Enterprises get closer to the app store experience with Kubernetes and GitOps

Commentary: The massive enterprise downside is not working lots of of apps throughout a number of clouds; no, the large downside is working the identical app persistently on only one cloud or knowledge middle.

Kubernetes logo concept

Picture: Lisa Hornung, iStock

We’re used to getting cell apps by way of Apple’s App Retailer or Google Play, however relating to enterprise apps, the expertise is dramatically completely different, and dramatically worse. In line with Weaveworks CEO Alexis Richardson, nevertheless, it would not must be this fashion. Although we’re maybe many years away from enterprise software program being made accessible by way of an app store-like expertise, we’re additionally a lot nearer to such advantages than we’d suppose. The trick, Richardson mentioned, is not actually to finagle multi-cloud deployment of functions.

No, for many enterprises, more often than not, they’re simply making an attempt to make sure consistency in utility configuration on the identical cloud (or knowledge middle). Luckily, Kubernetes and GitOps have mixed to make this doable.

SEE: Hiring Equipment: Cloud Engineer (TechRepublic Premium)

Identical app, completely different locations

This wasn’t the primary time I’ve talked with Richardson concerning the enterprise app retailer expertise. Neither is it a secret he is shared solely with me. The truth is, at a current convention Richardson addressed the subject in his keynote. What I hadn’t appreciated, nevertheless, was that the attraction of this “enterprise app retailer” is not as a result of clients are clamoring for multi-cloud. Reasonably, it is about consistency inside the similar cloud (or knowledge middle).  “A key factor you could allow the enterprise app retailer mannequin is whenever you do a deployment, whether or not you are establishing a cluster or deploying an app or each, you need the outcomes to be equivalent. So that you need to say it is the identical app somewhere else,” he advised me.

Now that does not essentially imply that each single underlying configuration is equivalent as a result of, for instance, for those who’re working on AWS, you would possibly use DynamoDB however for those who’re working on Microsoft Azure, you would possibly use CosmosDB. “However basically for the tip consumer it is the identical utility, primarily based on an equivalent set of software program parts, and so they run the identical manner on the underlying providers,” Richardson mentioned. 

This seems like multi-cloud, but it surely’s not. Not likely.

multi-cloud: the concept which you can take the identical utility and magically transfer it from cloud to cloud, or run the identical utility throughout completely different clouds. Some clients do care about this, however for Richardson, there is a a lot tougher downside to deal with. Particularly, guaranteeing you’ll be able to deploy the identical utility, or machine studying platform or no matter, repeatedly and once more, identically on the identical cloud (or on premises), on demand.

“That is straightforward to say,” Richardson mentioned, “however fairly arduous to do.”

SEE: Multicloud: A cheat sheet (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Identical. Identical. Identical.

In case you’re not in enterprise IT, working code at scale, this most likely looks as if an odd assertion. Certainly it must be easy to make sure an utility will work the identical for those who’re conserving it on the identical cloud/knowledge middle? Actuality is completely different. Say you and I, for instance, opted to arrange Kubernetes on the identical AWS availability zone (Good day, US-East!), with the identical machine studying parts. Identical. Identical. Identical. And we hope to make that platform accessible to a knowledge science workforce inside our firm. Within the Apple App Retailer world, we could be working the identical {hardware}, OS model, and so forth., and any underlying variations Apple takes care of. Within the enterprise, regardless of all that seeming “sameness,” we won’t know that the machine studying platform truly is similar until we will evaluate the working techniques with a configured mannequin.

Pre-Kubernetes, pre-containers and GitOps, we did not have this skill. Now we do. GitOps, Richardson mentioned, “offers a constant manner for any developer to handle the entire stack securely, accurately, and routinely.” 

gitops.jpg

Picture: Alexis Richardson

With the Kubernetes/containers and GitOps mixture, enterprises lastly have the flexibility to simply set up and function on a number of clusters and clouds. In flip, firms can run functions and infrastructure when they need (shutting down providers as wanted), whereas automating the patching/updating of apps, like customers have with the app shops. And since it is the enterprise, Kubernetes/GitOps additionally ensures compliance primarily based on enterprise insurance policies and verified operations. That is what enterprises need.

Most enterprises, in brief, aren’t madly making an attempt to maneuver lots of or hundreds of functions between clouds. No. As a substitute they’re making an attempt to get lots of of functions to behave, to be managed, in a single place. They’re fighting foundational points like the way to improve these functions, or create a brand new area, or transfer functions from edge to someplace else of their infrastructure footprint.

And, whereas they could not have an Apple App Retailer expertise fairly but, we’re getting a lot nearer, because of Kubernetes and GitOps.

Disclosure: I work for MongoDB however the views expressed herein are mine.

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