Kubernetes and Cloud-Native Operations


Alan Shimel and David Booth, vice president, cloud-native applications at Canonical, discuss the findings of Canonical’s recent “Kubernetes and Cloud-Native Operations Report.” The video is below, followed by a transcript of the conversation. You can download the report here.



Alan Shimel: Hey, everyone. Welcome to another segment here on TechStrong TV. My guest for this segment is David Booth. David is with the folks at Canonical, makers of Ubuntu and much more. Hey, David, welcome to TechStrong TV.

David Booth: Happy to be here.

Shimel: We’re so happy to have you. Real good to have you here. David, as we spoke off camera, our audience knows Ubuntu, they know Canonical, one of the leaders in the Linux opensource market, cloud native. A lot going on there. You know, distributions and so forth. But they may not know David Booth, believe it or not.

Booth: Sure.

Shimel: Well, some of us may.

Booth: There may be one or two out there who do, but for the vast majority –

Shimel: Relatives, relatives of yours.


But beyond that, why don’t you share with our audience a little bit?

Booth: Sure. I’ve been in the tech space for going on about 20 years or so now. I spent a long time in Prague with a company called JetBrains that I think a few people may know about. After that I joined ZeroTurnaround to become the CEO there, where we built a tool called JRebel for the Java community. That went over really well, raised a bunch of venture capital, our company grew. The company was sold.

It went in a good direction. And then I built another startup, sold that one off, and kind of started thinking what’s really next for me? What do I really care about? What do I want to learn about and who do I think I could learn the most from? And I was in conversations with Mark Shuttleworth over at Canonical and he started talking about something that they’ve been working on for a while, their vision for the future, and I just couldn’t say no. So I joined Canonical in January as the VP of cloud native applications.

Shimel: Very cool. Very, very good, and they’re lucky to have you, man. Good stuff. So before we jump into the news that we want to talk about, let’s talk – you know, as I said, most people know Canonical, makers of Ubuntu. It’s a Linux distribution. When we talk about Canonical cloud applications, is it cloud applications that Canonical is developing and distributing or selling or is it more allowing Canonical to be used as the backend, as the OS for ISV’s cloud apps?

Booth: So it’s a really place to be where this is this operating system layer that everybody knows about and that helps to power a lot of the clouds that are out there. A lot of people’s applications and infrastructure are based off of it, whether on prem or on a public cloud. Canonical is looking at tackling other problems in the cloud-native space, so we see Kubernetes where we have Charmed Kubernetes and MicroK8s, a few different distributions that are helping people to solve different problems that they have with Kubernetes, particularly around getting started. And from there, we’re starting to look at moving beyond initial deployments of Kubernetes and cloud applications into the day-2 operations, the management of those applications.

One of the things that we actually saw in this survey was that the Kubernetes and cloud native space is still somewhat in its infancy. It’s really early. You’ll see a lot of venture capital dollars getting invested into the different companies in the space, but adoption is, although growing quickly, still at a stage where people are trying to figure out if we can move to Kubernetes, how are we going to do the deployments of our applications? Are we going to have to restructure our entire application from microservices to put it into containers to run it in Kubernetes or how are we going to do this?

Canonical is already starting to think about let’s assume that a whole bunch of people do. What happens next? What other problems can we solve? So those are some of the things that we’re thinking about in the company, and I’m happy to go into those a little bit later.

Shimel: Absolutely. It’s great stuff, David. So I wanted to talk to you today though – I think you mentioned it in passing – about a new report based on some survey data and analysis that the folks at Canonical had done. Why don’t you share with our audience, kind of give us some background, some highlights, and we can jump in.

Booth: Sure. So this is the Kubernetes and cloud native operations report, and what we did here was we looked at a lot of the other reports in this space, and I think like you mentioned before, there’s a lot of vendors out there who want to have reports and give people some different data to look at. I’ve run reports and looked at these for decades now. I often see maybe a bit of vendor bias in these types of things. They may have a point solution and they’re trying to just get that message across and trying to get people to go there, whether it’s a security tool and they’re trying to say, “Look, the cybersecurity space is terrifying, everybody needs to go and buy our tool.”

I thought, well maybe we should approach it from just a pure data point of view. Where is everybody? So we asked a whole group of people, some who were in some way using Ubuntu and others who were just at KubeCon about 50 questions, and we got them to go through about a half hour worth of questions to provide us with their insight and share their experiences. And then from there I thought rather than make this about Canonical and our opinions let’s invite in some industry experts and have them share their opinions. So we talked to folks like Kelsey Hightower, who a lot of people know, James Strachan, who’s over at CloudBees working Jenkins project.

Shimel: Sure. Know them both.

Booth: With Tim Hockin as well who’s worked on Kubernetes.

Shimel: Google.

Booth: Michael Hausenblas over at AWS. And a whole bunch of other people who all – Ken Sipe, for example, who is working on – he’s on the board for the Operator Framework, the CNCF, a former Java champion, works with Edward Jones right now, I believe, and they – we thought that it would be more interesting to share their insight into the data than just our opinion. So we literally try to approach the report from a vendor neutral standpoint.

Shimel: That’s fresh. That’s a fresh look at things. Because, David, I think you’re right. Look, it used to be – and guilty – vendors would come to MediaOps here or the Accelerated Strategies Group or our analyst firm and sort of get a commissioned report based on survey data and stuff, and too often, even though as much as we would try to not do it, there’s lies, damn lies, and metrics, and every question could be framed a certain way to give it the answer you desire. And I call it when you’re a hammer everything looks like a nail.

If you want everything to look like a nail because you’re a hammer, you’re going to make your report kind of show that. And so there’s two elements to it. One is the questions that we ask and how they’re asked, and then two is who does the analysis? So when you have a Kelsey or a James or Tim from Google, you have these guys giving you their analysis based on what they’re seeing from data and what they’re seeing in their lives and their career, their business world, it brings a certain amount of validity, of impartiality, of real –

Booth: As a group.

Shimel: Right.

Booth: I mean, individually, sure, everyone may still have their biases and have their points of view.

Shimel: Sure.

Booth: But as a group it’s nice to see that they don’t always agree.

Shimel: No.

Booth: So that’s a little bit nice to see.

Shimel: I agree.

Booth: And so you’ll see some of that in the report as well.

Shimel: Excellent. So let’s talk a little bit about what the report’s findings are.

Booth: Yeah. So hybrid cloud and multi cloud. We first wanted to take a look at use cases there and see what’s really happening here. Is there a broad adoption? How are people using multi cloud or hybrid cloud? What are their use cases? And it turns out, yeah, there’s a pretty broad adoption.

We were seeing about 78 percent of respondents are saying that they use at least one hybrid cloud or multi cloud use case in production in their organization. Frankly, we think 78 percent is a bit low,…


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