Traditional IT providers have seen the light and are shifting their focus to new technologies supporting open source software development.

In recent months, the HPE’s, Cisco’s and VMware’s of the industry are offering their core customers cloud services previously dominated by the big three providers: Amazon, Microsoft and Google.

The latest buzzword is DevOps, and it refers to a merging of the responsibilities between data centre operations teams and developers.

OSS and Kubernetes

In this Netflix era, developers are tasked with cranking out new applications and updates in hours or minutes versus the typical 9-month lifecycle which was once seen as acceptable. This mammoth feat can only be accomplished through serious cooperation and coordination by the infrastructure teams involved. These teams are having to grapple with entirely new application architectures which ‘containerise’ the application development technologies and ease the deployment process.

This relatively new process is shored up by evolving container management and orchestration open source software (OSS) called Kubernetes. In the application platforms space, Kubernetes is widely considered the year’s leading OSS project, based on growth and vendor participation.

OSS’ importance lies in its ability to provide the necessary common cloud infrastructure technology to ensure portability of modernised apps under a newly forming hybrid and multi-cloud model.

Kubernetes success opens floodgates

In Seattle, Washington in December 2018, vendors from all over the globe gathered at a tradeshow called KubeCon, illustrating the fast-growing ecosystem of vendors now participating in this new type of DevOps technology in order to better address customers’ business transformation needs.

Complexity continues to plague organisations around how to offer their customers modern applications both on-premises and in the cloud. Naturally, they are looking to their traditional technology providers for answers. Kubernetes will be a big part of that answer for its ability to automate the deployment and management of containerised apps.

Kubernetes is a technology created by Google and subsequently backed by essentially the entire industry of software and hardware providers. The technology now sits squarely at the heart of cloud services being delivered by not only the big three public cloud providers, but also cloud solutions by IBM, Oracle, Red Hat, VMware, and others.

Further illustrating the trend towards OSS and technologies like Kubernetes, 2018 represented a year of record-breaking acquisition prices for OSS companies. Last year was notable for the OSS acquisitions made at staggering costs, including IBM’s purchase of Red Hat for $34 billion (and considered the largest software acquisition in history); and Microsoft’s procurement of GitHub for $7.5 billion.

Kubernetes’ evolution as the industry’s de facto container orchestration standard over the past two years has broadened the list of participants in the DevOps and hybrid cloud market. Most notable vendors include Docker, Rancher, Heptio, Mesosphere, IBM, Red Hat, Pivotal, Microsoft, and more recently, VMware, Rackspace, Cisco, and HPE among others. Providers offer their own packaged Kubernetes implementation, including security and management capabilities on top of Kubernetes services.

In the new year, expect to see a broader range of providers of Kubernetes-as-a-Service (KaaS) in which vendors and solution providers offering components of PaaS in the form of tools which simplify the installation and management of Kubernetes clusters.

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