D2iQ Rises to Kubernetes Management Challenge

D2iQ has made available Kommander, a management platform through which IT teams can manage and govern federated instances of Kubernetes clusters.

In addition, D2iQ plans to deliver Dispatch, a continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) platform to accelerate the building and deployments of applications, which will be embedded into Kommander.

Company CTO Tobi Knaup says that as the adoption of Kubernetes clusters accelerates, IT organizations will need to unify the management of those platforms regardless of the distribution of Kubernetes they may be running.

As IT organizations start to wrestle with multiple Kubernetes deployments, many of them are discovering many of these clusters are “snowflakes.” Very few Kubernetes clusters are configured the same way and many of them are running different distributions of Kubernetes as well as several releases behind on the distribution they are running.

Via a single pane of glass, IT organizations can determine which clusters need to be upgraded using a consistent set of configuration processes, says Knaub. In addition, IT teams can apply the same policies across multiple clusters.

Finally, Kommander makes it possible for IT teams to deliver a sanctioned catalog of cloud-native services on top of those Kubernetes clusters, says Knaub.

While D2iQ offers its own distribution of Kubernetes, dubbed Konvoy, Knaup says IT teams need a management framework that reaches well beyond Konvoy. It’s hard to say whether Kubernetes sprawl has become a major issue just yet; however, each application team within an organization tends to prefer to have its own Kubernetes cluster rather than share one with other application owners. Inevitably, that approach will lead to Kubernetes sprawl, as clusters are deployed in the cloud and on-premises IT environments, as well as increasingly at the network edge.

It’s still not clear who will be managing all those Kubernetes clusters. D2iQ is making Kommander available with a graphical user interface intended to appeal to more traditional IT administrators. Many Kubernetes clusters are stood up by developers but over time their care and feeding tend to shift to IT operations teams.

Obviously, there’s going to be a lot of competition when it comes to providing management tools for Kubernetes clusters. D2iQ, formerly known as Mesosphere, is betting the expertise it gained from managing Mesos clusters will give it a leg up when it comes to managing Kubernetes clusters.

There may come a day when Kubernetes clusters are too much of a good thing. However, for the moment most IT organizations are still trying to figure out how to operationalize the handful of Kubernetes clusters they have currently. Managing Kubernetes clusters will by definition also require IT organizations to rely on more automation and best DevOps practices. In fact, the biggest limitation to Kubernetes adoption today may have very little to do with technology, as IT organizations continue to struggle with complex cultural issues stemming from the need to redefine roles across the IT team.

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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