Apr
23
2018
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Heptio launches an open-source load balancer for Kubernetes and OpenStack

Heptio is one of the more interesting companies in the container ecosystem. In part, that’s due to the simple fact that it was founded by Craig McLuckie and Joe Beda, two of the three engineers behind the original Kubernetes project, but also because of the technology it’s developing and the large amount of funding it has raised to date.

As the company announced today, it saw its revenue grow 140 percent from the last quarter of 2017 to the first quarter of 2018. In addition, Heptio says its headcount quadrupled since the beginning of 2017. Without any actual numbers, that kind of data doesn’t mean all that much. It’s easy to achieve high-growth numbers if you’re starting out from zero, after all. But it looks like things are going well at the company and that the team is finding its place in the fast-growing Kubernetes ecosystem.

In addition to announcing these numbers, the team also today launched a new open-source project that will join the company’s existing stable of tools, like the cluster-recovery tool Ark and the Kubernetes cluster-monitoring tool Sonobuoy.

This new tool, Heptio Gimbal, has a very specific use case that is probably only of interest to a relatively small number of users — but for them, it’ll be a lifeline. Gimbal, which Heptio developed together with Yahoo Japan subsidiary Actapio, helps enterprises route traffic into both Kubernetes clusters and OpenStack deployments. Many enterprises now run these technologies in parallel, and while some are now moving beyond OpenStack and toward a more Kubernetes -centric architecture, they aren’t likely to do away with their OpenStack investments anytime soon.

“We approached Heptio to help us modernize our infrastructure with Kubernetes without ripping out legacy investments in OpenStack and other back-end systems,” said Norifumi Matsuya, CEO and president at Actapio. “Application delivery at scale is key to our business. We needed faster service discovery and canary deployment capability that provides instant rollback and performance measurement. Gimbal enables our developers to address these challenges, which at the macro-level helps them increase their productivity and optimize system performance.”

Gimbal uses many of Heptio’s existing open-source tools, as well as the Envoy proxy, which is part of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation’s stable of cloud-native projects. For now, Gimbal only supports one specific OpenStack release (the “Mitaka” release from 2016), but the team is looking at adding support for VMware and EC2 in the future.

Mar
31
2018
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Red Hat looks beyond Linux

The Red Hat Linux distribution is turning 25 years old this week. What started as one of the earliest Linux distributions is now the most successful open-source company, and its success was a catalyst for others to follow its model. Today’s open-source world is very different from those heady days in the mid-1990s when Linux looked to be challenging Microsoft’s dominance on the desktop, but Red Hat is still going strong.

To put all of this into perspective, I sat down with the company’s current CEO (and former Delta Air Lines COO) Jim Whitehurst to talk about the past, present and future of the company, and open-source software in general. Whitehurst took the Red Hat CEO position 10 years ago, so while he wasn’t there in the earliest days, he definitely witnessed the evolution of open source in the enterprise, which is now more widespread than every.

“Ten years ago, open source at the time was really focused on offering viable alternatives to traditional software,” he told me. “We were selling layers of technology to replace existing technology. […] At the time, it was open source showing that we can build open-source tech at lower cost. The value proposition was that it was cheaper.”

At the time, he argues, the market was about replacing Windows with Linux or IBM’s WebSphere with JBoss. And that defined Red Hat’s role in the ecosystem, too, which was less about technological information than about packaging. “For Red Hat, we started off taking these open-source projects and making them usable for traditional enterprises,” said Whitehurst.

Jim Whitehurst, Red Hat president and CEO (photo by Joan Cros/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

About five or six ago, something changed, though. Large corporations, including Google and Facebook, started open sourcing their own projects because they didn’t look at some of the infrastructure technologies they opened up as competitive advantages. Instead, having them out in the open allowed them to profit from the ecosystems that formed around that. “The biggest part is it’s not just Google and Facebook finding religion,” said Whitehurst. “The social tech around open source made it easy to make projects happen. Companies got credit for that.”

He also noted that developers now look at their open-source contributions as part of their resumé. With an increasingly mobile workforce that regularly moves between jobs, companies that want to compete for talent are almost forced to open source at least some of the technologies that don’t give them a competitive advantage.

