Adventures at VMWorld 2017

The Grand Canyon at night can be an ominous place. Standing on the lip staring off into the abyss gives way to a deep enveloping darkness that overwhelms all but the bravest. This is exactly how many enterprise companies feel when they look at their competitors out pacing and out innovating them. This week at VMWorld Pivotal in collaboration with VMware and Google announced the launch of Pivotal Container Service™ (PKS) in front of over 30,000 attendees. Bold announcements that may just lift the darkness for many in the enterprise …

Pivotal Container Service (PKS)

So what is PKS exactly? PKS is a commercially supported release of the open source Kubo project, adding two important new capabilities for Pivotal customers: a simple way to deploy and operate enterprise-grade Kubernetes, and a seamless mechanism to migrate to container-based workloads to run On-Premises on VMware vSphere and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). This latest move is a significant step forward in capabilities for traditional VMWare customers and a major statement that the big players are listening to the needs of their customers.

The journey to the digital economy is as perilous as wandering around the Grand Canyon in the dark. It’s easy to lose your way with no end in sight. That’s what’s happening to many enterprise companies as they lose themselves in the journey to the cloud. But cultural transformation needs software to accelerate adoption. PKS is to the enterprise what automation was to Dev + Ops. It enables seamless and rapid delivery of end-user value in a repeatable way.

PKS enables container workloads across multi cloud environments leveraging the power of BOSH for automated infrastructure provisioning, configuration and operation. It’s the commercially supported version of the Kubo release. Essentially it’s BOSH-Powered, Web-Scale Release Engineering for Kubernetes. It brings all the power of BOSH to Kubernetes. Kubo was launched by Pivotal & Google in Feb 2017 and donated to Cloud Foundry Foundation in June 2017.

Developer Ready Infrastructure

While we are at it why don’t we talk about the gap between development and operations because this can often feel like the distance from one side of the Grand Canyon to the other (no really). How can we bring these 2 groups together so we can deliver software faster? As a starting point we can enhance communication but that alone is not enough. We need to enable seamless provisioning and monitoring of applications and infrastructure. That’s where DRI comes in.

PCF needs scale, security and availability from the IaaS. It also needs robust integrated monitoring. DRI provides just this. Beyond just monitoring it also provides isolation zones. The ability to run enterprise applications alongside POC environments with complete isolation. NSX also provides a network plane for addressability.

What does all of this mean?

No one makes money from managing operating systems (well maybe the cool hyper scale guys do) but let’s face it, we’re not them. That doesn’t mean we’re not cool though. What’s not cool is when we write infrastructure code when we should be focusing on writing application code. Because applications drive our business.

The announcements this week may have lifted the darkness on the enterprise, by bringing dev + ops closer together and providing better infrastructure for us all to host our applications but much work still remains. We need to think about value based outcomes. A single-pane-of-glass that enables us to categorize workloads, move them seamlessly from one cloud to another without reducing security. We need to unify this fractured technology space so we can focus on building our applications.

I’d like to thank Kit Colbert and Paul Fazzone for inviting me to share my excitement about the recent announcements on their panel sessions this week. My excitement is genuine, we are inching towards our goals. The Grand Canyon seems a little smaller every day.

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One Reply to “Adventures at VMWorld 2017”

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