Kubernetes is the new Java: VMware

But it's still only at the 'potential phase', cautioned VMware VP and CTO of cloud-native apps Kit Colbert.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

For the past few months, VMware has been banging on about why it's time to embrace Kubernetes, and the spiel that Pat Gelsinger gave during his keynote at vForum in Sydney on Tuesday was no different. 

The chief of VMware believes the impact Kubernetes will have on industry will not be too dissimilar to Java.

"Since the time of Java and virtual machine about two decades ago, there hasn't been a technology that has achieved industry consensus and energy as Kubernetes has. This to us is a magic period of time betting aggressively that Kubernetes provides this layer for the next generation," he said.

Gelsinger referred to Kubernetes as the "magic bridge" that will bring IT and app developers together, as well as how applications are developed, deployed, and operated.

Although VMware VP and CTO of cloud-native apps Kit Colbert clarified that while there are benefits of Kubernetes, it's still very early days.

"We're still at the potential phase," he told ZDNet.

"The reality is there are a lot of complexities to it. It's very capable, but also very complex."

Colbert continued to say being aware of these complexities, VMware wants to make Kubernetes more "palatable", so there is mainstream adoption.

"We don't expect everyone to have a Kubernetes expert in their company, so we want to be able to enable people to leverage all the benefits of Kubernetes without having to manage a lot of the complexities … [by] making it more automated and getting rid -- and I use this term a lot -- undifferentiated heavy lifting, which there is a lot of today with Kubernetes … which most people don't want to do," he said.

Must read: Why VMware's Kubernetes investment will shape your multi-cloud strategy

Colbert added that the conversation about Kubertnes for VMware is more than just about the technology, but also helping people evolve their skills as well.

"On the one hand, it's extending what they know in an environment that is familiar to them. If you look at Project Pacific, we're building Kubernetes inside vSphere … people know how to do that, but then they start seeing these Kubernetes concept and they can start getting their feet wet," he said.

"Overtime we're doing more and more Kubernetes in vSphere so they can get deeper, deeper into it … it is up to the individual to drive the education and take the opportunity to learn something new … I look it as good thing and a great career trajectory for people."

VMware signalled its move into the space when it picked up Bitnami in May. Bitnami builds and packages open-source ISP software for Kubernetes environments across any cloud in a uniform and consistent way.

In August, VMware decided to pay $2.7 billion for Pivotal, a company that has fully embraced Kubernetes. At the time of the acquisition, VMware believed by combining Pivotal's development program, tools, and services with its own infrastructure capabilities, the company would be able to deliver customers a comprehensive portfolio for building and managing capabilities.

And just like that, days after the acquisition, VMware announced its Kubernetes portfolio Tanzu, designed to deliver the most comprehensive enterprise-grade Kubernetes-based portfolio for modern applications.

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