As the open-source ecosystem evolved, so did Red Hat. As enterprises started to understand the value of open source (and stopped being afraid of it), Red Hat shifted from simply talking to potential customers about savings to how open source can help them drive innovation. “We’ve gone from being commeditizers to being innovators. The tech we are driving is now driving net new innovation,” explained Whitehurst. “We are now not going in to talk about saving money but to help drive innovation inside a company.”

Over the last few years, that included making acquisitions to help drive this innovation. In 2015, Red Hat bought IT automation service Ansible, for example, and last month, the company closed its acquisition of CoreOS, one of the larger independent players in the Kubernetes container ecosystem — all while staying true to its open-source root.

There is only so much innovation you can do around a Linux distribution, though, and as a public company, Red Hat also had to look beyond that core business and build on it to better serve its customers. In part, that’s what drove the company to launch services like OpenShift, for example, a container platform that sits on top of Red Hat Enterprise Linux and — not unlike the original Linux distribution — integrates technologies like Docker and Kubernetes and makes them more easily usable inside an enterprise.

The reason for that? “I believe that containers will be the primary way that applications will be built, deployed and managed,” he told me, and argued that his company, especially after the CoreOS acquisition, is now a leader in both containers and Kubernetes. “When you think about the importance of containers to the future of IT, it’s a clear value for us and for our customers.”

The other major open-source project Red Hat is betting on is OpenStack . That may come as a bit of a surprise, given that popular opinion in the last year or so has shifted against the massive project that wants to give enterprises an open source on-premise alternative to AWS and other cloud providers. “There was a sense among big enterprise tech companies that OpenStack was going to be their savior from Amazon,” Whitehurst said. “But even OpenStack, flawlessly executed, put you where Amazon was five years ago. If you’re Cisco or HP or any of those big OEMs, you’ll say that OpenStack was a disappointment. But from our view as a software company, we are seeing good traction.”

Because OpenStack is especially popular among telcos, Whitehurst believes it will play a major role in the shift to 5G. “When we are talking to telcos, […] we are very confident that OpenStack will be the platform for 5G rollouts.”

With OpenShift and OpenStack, Red Hat believes that it has covered both the future of application development and the infrastructure on which those applications will run. Looking a bit further ahead, though, Whitehurst also noted that the company is starting to look at how it can use artificial intelligence and machine learning to make its own products smarter and more secure, but also at how it can use its technologies to enable edge computing. “Now that large enterprises are also contributing to open source, we have a virtually unlimited amount of material to bring our knowledge to,” he said.

 

Feb
28
2018
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OpenStack gets support for virtual GPUs and new container features

 OpenStack, the open-source infrastructure project that aims to give enterprises the equivalent of AWS for the private clouds, today announced the launch of its 17th release, dubbed “Queens.” After all of those releases, you’d think that there isn’t all that much new that the OpenStack community could add to the project, but just as the large public clouds keep adding… Read More

Nov
10
2017
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The OpenStack Foundation starts to look at projects beyond OpenStack

 Over the last few years, we’ve seen the launch of a number of open source foundations like the Cloud Native Compute Foundation, the Cloud Foundry Foundation and others. Most of these run under the Linux Foundation, but one of the largest open source foundation outside of that group’s orbit is the OpenStack Foundation, which — at least until now — has solely focused on… Read More

Nov
07
2017
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Why Adobe’s Advertising Cloud is (mostly) a private cloud

 Adobe likes to talk about its public cloud partnerships with Microsoft and others, but it doesn’t often talk about its private cloud strategy. It’s no secret that there are plenty of good reasons for using a private data center and Adobe manages a few of these around the globe. For most businesses, opting for a private cloud comes down to cost, but for Adobe’s Advertising… Read More

Nov
05
2017
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OpenStack’s next mission: bridging the gaps between open source projects

 OpenStack, the massive open source project that provides large businesses with the software tools to run their data center infrastructure, is now almost eight years old. While it had its ups and downs, hundreds of enterprises now use it to run their private clouds and there are even over two dozen public clouds that use the project’s tools. Users now include the likes of AT&T,… Read More

Oct
24
2017
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Community Matters

Community Matters

Community MattersBuilding on community

Percona is very committed to open source database software. We think of ourselves as unbiased champions of open source database solutions. With that, we also carry a responsibility to the open source database community – whether MySQL®, MongoDB®, ProxySQL or other open source database technology. We’ve seen that, and taken action by hiring a Community Manager.

