Oracle Adds Virtual Nodes to Managed Kubernetes Service

Oracle today added a virtual nodes capability to Oracle Container Engine for Kubernetes to make it simpler for IT teams to add additional capacity as needed.

In addition, Oracle is extending the life cycle management tools it provides for the platform to include the ability to manage third-party add-ons such kube-proxy.

Finally, Oracle is now enabling identity and access management controls to be extended to the pod level, increasing the default setting for newly-provisioned clusters to 2,000 worker nodes and offering financially-backed service level agreements (SLAs) for uptime and availability for the Kubernetes application programming interface (API) server. Oracle plans to soon add support for preemptible spot instances to provide an additional 50% discount off on-demand virtual machine pricing, as well.

Vijay Kumar, vice president, product marketing, app dev services & developer relations at Oracle, said virtual nodes will improve developer productivity by combining pod-level elasticity with usage-based pricing in a way that improves the consumption of infrastructure resources. That capability is especially critical as more organizations attempt to rein in the cost of deploying Kubernetes clusters in the cloud, he added.

Adoption of Kubernetes in the enterprise is now ubiquitous, noted Kumar. The challenge organizations are now encountering is how to effectively manage Kubernetes clusters at scale, he said.

Oracle’s aggressive pricing of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) has allowed the company to gain ground on its cloud rivals, but it’s not clear how many cloud-native applications based on Kubernetes are being deployed on the platform. In theory, more organizations deploying container-based greenfield applications would be more likely to at least consider OCI, especially if those applications need to access a database.

The one thing that is certain is the rate at which cloud-native applications are being built and deployed in the cloud is steadily increasing. Organizations are attempting to not only build and deploy more resilient applications but they are also looking to reduce costs. Taking advantage of Kubernetes to dynamically scale consumption of cloud infrastructure resources up and down as required is more cost-effective versus allocating a dedicated amount of infrastructure to each application.

The issue that most organizations are now contending with is they lack the skills required to manage Kubernetes at scale. Oracle, like other cloud service providers, is making a case for relying on managed services to enable IT teams to focus more of their efforts on building and deploying applications.

Regardless of the approach to building and deploying cloud-native applications, the management of cloud computing environments is become more challenging. Cloud-native applications are being deployed alongside legacy monolithic applications that are not going to be retired any time soon. In fact, many IT teams are looking to modernize those applications by, for example, converting some functions into microservices that can be more easily managed and updated in isolation.

One way or another, the way cloud computing is employed and managed is fundamentally changing. The only issue left to determine is who will be managing specific elements.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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