On June 6, 2014 Kubernetes’ first commit was made. Six years later Kubernetes is the most widely used container orchestration platform and is now the de facto application platform for enterprises.

Below are some key highlights from the Kubernetes DevStats dashboard:

  • 46K+ Contributors
  • 231K+ Code Commits
  • 160K+ Pull requests
  • 2.1M+ Contributions
  • 2,700+ Contributing Companies

My name is Damani Corbin (@DC_Corbin3) and I am a Kubernetes Evangelist at Weaveworks. Weaveworks is a startup technology company, with deep expertise in the Kubernetes space. We also call ourselves the GitOps company, since it was our CEO, Alexis Richardson who coined the term ‘GitOps’ in 2017.

At Weaveworks we have three offerings:

  • Consulting (Specific to GitOps & Kubernetes)
  • Weave Cloud (a SaaS Kubernetes Product)
  • WKP (Weave Kubernetes Platform)

The purpose of this article is to highlight the business value of WKP (Weave Kubernetes Platform).

Kubernetes is a rather complex technology, and so we must first start by understanding the stakeholders who will be affected and who will benefit from this technology.

Who’s Involved

  • Operations
    • DevOps, Platform Teams, SRE’s
  • Developers
    • Software Engineering, Engineering Management
  • Executives
    • CIO’s, CTO’s, Product Owners, Line of Business, CISO

Why WKP?

WKP allows organizations to automate and secure Kubernetes platforms the GitOps way. Regardless if an organization is at the early stages of their Kubernetes journey or they are attempting to scale multiple enterprise applications, WKP can help manage the complexity of operating Kubernetes.

In a previous life, I spent a lot of time with organizations going through the following ‘five S’s’ that drove business value:

  • Speed
  • Scale
  • Stability
  • Security
  • Sustainability

Although the ‘five S’s are still relevant, I will utilize my new five ‘D’s’ to get the same point across:

  • Decisive
  • Demand
  • Durability
  • Defense
  • Dollars

Decisive

Leadership has finally admitted that technology will be the differentiator in today's business landscape. Competition is moving at an alarming rate and the fear of a new start-up cannibalizing and disrupting your industry and market share is a reality.

Agile software development and cloud native technologies have been the answer for most large enterprises. As these same organizations embrace what the cloud native ecosystem has to offer, they are realizing how vast and complex it is.

Leadership has to be decisive:

  • Build or buy?
  • What parts to build?
  • What parts to buy?

Increased Deployment Frequency

Leaders understand that in order to remain competitive, it is no longer acceptable to go through a six week process to promote changes to production. More and more organizations are successfully promoting multiple changes to production on a daily basis, however most leaders are satisfied with only making a change within a day.

Demand

The “Customer Experience” is critical to your success. With external customers calling you out on social media and internal customers calling you out on Slack, it appears that everyone is demanding more.

What are they demanding?

Developers
Developers are now practicing “Resume Driven Development”. There is a demand to be working with the latest tools and on the latest platforms. They demand that the features they are working on actually make it to production. They want to be more productive.

Operations
Operators demand that everything must be automated. In the age of declarative infrastructure, more and more tasks can either be assigned to developers or left to the cloud platforms. They also want to help developers to be self sufficient and productive.

Executives
Executives demand new features quickly, and on every platform and device. They want teams to be more productive.

Developer Productivity
Developer productivity is the answer that makes everyone happy. A Forrester report shows that developers, on average, are only spending 40% of their time coding while high performing teams can reach 80% productivity.

When developers no longer have to fiddle with infrastructure or build tools that have already been built by the open source community, there will be a drastic increase in productivity and more time can be spent on business logic.

Durability

The beauty of cloud computing is that it allows you to spin up a variety of secondary environments. The beauty of Kubernetes is that it expects that all environments are ephemeral. The reality of the new cloud native model of operating is that environments will quickly be spun up and environments will be quickly torn down. The downside is that there will be more things to install, patch & maintain.

Assuming that your organization is cautious about vendor lock-in as it relates to the cloud, there is possibly an architectural mandate to consider multi-cloud in the design of all environments.

Durability is necessary because you should not only consider moving applications to the cloud, but rather design an environment that can easily move applications across all cloud environments.

Decrease Downtime
The key to durability is decreasing downtime. Zero-downtime deployments should be the goal that you are working toward achieving. Nevertheless, failure is inevitable and failure should actually be expected. Leaders should focus their energy on measuring and reducing their Mean Time to Recovery.

Defense

As a former athlete, I think that a strong defense is your best offense. When I think about security and auditability, “The Process” comes to mind. If you examine any audit or compliance check, it is less about you following a list of requirements that is set for you, but rather, more of a check to see that you followed your own internal process and that you can document and validate every step of the process.

If the process of patching and securing clusters can be completed in a reliable secure manner, your security posture will be strengthened. If this process is also automated, it makes all parties more comfortable delivering features to the business quickly.

Dollars

Every organization should be cautious about their spending, however turning a blind eye on areas for savings is detrimental. One question that leadership usually asks is if all of their applications are running through deployment pipelines? My answer is you should have a strategy for every application in your portfolio. Although an application may not change often or may not be deployed multiple times a day, there should still be a plan in place. However as you are building and running more software than you have ever run before, it’s a good idea to evaluate the need of those older applications and the costly enterprise licenses associated with them.

In closing, this is an exciting time to be in technology and to witness the evolution that is happening in such a short period of time. As you evaluate Kubernetes and consider shifting more and more of your workloads onto the platform, I recommend that you check out Weave Kubernetes Platform which assists with all of the areas mentioned above.

Weave Kubernetes Platform

weave_kubernetes_platform_updated.png

Automate and secure Kubernetes the GitOps way:

  • Configure
    • Define and easily reproduce clusters with your choice of add-ons all configured in Git.
  • Automate
    • Add, patch and upgrade clusters securely and reliably with GitOps configuration management
  • Manage
    • Install production ready clusters on-premise or any public cloud

Please reach out to me if you are interested in learning more about utilizing WKP for your teams