers
During our interview, Matt LeBlanc noted that Kubernetes adoption is fueled by the need for self-service and reliability, but reducing overhead is also a factor. “We're seeing the drive to production resources is being able to do more with less,” he said. He added that a large university in Canada who is a Veeam customer running 7,000 VMs is planning to move all of those workloads to Kubernetes in an effort to reduce administrative costs. However, scale and flexibility are also key. Kubernetes provides the opportunity to choose any application or tool from the cloud native ecosystem.
What value does Kasten deliver to customers in this environment?
Simplicity and productivity, for starters. Matt provided the example of Sopra Steria, a French IT firm that was using AWS and running OpenShift 3. They wanted to move to OpenShift 4, but there was no upgrade path – they would need to perform a migration. “By their estimation, it would take months to complete the migration. With Kasten K10, we were able to architect and automate the migration, and complete it over the course of one weekend, with only two people working on it.”
With the adoption of multi-cloud and hybrid environments, migrations like these will become much more common, and the need for automated backup and recovery solutions such as Kasten K10 will be essential. Matt added that in Kubernetes, all applications are written according to a strict standard, which enables applications to be deployed on any database, whether hosted in AKS, EKS or Tanzu. “The world becomes much less proprietary,” he said.
The days are gone where companies could select one enterprise application and build their stack with it. Today, they’re building applications using dozens, if not hundreds of different components from different vendors. This creates opportunities for cloud native developers and hybrid solutions. It’s not just about choosing one vendor like AKS, EKS or Tanzu – we’re seeing all of the above.
Education Remains a Key Challenge
Today, there’s a wide range of Kubernetes expertise among developers. Some have a couple of years of experience with Kubernetes, but there are many others who are new to it. Fortunately, the upcoming KubeCon in Detroit this October will be a great place to learn more.
I’m predicting that attendees at the in-person event will return to pre-pandemic numbers. I expect to see a lot of interesting stories from vendors and exciting new innovation coming into the market. The conversations we’re going to have will be around live applications and people using Kubernetes in production, rather than getting up to speed. Overall, we’re going to continue to help people learn and grow their skill sets, and we’ll see much deeper technology conversations as everyone’s experience increases.
Tom Leyden is the VP of Marketing for Kasten by Veeam. As a marketing professional with networks in the USA, Europe and Israel, he has over the past 15 years built a track record with market-disrupting start-up companies in Cloud Computing, Storage, and Artificial Intelligence. His start-up successes include dedupe pioneer DCT (Symantec), early cloud innovator Q-layer (Sun/Oracle), Amplidata (HGST), and Elastic NVMe innovator Excelero. Belgium is home; the world is his workspace.
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