Pivotal fully embraces Kubernetes

Pivotal introduces the alpha version of Pivotal Application Service (PAS) on Kubernetes, as well as new products for Kubernetes based on PAS features.

Pivotal on Tuesday introduced the alpha version of Pivotal Application Service (PAS) on Kubernetes, as well as new products for Kubernetes based on PAS features. Pivotal's full embrace of Kubernetes will have benefits for the company behind the scenes, as well as for its customers who see Kubernetes as the future of software development. 

Many customers "are very interested in Kubernetes as a technology," Pivotal CEO Rob Mee told ZDNet. However, he said, "What they find is Kubernetes is very complex and very difficult to manage." 

By offering more Kubernetes-based products for those customers, Pivotal is aiming to expand its market opportunity, simplify its sales process and make it easier for customers to get started with Pivotal. 

As a cloud-native platform provider, Pivotal has primarily used the container management system Diego. PAS, which lets developers develop and manage cloud-native apps and software services, is based on Diego. 

Then last year, Pivotal partnered with VMware to launch the Pivotal Container Service (PKS), which enables small teams of operators to manage Kubernetes clusters at scale. However, PKS has lacked the higher-level abstractions that make PAS an attractive option for developers. 

The new products for Kubernetes based on PAS features should help resolve that. In May, the company introduced Pivotal Spring Runtime, as well as the alpha version of Pivotal Service Mesh. Now, Pivotal is rolling out the alpha version of Pivotal Build Service, while a fourth service -- the alpha version of RabbitMQ for Kubernetes -- will be available soon. 

Pivotal Build Service provides automation for developers to easily create container images, as well as audit and security controls for running at scale. RabbitMQ for Kubernetes automates deployment and ongoing operations of RabbitMQ.

These new capabilities, Mee said, can serve as a "kind of a stepping stone toward higher-level abstraction and comprehensive automation that PAS provides, which I believe they will also eventually want."

Meanwhile, Pivotal can start moving its higher-level abstractions to Kubernetes. "We can start to replace some of the orchestration and other distributed system machinery that we've built up over time," Mee said. 

That doesn't mean, however, that Diego is going away just yet. 

"There are some very advanced capabilities that Diego provides, like support for Windows workloads running anywhere that the Kubernetes ecosystem doesn't support yet at the same level," Mee explained. "So those things will co-exist for a while until further maturing of the Kubernetes ecosystem."