Canada is on board the Kubernetes train, but still riding coach, says VMware

VMware’s Peter Near says 100 per cent of the executives he’s spoken to in recent months, including the ones in Canada, are planning to make Kubernetes a core part of app development.

For the past six months, according to VMware’s national director of solution engineering, customers have been “squarely-focused” on applications and finding ways to move their code around securely, a task made harder with a remote workforce ushered in by COVID-19.

“Canadian organizations over the past year have really shifted to a digital-first mindset, especially around how they interact with customers,” Near told Channel Daily News. Last year at this time, he added, customers were realizing an on-premises environment could feel a lot like the cloud, meaning robust tools for refactoring existing applications and building new ones don’t need to be accessed from a server thousands of miles away. “It’s a bit of a race now to deliver those digital experiences.”

More VMworld news:

From Pacific to Monterey: VMware continues to evolve [IT World Canada]


The Sysdig 2019 Container Usage Report suggests that over the past year, the median number of containers per host doubled to 30, compared to 15 in 2018 and 10 in 2017. Kubernetes remains the de facto container orchestration tool, taking a whopping 77 per cent share of orchestrators in-use. That number expands to 89 per cent when factoring in Red Hat OpenShift and Rancher – both built with Kubernetes.

At VMWorld this week, VMware unveiled a continuation of its strategy for ruling the app development scene called Project Monetary. Last year, Project Pacific promised to integrate Kubernetes into vSphere to accelerate the development and deployment of modern apps. This week, that became a reality: vSphere has Kubernetes at its core in VMware vSphere with Tanzu. VMware says this will allow customers to configure enterprise-grade Kubernetes infrastructure within their existing networks and storage in less than an hour. This announcement was made in tandem with the unveiling of Project Monterey—a technology preview focused on evolving its architecture for the data centre, cloud and edge to address the changing requirements of next-generation applications including AI, machine learning and 5G.

And despite Canadian businesses touting their grand plans to have Kubernetes running under the hood at some point in the near future, the container-market in the Great White North still lags behind most regions, says VMware’s country manager Sean Forkan. And in the channel, partners are well on their way getting the training and enablement they need to service customers in the field, according to VMware channel chief Tara Fine, but it’s still too early to tell how some of VMware’s latest efforts to make app development easier, like Project Monterey, are being received by partners.

But Canada shouldn’t drag its feet when it comes to simplifying app development, warns Forkan. “A lot of executives I’m talking to are going through huge changes. They want people to come into the office every day, it was part of their culture, showing up 9 to 5 at the office, and part of the employee engagement model. I’m telling them that those days are gone forever.”

VMware isn’t the only vendor supporting the growth of Kubernetes in Canada. This week, Dell Technologies announced that Dell Technologies Cloud Platform and Dell EMC VxRail now support VMware vSphere with Tanzu. Dell says it’s the first system to be integrated with VMware’s Tanzu Kubernetes portfolio. Dell EMC ObjectScale, Dell’s Kubernetes-based object storage platform, is also now currently available in an early access program. VMware vSphere and VMware Cloud Foundation with Tanzu on VxRail and Tanzu support for Dell Technologies Cloud Platform will be globally available in October this year. Dell EMC ObjectScale early access is coming soon with global general availability planned in 2021.

Last summer, hyperscale cloud provider OVH announced the deployment of Kubernetes on its servers in Canada. VMware sold vCloud Air, its public cloud business, to OVH in 2017.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Alex Coop
Alex Coop
Former Editorial Director for IT World Canada and its sister publications.

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