Platform9 Announces General Availability of Managed Kubernetes and Fission Project!

Since the launch of the company, which I was pleased to be able to cover a lot of exciting changes and growth with Platform9 over the last couple of years. What began as the OpenStack-as-a-Service focus has expanded to embrace both feature additions within the OpenStack offering as well as the addition of Docker and Kubernetes management.

Platform9 Announces General Availability of Managed Kubernetes

Kubernetes is gaining momentum in a way that has been unseen since Docker stormed onto the containerization scene in recent years. From much of what I’ve seen in the market and among customers and community members investigating container orchestration, Kubernetes has emerged as the de facto standard from what it seems at this point.

So, what does Platform9 bring to the table with managed Kubernetes? This is the ideal merger of bringing the k8s platform to an organization without the pain and overhead to manage:

  • complexity of architecting the infrastructure
  • operational overhead and engineering for resiliency
  • operational processes to maintain and upgrade the k8s control plane
  • risk of embracing the k8s platform

In the same way that Platform9 has simplified and delivered OpenStack using a SaaS model, we are seeing the same opportunity arise for folks to put container orchestration into their IT portfolio. The candidates who have been actively using the beta program for managed Kubernetes were a combination of both traditional virtualization shops, and more forward leaning container and cloud friendly organizations.

Having taken a few test drives with alternative products like the Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS), I can easily see the attractiveness of Kubernetes, and even more so with a managed service approach. ECS gives the option for containerized workloads on your AWS environment, but it also means:

  • IAM integration that can be challenging (or poorly implemented)
  • proprietary nature of the container lifecycle on ECS
  • “lock-in” which is a result of the proprietary stack and workflows
  • one-destination for your infrastructure (build on ECS…for ECS)

Container and cloud friendly organizations are already embracing the value of automation, and will be likely to also have many more open technologies as a part of their IT portfolio.

The full details on the new offering are available here at the Platform9 website.

Platform9 Announces the Fission Project

The Serverless phase of infrastructure is becoming one that is getting a lot of attention. Many push back on the importance of it mostly out of the fear that it is only going to be available as a cloud-based service, or that running the infrastructure requires a lot of care and feeding which may offset the benefits in some ways.

What if we just want to run code, and not have to worry about all of the tooling underneath the covers? With K8s already on board, there is now an excellent option to provide Functions-as-a-Service (FaaS), or what we know as Serverless infrastructure, using Fission for Kubernetes.

When you installed Docker the first time and typed “docker run”, you saw a little magic happening. We call that the “Aha! moment” where you realize that this is something very cool that is also only the beginning of the possibility for it. Kubernetes takes a lot more care and feeding to get to that point, but once you’re there you are going to realize how easy it is to consume as an abstraction layer above the infrastructure.

Now that Kubernetes is under the covers, you can also add Fission into the mix and bring another very interesting open source platform into your arsenal of tools.

The challenges being solved by Fission include:

  • moving to code-only deployments for development
  • Lambda-like functionality on-premises or wherever you have k8s running
  • Bring Your Own REST functions capability

Because this is open source, we are already seeing innovation leading up to the official launch. Python and Node.js were built in as out of the box languages to be supported, and soon after the publishing of the project to GitHub there was a Pull Request to add C# support when running .NET core. That, my friends, is the power of community!

The full details on the Fission project are available at the Platform9 site and we can look forward to lots of activity in this area in the coming months if my predictions are correct. I sure know that I’ll be digging into it myself!

Thanks to Sirish Raghuram for the briefing on the announcement, and congratulations to the Platform9 team on this very cool release.

Keep watching here as we take a deep-dive into the managed Kubernetes offering over the next couple of weeks.




vSphere Announcement:  Goodbye C#, Hello HTML5 Client

No more C# client. It’s a new world where HTML 5 is the way to go. This is a very exciting announcement as we look towards the new iteration of VMware vSphere as it begins to trickle into the roadmap in the coming months. The web client has been something that has been a big push as a target for the day-to-day management of your VMware infrastructure.

The challenge is that a few people have one thing to say about this based on some experience in using the current iteration of the Flash based web UI…

But, I like the C# Client…

The real question is “why do we like it?”

– Performance – Let’s face it, we have seen some massive increase in speed when using the web client, but it is still not as quick as the native client. This is a reality that we will face, but I believe there will be additional improvements.
– Reliability – The Flash UI of the current web client has been know to be slow, and to fail altogether when used regularly.
– OVF imports work – the vSphere Client Plugin needed for the current web client will be retired as we move into the next HTML5 interface, so this will be addressed as a long-standing issue with the web client and common functionality.
– User Experience – we have grown used to the workflows and task flow as we do a lot of traditional administrative functions. This is less about it being “right” today, and more about what folks are just used to.

The reason that the new HTML5 client will be an advantage is that all of the features within the current Flash client will be available, as well as some of the legacy features that were left behind in the full, or what is often called the C# (C-sharp) client.

