July 18, 2023

A new era of maturity for the Kubernetes ecosystem

Anton Smith
Anton Smith
Director of Product

Remember: it’s all about the app

Every great shift in computing infrastructure in the past 20+ years has been driven by the desire to deploy, run and scale applications more quickly and efficiently.

From virtualization to cloud, we’ve seen increasing abstraction, providing degrees of portability for applications: whether that’s migrating a VM to a different host, or scaling a cloud workload into different regions.

Containers were another step on that journey, enabling much greater portability — even across different environments, from data center to edge, and across multivendor stacks, helping break down proprietary lock-in. 

Add in Kubernetes and now you’ve got orchestration at scale. And in combination with CI/CD and GitOps methodologies, now you’ve got exponentially faster application innovation from code to production.

So while navigating the complexity of Kubernetes and its ecosystem can be challenging, there’s no doubt it’s the most powerful engine for application innovation we have today. 

As its gravitational pull grows stronger, organizations in every industry are standardizing on Kubernetes as the heart of their technology stack, not just in the cloud but in the traditional IT stronghold of the data center, and across a spectrum of edge computing locations, too.

But there’s one final frontier that Kubernetes needs to cross if it’s to become the application platform for the modern enterprise: unifying VMs and container management.

The next step in the Kubernetes journey: VMs

Everyone wants choice and flexibility to exercise their own preferences, whether driven by habit, organizational policy or the specific needs of the application at hand. 

Part of what has made Kubernetes so compelling is that it offers incredible choice for app developers, architects and operations teams to assemble the right OS, databases, service meshes, security and monitoring tools, and every other element that makes up the stack. Kubernetes is built with extensibility and openness in mind through its powerful API.

But, critically, this choice and flexibility mustn’t result in siloes and walled gardens. And that’s exactly what enterprise ops teams have faced when it comes to their VM workloads.

Many IT teams still want the choice to run applications in VMs, and they’re rightly asking why they can’t bring their VM workloads into the Kubernetes fold, fitting in natively, right next to their containers and with all the same management and orchestration tools.

This is not some hypothetical situation, either.

As part of our forthcoming 2023 State of Production Kubernetes report, we surveyed 333 IT professionals that work with Kubernetes in production.

86% of them said they wanted to unify their containerized and VM workloads on a single infrastructure platform.

23% went further, saying that “support for both VM and containerized workloads” is one of their top-three considerations when choosing a solution to manage their Kubernetes infrastructure.

An open-source solution to support VMs on Kubernetes exists today: KubeVirt. It’s already delivering strong results for some users, as this real-world account illustrates

But KubeVirt is not an enterprise-ready, complete solution, even though it has recently hit v1.0 after half a dozen years of development. From its initial installation and configuration to ongoing lifecycle operations like live migration of a running VM, there’s manual work and complexity at every stage.

Introducing Palette’s Virtual Machine Orchestrator

At Spectro Cloud, our mission has always been about empowering ops teams to simplify their infrastructure for innovation at scale. As we’ve built out our Kubernetes management platform, Palette, we’ve focused on solving the real needs of enterprises that have placed their bets on Kubernetes. So today with Palette you can:

  • Declaratively orchestrate the full software stack of every cluster, beyond what any other Kubernetes and Cluster API-based solution can achieve.
  • Optimally deliver apps to any environment, including bare metal data centers and the most difficult location of all, the edge.
  • Effortlessly manage the full cluster lifecycle, with robust native capabilities from cost management and observability to backup and security.
  • Scale with confidence, through our unique decentralized architecture that ensures performance and resilience even across thousands of clusters.

And now we’re tackling this emerging enterprise need for a unified platform that supports both VMs and containers, with Virtual Machine Orchestrator, now available in Palette 4.0, announced today.

This feature transforms the infrastructure management space by enabling VMs and containers to coexist and be managed declaratively side-by-side within a Kubernetes environment, at scale, across any number of clusters, supported end-to-end.

Palette VMO provides a pre-configured and curated implementation of KubeVirt with full enterprise-grade technical support, faster and more resilient full-lifecycle bare metal management, full-stack VM declarative management and orchestration, and access to 50+ out-of-the-box ecosystem integrations (with the option of bringing your own) for both containers and VMs, together with many other core Palette features. It enables a GitOps approach for both VMs and containers simultaneously, offering a unified, comprehensive management solution for your infrastructure.

By augmenting KubeVirt with these added capabilities, Palette VMO ensures that you get the full benefits of a hybrid platform, without having to deal with the complexities of managing it all yourself.

While we won’t delve into the specifics here (you can check out our latest blog on The New Stack for more), Palette’s VMO is bringing a new level of sophistication to unified management of VMs and containers. The result? Reduced cost and risk for IT and platform engineers, increased flexibility and speed for developers to accelerate their application modernization initiatives.

What’s next?

With the launch of Palette’s VMO, we are stepping into a new era of simplified infrastructure management for the next-gen modern enterprise platform with Kubernetes at its heart. You may also have spotted us announcing a new product called Palette VerteX, which brings FIPS encryption to Kubernetes, even at the edge, helping governments and highly regulated industries adopt Kubernetes with confidence.

But our journey doesn’t stop here. The Kubernetes landscape continues to evolve, and here at Spectro Cloud, we are committed to driving that evolution. 

What’s next? We are keenly exploring the next big problems to solve, including topics such as unlocking the full power of AI to support enterprise customer use cases at scale or advancing our multi-cluster federation capabilities, so stay tuned.

We remain committed to our goal of empowering organizations to innovate, modernize, and simplify their infrastructure operations for innovation at scale, breaking down barriers, and making the best of the cloud native ecosystem more accessible for the modern enterprise.

So whatever your challenge with Kubernetes, whether it’s dealing with your VMs or something else, we can help. Why not drop us a line to see for yourself?

Enterprise Scale
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