That’s me. Which is great… For me!

And my job, in a nutshell, is to help to make our community great for you. By building on the good stuff that’s been done in the past and finding ways to do more.

The common thread tying the community together is the sharing of information, experience, and knowledge. Hundreds of you have taken part in Percona Live or Percona Live Europe — thank you for that! Props if you’ve done both. If you’ve proposed a paper (selected or not), presented a session, given a tutorial, staffed a booth or sponsored the event – kudos!

Maybe you’ve benefited from or run sessions at a Percona University (the next one is in Kiev in November and it’s FREE). Or caught up with Percona staff at one of the many tech conferences we attend during the year.

You might have used our code, added to our code, spotted and logged bugs, given feedback or requested new features. Helped out other users in forums, written to question-and-answer sites like Stack Overflow. Maybe you’ve blogged about using Percona software on your own blog, or looked for help on the Percona Database Performance Blog. You might have recommended our software to your company, or a colleague, or a client or a friend. Or even a stranger. Mentioned us in passing in conversation. Read our e-books, watched our webinars, shared a link or reached out to Percona via social media.

All excellent, valuable and much-appreciated contributions to the community.

Ways you can join in

Have a think about these opportunities to shine, share and make the Percona community best-in-class.

  • Take part in our forum: we really try to keep up, but there are always more questions than we can address. It’s easy to think of the forums as a support queue but honestly, we are MORE than delighted when we have help from you.
  • You have a passion for a particular subject, or maybe an interesting project to share. How about proposing a webinar or blog post? Contact me if you are interested.
  • If you haven’t yet done it, make 2018 the year you attend Percona Live. If you’ve done it before, do it again – network with old friends and make some new ones. Get a new t-Shirt. Enjoy the company. The warmth of the welcome and the generosity of the knowledge shared made a big impression on me in Dublin, I’m convinced you’ll find the same.
  • In-depth knowledge or hardcore learning on-the-job? Don’t forget that the call for papers for Percona Live is opening soon and that speakers get free attendance at the conference. It’s a competitive call, but you’re up for that right? Right! 
  • Don’t want to “do stuff” on the Percona site? Maybe contributing to code or working on the question-and-answer sites is more for you. Or maybe you have a blog already and write about our software and how to use it. If so – thanks again, and please let me have the link!
  • If you haven’t already, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletters to get early warning of upcoming webinars, and the latest tech and community news

Have you thought about joining Percona? We’re hiring! Don’t forget, too, that all the contributions you make to online communities – Percona or not – really pay off when you want to demonstrate your knowledge and commitment to future employers or clients. A link is worth a thousand words.

What do you think?

Interested? Ideas or comments? Things you think we should do better? Things that you think are great? Things we used to do that were great and you miss? Things that others do and you wished we did? Things that … well, you get the idea!

Get in touch, or just get stuck in. You might find it rewarding*…

free to email me or message me on Skype.

*I have keys to the swag box … ?

Aug
29
2017
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OpenStack sees new use cases in edge computing and fast-growing interest in China

 OpenStack, the massive open-source project that aims to bring the power and ease of use of public clouds like AWS and Azure to private data centers, today launched Pike, the sixteenth major version of its software. Read More

Jul
20
2017
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Managed private cloud stacks trying to find their way in the enterprise

 For a long time, traditional IT resisted the cloud, but that has changed in recent years as companies have come to realize that they can’t survive without the agility, scalability and economics that only a public cloud approach can provide. Yet in spite of the clear advantages the public cloud brings, there are still many companies out there that resist it for a variety of… Read More

May
15
2017
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After acquisition by Juniper, cloud optimization service AppFormix adds support for VMware

 Last December, Juniper acquired the cloud operations management and optimization startup AppFormix and said that it planned to integrate it with its own Contrail product line. That integration is moving swiftly, but under the aegis of Juniper, it’s also adding new features to its platform that are meant to better support Juniper’s customers. Read More

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