As Kubernetes development advances, will this bifurcation of markets lead to a forking of Kubernetes for these radically different set of users? View in browser »
The New Stack Update

ISSUE 231: Kubernetes: Data Center or Edge?

Talk Talk Talk

“Our industry has a really horrible problem with zombie workloads. This is stuff that is running but does not have any value.”

IBM’s Holly Cummins, KubeCon EU keynote
Add It Up
Red Hat Tops Ratings, but Google, IBM and Microsoft Also Get High Marks for Open Source Commmunity Engagement

The open source reputations of many companies are on the rise, bolstered by real progress in corporate community engagement, according to a survey of over 1,000 technologists. For the second year in a row, VMware worked with The New Stack and The Linux Foundation’s TODO Group to determine the degree to which companies are good citizens of the open source community. Seven of the eight companies rated by respondents in both the 2019 and 2020 surveys saw a greater percentage of respondents rating the companies' citizenship as at least average.

Compared to previous years, respondents’ employers are more likely to be contributing code upstream, collaborating, and influencing projects via leadership and maintainer roles. Although acquisitions may be related to some improvement in ratings, the data shows that constructive open source citizenship produces results.

What's Happening

It would be an understatement to say 8×8’s ability to offer its video and voice Software as a Service (SaaS) requires high bandwidth. While the company has always sought ways to boost its throughput capabilities, the COVID-19 pandemic has placed huge pressures on the company’s bandwidth needs to both maintain and improve its users’ network experience. Earlier this year, for example, the company’s traffic surged by 50-fold in less than one month.

Ultimately, 8×8’s DevOps largely relied on Kubernetes infrastructure and a load balancer and other support that Citrix, an application-delivery solution provider, offered to help manage the unprecedented traffic.

In this, The New Stack Makers podcast, Alex Williams, founder and publisher of The New Stack, spoke with Pankaj Gupta, senior director of product marketing for Citrix, and Lance Johnson, 8×8 director of engineering, cloud research and development. They discussed how Kubernetes and Citrix helped 8×8 achieve and maintain agility while delivering a better customer experience for its collaboration product portfolio during this time of exceptional demand for video and other networking infrastructure capabilities.

How the Right Load Balancer Supports a Video SaaS Provider’s Ambitious Plans for Kubernetes

Kubernetes: Data Center or Edge?

“The Kubernetes cluster, as we know it, is no longer in the data center,” Keith Basil, Rancher vice president of edge solutions, told The New Stack earlier this week. He was discussing how his company’s stripped-down version of Kubernetes distribution, called K3s, was proving to be quite popular, not just as a handy developer tool, but as a production platform for retail stores, fast-food restaurants and industrial platforms. Rancher has submitted K3s to the Cloud Native Computing Community as an incubation project. 

There is a definite energy around K3s and edge computing, the kind that settled on Kubernetes itself in its early years, explained Karthik Gaekwad, Verica’s head of cloud native engineering, at a KubeCon press conference on the topic of edge computing. 

It was at last year’s KubeCon where Rancher itself was “overwhelmed with the number of use cases that started pouring in,” said Rancher’s Shannon Williams, at the same presser. “More people were coming to talk to me about edge and K3s then data center and traditional hybrid cloud Kubernetes implementations,” Williams said.

But what does Kubernetes offer for the edge computing/Internet of Things/embedded systems world? It’s not so much the scalability that is so desired in the data centers, but a range of other factors, including security and automation, as its promise to not lock the user into a specific, often narrowly understood, vertical platform.

But perhaps most importantly, K8s offers the promise of application portability, Gaekwad noted.

“Kubernetes treats [all] devices in a similar manner. You can bring whatever devices you want, and potentially run Kubernetes, or K3s, on them,” Gaekwad said. The problem of “can you run this code on this device in an easy manner platform?” — as Gaekwad puts it — is solved in a very “elegant manner.” 

As Kubernetes development advances, will this bifurcation of markets lead to a forking of Kubernetes for these radically different set of users? Or, like Linux, will it remain robust enough to accommodate both markets?

“We have to be careful with Kubernetes and how it grows,” admitted Frederick Kautz, head of edge infrastructure for, at the press conference. “We are at a crossroads in telecom and edge. We can stick with enterprise and make use of everything that is coming out of that. Or we can split and head off in another direction, and eventually, we’ll be holding the bag with all the complexity that is there, without the size of the community. The best case is that we find a way to coexist.”

KubeCon EU: Thanos Takes Scalable, Highly-Available Prometheus Monitoring to CNCF Incubation

The open source Thanos project, which centralizes, scales, and offers long-term storage and high availability for Prometheus-based monitoring, has moved on to the incubation level of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). With the move to incubation, Thanos moves slightly ahead of Cortex, another tool for distributed Prometheus monitoring, which joined the CNCF sandbox a short time before Thanos.

KubeCon EU: Accurics, Snyk Release Tools to Secure Infrastructure-as-Code Deployments

Cloud native security providers Accurics and Snyk have each released new tools that promise to help organizations secure infrastructure-as-Code (IaC) deployments. Accurics has updated its TerraScan open source static code analyzer so it can codify policy checks across Infrastructure-as-Code deployments. Snyk’s software was designed to find and fix misconfigurations in Kubernetes and Terraform code prior to going live, minimizing manual code reviews and extensive research to detect potential security errors.

KubeCon EU: Red Hat Expands OpenShift to the Edge with Advanced Cluster Management

Red Hat has released new features in Red Hat OpenShift 4.5 and Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes at this week’s KubeCon + Cloud NativeCon Europe virtual conference that are “aimed at helping enterprises launch edge computing strategies built on an open hybrid cloud backbone,” according to a company statement.

Party On

"Start small and integrate graciously" — American Express' Katie Gamanji on integrating security in the development process, KubeCon press conference.

Aqua Security's Liz Rice explains the new special interest groups for the Cloud Native Computing Foundation at the KubeCon press event.

Priyanka Sharma kicks off Day 1 KubeCon + CloudNativeCon keynote discussing the importance of the community.

On The Road
GitLab Commit // AUG. 26 // VIRTUAL


GitLab Commit

Scaling in times of constraints is both confining and liberating. Developers and engineers face cloud native security risks and the unknowns of managing complex microservices. Learn from experts at GitLab Commit about elastic and resilient software architectures on distributed infrastructures that allow modern businesses to have confidence and hopefulness about adapting to times that can sometimes feel a bit out of control. Register now!

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Technologists building and managing new stack architectures join us for short conversations at conferences out on the tech conference circuit. These are the people defining how applications are developed and managed at scale.
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