The inevitability of K8s: Pivotal CEO describes the pain and benefits of technology transition

Kubernetes is becoming the & # 39; Standard API for infrastructure & # 39 ;, says Rob Mee

  Rob Mee, CEO of Pivotal

Rob Mee, CEO of Pivotal: & # 39; Everyone asks questions and you wonder & # 39; 19659004] Interview Pivotal CEO Rob Mee is in a good mood and talks enthusiastically about the transition of his key products to run in Kubernetes, something that has long-term benefits but also expensive pain points.

The company last confirmed the week that its Pivotal application service (PAS), part of Pivotal Cloud Foundry, has been ported to run on Kubernetes and is now available as a private alpha version. A date for general availability has not yet been set.

And general availability could not come soon enough: Pivotal is now rejecting shareholder claims that allege that PAS's lack of compatibility with industry standard Kubernetes has cost sales. Earlier last month, the San Francisco business revealed that it had just overcome a difficult quarter in which it closed less business than expected.

Pivotal Cloud Foundry is a set of products that includes BOSH (provisioning and implementation), Ops Manager (a GUI application for BOSH), Pivotal Application Service (a runtime that supports the creation and execution of applications with the cf command -push) and PKS (a container service to run and manage Kubernetes clusters).

As a container orchestration platform, Kubernetes will replace Diego, a container management system that is one of the projects of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). Many Pivotal projects are based or use CNCF components.

1564390229 876 the inevitability of k8s pivotal ceo describes the pain and benefits of technology transition The Pivotal Application Service is now transitioning to Kubernetes

Mee told The Reg that Diego's change to Kubernetes is not all profit. "There are some advanced capabilities in PAS with Diego. The way he handles Windows workloads, for example, will be difficult to do in Kubernetes for a while. We are working with Microsoft and others to make sure that the workloads of Windows work well in Kubernetes and therefore in PAS in Kubernetes in the future. "

Since PAS with Diego works well, why switch to Kubernetes? "It's partly perception," says Mee, "that if we don't do that in the market, we have competitors who say:" Pivotal is not in Kubernetes. "

There are also better reasons." As Kubernetes becomes a Standard API for infrastructure, and this is how we see it, it makes it easy for us to execute anywhere you run Kubernetes. That will be beneficial for us. "

Mee said that using Kubernetes instead of their own technology will help Pivotal focus on the features that are important to customers." We never exist to build container technology. We never exist to build container orchestration. Our mission is to transform the way the world builds software. That means providing higher level productivity to developers and operators. Not having to do any of the lower level things is really great for Pivotal. "

It is still true that the task of migrating to Kubernetes requires a substantial effort that could have been used to develop productivity features. This is normal, Mee says. . "When you undergo a technological transition, you inevitably have to devote resources. I always wish it happened magically for free, but it's not like that. We have done this before. We are always rewriting the platform. "And some of the transitions require more work than others."

Is there a risk that as large public providers, AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform (GCP), make it easier to implement and run Kubernetes applications, Pivotal could be squeezed out? "We're not listening to that," Mee said, claiming that customers find that without the Pivotal software, "the types of capabilities they have with PAS are being lost." This includes the ease of implementation associated with cf-push .

Another fundamental attraction is the multiple cloud, the ability to move applications from local facilities to and from the public cloud, and between public clouds. Customers, Mee said, "want multiple providers in the public cloud, they don't want to rely on a single provider like AWS."

Mee told us that "most of our workload is still running on the premises." We collaborate with everyone [the major cloud providers] We have partnerships with all of them, from time to time we compete with them. They love to see the fundamental workloads on their platform. We push more workload to Azure than any other third party. Microsoft loves that. It's a complicated world. "

Fundamental operations are lost but revenues are growing. That said, in its report to investors last month, after the publication of its first quarter results for fiscal year 2020, the company issued revenue projections that were lower than expected.The shares immediately suffered a drop of more than 40 percent and have not yet been recovered.They are currently sailing at around $ 10 each, five dollars below their IPO 2018 opening price of $ 15.

  Vital stock price after the launch of its income results for the first quarter of 2020 and revenge guidance

Vital stock price after the launch of its first income results quarter and income guidance

"When you go through a period of technological transition and a few quarters are not going as well as you would like, you get It's a great reaction from Wall Street, "Mee said. "Everyone asks questions and you ask yourself. But we have a very solid foundation, and I think our services are differentiated and I don't see anything that matches it. Our long-term possibilities are pretty good." 19659005] The transition comes with some pain, then. Will Kubernetes make everything good for Pivotal? That remains an open question. ®

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