Remember that UI and UX are Two Different Things

This is the sticking point that people forget sometimes. UI is a view, whereas UX is literally user experience. That is the difference from what you see on the screen, to how you perform tasks within that screen. It is also notable that there are more than just VMware engineers who build features for the vCenter client. External partners have been asked repeatedly about making it easier to consume their platforms within the same UI as the day-to-day vCenter tasks.

There will be some challenges for external partners to make sure that they are all fully ready for the new HTML5 only interface. We have seen a lot of partner technologies ignore client integration altogether in order to avoid compatibility issues. That breaks from the elusive (aka unreachable) goal of the Single Pane of Glass.

What will it look like?

There has been the HTML5 vSphere Host Client fling available for a while (http://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2016/03/vmware-vsphere-html5-web-client-fling.html), so it isn’t difficult to see how the move is going to go. In fact, the fling is now a part of the general availability product now and is included in the core platform for vSphere 6.x from now forward. I’m a fan, but we also know that using multiple interfaces to achieve certain admin functions is a pain in the backside.

html-web-fling

Image source: http://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2016/03/vmware-vsphere-html5-web-client-fling.html

Features are separated by client today. VSAN can only be managed by the web client. vSphere replication can only be affected by the web client. vFlash Read Cache can only be handled in the web client. You get where we are going. New features will only be developed towards the web client, and the transition of the last stragglers (SRM and some others) will be completed by the next iteration of vSphere.

Looking forward to the updated client that can be used across all browsers, and all devices. I’m a Mac user most of the time, and the current Flash UI plugin does not work on OSX with Chrome unless you literally open up the rights to give the browser complete root access…which nobody in their right, security-oriented mind would ever do.

Let’s see what the next few weeks brings as we prepare for the inevitable launch, or at least the announcement, of the newest vSphere product line at VMworld in Las Vegas.




Welcome Nutanix to the DiscoPosse Family!

It certainly has been an exciting time lately with all of the work happening around here at DiscoPosse.com and I am proud to announce my new sponsor Nutanix for supporting the site as we prepare for more great events, articles, stories and more in 2014!

Nutanix has long been a strong supporter of the blogger community and I was also lucky enough to be a recipient of a great gift from the Nutanix team for reaching the Top 50 Virtualization Blog award 🙂

top-vblog-nutanix

I even wore my Nutanix vBrownBag satchel to the office today which was our vExpert gift from last year at VMworld. Ultimately, these are the nice things that get done to show support for the vExperts and bloggers who spend their time to help spread the word on technology and solutions for our overall community.

What’s the Deal with Web-Scale Wednesday?

With the focus on scale-out infrastructure like that offered with the Nutanix platform, there is a new webinar coming up on June 25th to help guide you through the Nutanix offering, and how they use what is being termed as web-scale deployment features to be able to answer the needs for enterprise data centers.

web-scale-wednesday

So make sure you sign up for the Web-Scale Wednesday session and you will also get a free T-Shirt to go along with the great information you will hear during the session!




Infinio’s Big News: Welcome to Scott Davis as CTO!

infinio-logoThere are a few times that I’ve been able to look behind the curtain while big changes were afoot, and I can say that this was one of those very exciting moments. As you will see from my post over at VirtualizationSoftware.com (http://www.virtualizationsoftware.com/breaking-news-scott-davis-former-vmware-cto-joins-infinio-cto) Scott Davis, former VMware CTO, has moved on from VMware to join Infinio System as their new CTO.

Accelerated Workloads and Accelerated Business Plans

Further to the interview that was posted at VirtualizationSoftware.com, I spent a little more time with Scott talking about much of his work at VMware, and how he views the industry as a whole. Scott is a strategic leader with a proven track record and it shows as he walks me through his thought process on the next steps for his career with Infinio.

More of My Conversation with Scott Davis

scott-davis-twitterQuestion: What will be the first thing that you will be doing at Infinio?

Scott: My goal is to be concentrating on far out things. The near term is about defining what we are building next, and the goal is to have our next generation product soon. We have 4 or 5 alternatives in play but we always work on building the best features next. We are talking with our current customers to find out what they really need. Optimizing our engineering resources is key and we have a short term and long term vision that are similar.

Question: I’m really a big fan of the customer-driver versus competition-driven focus at Infinio. How does this come into play with what’s next?

Scott: Infinio is looking at the specific customer solution that enhances what Infinio has done. VDI is definitely a target for us.

Question: Will we see partnerships with flash hardware vendors and Infinio?

Scott: There is certainly potential and some conversations have happened. We are using server resources which are abundant. That sets us apart from other products and vendors.

Question: What is the view of the next 12-18 months in the storage industry?

Scott: Flash is a key building block. Data persistence with spinning disk is a magnitude slower than any flash alternative. Using memory and flash si going to be the hot space as we move forward.

My Thoughts on What’s Next

I can simply say this: keep your eyes on this company. There are some disruptive technologies, and disruptive individuals who can lead towards innovative changes. Bringing Scott on board at Infinio has the potential to be the ideal step to launch Infinio towards something even bigger than they have done already.

Growing a business around innovation is a challenge, and given the history with the founders of Infinio, and with Scott, I will be keenly watching as it comes together.