Kubernetes: Present and Future with Portworx & Nirmata

Read the Transcript

Male Voice: Hello, and welcome to “Keeping up with Kubernetes.” Venkat Ramakrishnan is vice president of engineering at Portworx, which offers cloud native storage and data management for Kubernetes. Let’s listen now as Joanne MacDougall speaks with Venkat, as well as Nirmata’s own Jim Bugwadia, about where containerization is on the cusp of 2019, what it takes for enterprises to adopt containers for their development process, how Kubernetes is clearly becoming the dominant route in that adoption process, and how Nirmata and Portworx together offer enterprises a straightforward path to Kubernetes.

JoAnne: Hi everyone, and welcome to another episode of Kubernetes Radio. We’re coming to you live from the show floor at KubeCon here in North America, Seattle – rain, no sleet, no snow; but it’s still just warm and cozy inside here; and there are 7,000 plus people here. They are sold out. It’s an exciting time.

I’m joined today for this little session with Venkat Ramakrishnan from Portworx and, of course, Jim Bugwadia from Nirmata. We’re talking today. We’re “Keeping up with Kubernetes.” That is the name of our podcast, and that’s what we’re doing here every day. We’re trying to keep up with so many changes.

So Venkat, if I could start with you; today’s opening session: What did you think? What do you think are the biggest challenges for people adopting Kubernetes, and what do you think the future is for us?

Venkat: Absolutely. So thanks for having me on your podcast, Jo. It’s amazing to be here, Jim. It’s fantastic. It’s amazing to see. KubeCon has gone from about 800 attendees in 2015 to about 8,000 attendees in 2018. It just shows how much the adoption of Kubernetes has actually taken over the cloud infrastructure and overall multi-cloud story that all of enterprises are hopping on.

To be here and to see all the major cloud providers, all the major enterprise software folks, and all of the new cloud native stack companies participate in KubeCon and come together as a community and drive this forward, it’s amazing; just to see the level of adoption here.

If you ask me, what are the major challenges in adopting Kubernetes; I think any technology goes through a ramp cycle. Initially people were playing with Kubernetes, and they were deploying it. There was a little bit of, oh, I’m going to take my staple apps to production; but I think in 2018, the year 2018, Kubernetes and the whole container infrastructure has production – really enterprise class infrastructure that people can build cloud native applications on any infrastructure of their choice. It could be a public cloud, a private cloud; or if you need to bridge apps between two clouds or from your on-prem to a cloud, Kubernetes enables that.

Doing that is becoming more of a norm than an exception. What we have also seen is that there’s a lot more stateful apps that are getting deployed. You cannot run a serious, mission critical production app on a cloud – or anywhere you want – without state. It could be transactional. It could be life sciences. It could be your retail apps. It could be a healthcare app. Everything is done by state.

So we are seeing a lot of those customers doing production with the stateful apps as well, and running everything from Cassandra, Elasticsearch, Kafka, even Oracle databases, Informix. Name any stateful app. They are getting computerized, and they’re getting production on Kubernetes, on a cloud infrastructure.

So where Kubernetes is, and where it is going, is – I think the challenge that all of us as a community need to solve is, how do you do app and data management together, app lifecycle and data lifecycle together; so you can give customers the ability to liberate themselves from underlying infrastructure. I think that is where Portworx and Nirmata is a great partnership; because both of us are focused on solving that problem of getting app and data mobility on an eCloud. Jim.

Jim: Yes, certainly. Decoupling the application from the infrastructure and giving the developers the right set of tools so they can focus on adding their business volume – that’s key to what we’re doing, to our combined missions as well. The types of problems that you’ve described and that you’re solving is very much what we see with our enterprise customers as well, as they’re going to deploy enterprise grade applications; starting with hybrid-cloud types of solutions, as well as now moving to public cloud and evolving to microservices styles of applications.

Like you very well said, even at microservices, every apparent has state. State has to be managed. So that is mission critical for enterprises.

Venkat: Yes, absolutely.

JoAnne: I love that you guys have a lot to say on this topic. I love stateful apps, but diving in – so you were looking back there. What’s your prediction for 2019? Let’s just get that on – we’ll come back next year and see how you did.

Venkat: Sure. All right, let me dust off my crystal ball here. So you know, I think the prediction for 2019 is, you will see – so if I can go back a little bit again, looking back, 2015 – people were toying around in 2014 and 2015 with containers. 2016: You’ll see that Docker and Kubernetes – reaching a level of maturity where people are starting to deploy things in production. 2017: Kubernetes went out of native storage drivers; Dockers maturing, and there’s a lot more container options. Stateless apps are already in production. People are onboarding their stateful apps. 2018: A lot of stateful apps in production, multi-cloud managed Kubernetes engine.

2019 is the year of hybrid multi-cloud. You’re going to see a lot of apps. People are going to deploy them on any cloud infrastructure of their choice, but on demand. They’re going to be able to burst to another cloud and perpetuate the data back safely and securely without having to worry about security or compliance or any of the legal requirements. All of that is going to get baked in, and people are going to freely move app and data within clouds. I think that’s the year of 2019.

JoAnne: Jim, what are your thoughts on that same prediction topic?

Jim: So similar lines: Certainly multi-cloud becomes a reality for enterprises, starting with hybrid and then even multiple public clouds. Along with that, the second step to completing the evolution there is, Kubernetes becomes that multi-cloud OS; which enterprises can count on and can build their applications on without getting locked into any particular infrastructure stack. So that is it. It’s an amazing time to be building software, and that’s what’s really exciting about this space.

JoAnne: No vendor lock-in, opensource, cloud native – what else do you think the people in this room are really concerned with? Rapid response, rapid response time.

Venkat: Security – I think security and encrypted data. As you move from – so the two major things that definitely will be – the users here are concerned about and which, I think, the companies together are solving, especially both of our companies; is secure data management and movement along with compliance. That’s going to be a major enterprise ask in 2019, and vendors who have the technology and are prepared to answer the question, I think, will do very well in 2019.

Jim: Yes, the application management, SLAs – because software is not the dial tone for enterprises. It has to be up and running, and that’s what we’re all about.

JoAnne: I’m going to steal that. Software is the dial tone for –

Venkat: It’s nice, yes. Can I use that somewhere else?

Jim: Of course.

JoAnne: Software is the dial tone for enterprises. We’re going to end today’s session with that. Thank you so much for joining us, Venkat. Thank you so much, again, Jim.

Jim: Thank you very much, yes.

Venkat: Thank you. Thanks, Jim.

JoAnne: We’re “Keeping up with Kubernetes.”

Venkat: This was awesome. Thank you.

JoAnne: Thank you.

Venkat: Go Kubernetes.

JoAnne: Go Kubernetes.

Male Voice: Thanks for listening to “Keeping up with Kubernetes.” For more discussion on the latest in the world of Kubernetes, visit us at