A Kubernetes Sea Change: The Path to Enterprise-Grade Kubernetes

Our mission at Rafay is pretty simple: empower enterprises and service providers to support modern applications that are critical to them keeping up with the fast-digitizing economy.

Why is this important now? Well, because modern (or containerized) applications are deployed on an orchestration platform called Kubernetes (K8s). Kubernetes has quickly become the go-to choice for managing applications. In a recent survey from the CNCF, 78% of companies reported they were using Kubernetes in some form. However, the vast majority of companies we talk to are stuck in what we call a Kubernetes Quandary. Here’s the quandary:

  1. K8s has become the de facto standard for managing containerized applications (this is a given)
  2. But K8s is incredibly complex & hard to to set up and operationalize at scale
  3. First-gen, DIY K8s management solutions are a good training ground for DevOps teams, but require significant time and resource investments, while lacking enterprise-class features

It’s no wonder that many internal K8s projects stall or become incredibly onerous to operate, which in turn leads to delayed application deployments, and ultimately, delays in the positive business impact those applications promise. Many a CIO/CTO has found themselves wondering if there is a better way.

There are several key enterprise-grade features that first-generation K8s management platforms didn’t bake into their core architecture and capabilities, which enterprises clearly need:

  • Fleet Scalability: The average # of clusters is growing and thus yesterday’s “few clusters” are quickly becoming today’s fleets. The New Stack reports that almost 40% of companies surveyed are running more than 5 clusters.
  • Security: With Kubernetes now powering business-critical applications, securing such critical infrastructure is a must-have. So how do you stop rogue access to your clusters? Just ask Tesla (link to story) how important it is to secure/cloak K8s API endpoints.
  • Governance & Compliance: Enterprises should be able to apply the same controls and governance to K8s that they do to their business applications — even more so in regulated industries such financial services, government and healthcare.
  • Enterprise Integrations: First-gen solutions expect companies to invest significant time and effort in making various enterprise systems (such as logging, key management and load balancing) work with K8s to reach a basic level of enterprise acceptance
  • Deep, Multi-Cloud Support: DIY approaches may say they can manage EKS, AKS, GKE, etc., but most only go an inch deep, forcing DevOps to manage clusters with complex, multi-cloud platforms. This is critical because, according to Gartner, 81% of enterprises use “Two or more cloud providers.”
  • Support: Last but not least, do you really want to bet the future of your business on a partner that sells you software and only provides community or slack-only support? What if an app breaks in the middle of the night and you need immediate help from an expert?

The Rafay platform has been built with these characteristics from day 1. Given the team’s collective background in security and large-scale SaaS operations, it’s all in our collective DNA. Not only that, we have a team of certified K8s experts that is ready to partner with companies every step of the way as they level-up their K8s infrastructure.

We have redesigned our website to serve as a platform that IT professionals can leverage as a resource for their own education around Kubernetes, and as a standards-setter for the approach they should be adopting to speed up enterprise modernization projects. The website also lists case studies of how your peers are solving Kubernetes-related challenges that are similar to those you face everyday.

Stay tuned to the website for the latest news and perspectives — from us as well as our customers. We hope you find our new site to be a source of actionable information and encourage you to send us feedback at info ‘@’ rafay ‘dot’ co.

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