Posts by krishnan:

    Decision Makers Guide: Nomad Vs Kubernetes

    October 18th, 2019

    Rishidot Research is launching a new product to called Decision Makers Guide. Rishidot Research’s Decision Makers’ Guides are research briefs made to help decision makers gain quick understanding of a technology or compare two or more technologies. The guides are designed to help modern enterprise decision makers quickly understand the pros and cons of specific technologies or scenarios to plan their strategy. Unlike Rishidot Research’s long form reports, these guides are purposed to inform decision makers about the strengths and weaknesses of specific technologies. This understanding will empower them and their teams to make objective strategic decisions without depending on vendor marketing materials. When decision makers want a deep dive into specific technologies or need to evaluate various scenarios as part of their planning process, Rishidot Research can aid that process through consulting engagements.

    In the first issue of this series, we are tackling the question of Nomad Vs Kubernetes. We get this question all the time when enterprise decision makers are considering scheduling and orchestration solutions for their cloud native workloads. This guide will help decision makers understand where Nomad and Kubernetes fits in the landscape. You can find the guide in Rishidot Research’s Github Repo.

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    VMs, Containers or Serverless?

    March 1st, 2018

    At Rishidot Research, we often hear from IT stakeholders about their confusion about newer technologies in the Modern Enterprise market. They wonder whether they should use containers or serverless or stick to virtual machines. We have released a flow diagram that will help you understand how these technologies fit for a simple workload.


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    Red Hat Acquires CoreOS To Emerge As A Strong Leader In Container Space

    January 30th, 2018

    Today, Red Hat, the open source company focussed on enterprise IT, announced the acquisition of CoreOS, its competitor in the container market (Red Hat press release). This is clearly shaking up the enterprise application platform market and, definitely, the Kubernetes community. CNBC puts the cost of the acquisition at $250 Million, making this one of the largest Red Hat acquisitions. In this quick analysis, we take a look at this news and how it impacts the modern enterprise.

    The Competition

    As a startup, CoreOS went directly at Red Hat, trying to position themselves as the operating system for containers. They also built a platform called CoreOS Tectonic as the multi cloud Kubernetes distribution going against Red Hat’s OpenShift Container Platform and other application platforms in the market. CoreOS is also one of the biggest contributor to the Kubernetes project and there was speculation that they will get acquired by one of the enterprise cloud providers to effectively compete with Red hat in the space.

    What it means for Red Hat?

    This helps Red Hat in many ways

    • It helps them emerge much stronger in Kubernetes community. Already, Red Hat is the second largest contributor to Kubernetes after Google. With Microsoft aggressively recruiting Kubernetes contributors and gaining leadership role in the committees and AWS entering CNCF and ramping up their open source efforts, keeping the leadership role in the open source community becomes a competitive advantage. By acquiring CoreOS, Red Hat is strengthening their leadership in the community and it will help them in selling to enterprise IT
    • Red Hat has a strong play in every layer of the modern enterprise stack, from operating system to container engine to orchestration to the developer platform layer. Bringing CoreOS inside Red Hat strengthens this advantage
    • CoreOS was not a threat to Red Hat, but it is definitely a pain in both container space and public clouds. Taking out a potential threat is a smart way to establish long term relevancy even if it comes at a huge (as per Red hat’s M&A standards) cost
    • Canonical’s Ubuntu has a lead in the public clouds. By buying CoreOS, which has both developer and startup mind share, Red Hat can fend off Canonical as well as public cloud providers own version of Linux


    • It will be interesting to see how Red Hat fits CoreOS with Project Atomic and Red Hat OpenShift. CoreOS has competing offerings in both container operating systems and application platforms. It is critical for Red Hat to position these offerings in a way that doesn’t confuse the market
    • They will have to retain the Kubernetes contributors for a few years to get better ROI from this acquisition. It will be interesting to see how they fend off the talent poaching after the vesting period

    I have reached out to Red Hat Analyst Team with some questions and I will update this post after we hear from them.

    What it means for the competition?

    This definitely starts the process of consolidation in the Kubernetes community

    • Competitors are going to get aggressive in getting the attention of enterprise customers. Public cloud providers like AWS and Azure are going one step above Kubernetes to make Container as a Service seamless with AWS Fargate (which will integrate with AWS EKS soon) and Azure Container Instances. They will try to go up the stack to lock down customers inside their service
    • Other platform providers like Pivotal, Docker and Mesosphere will recalibrate their strategy after this acquisition. As we pointed out in this analysis, we expect Pivotal to get rid of the technical depth underneath the platform and focus on a more developer centric platform higher up in the stack with their Spring investments and future Functions as a Service offering. We will wait and see how Docker and Mesosphere react to this development
    • Expect to see some other startups in the Kubernetes space to be acquired by other enterprise vendors. Oracle is ramping up their cloud efforts. Both IBM and SAP are focussing more and more on Kubernetes. These large vendors will definitely need help in making their offerings attractive to modern enterprise and this will lead to some more acquisitions in the next year or so

    What it means to Customers?

    Anytime there is a consolidation in any market, customer lose choice but this round of consolidation is happening in an open source community which has emerged as a standard for container orchestration. In a way, such a consolidation in this space might accelerate container adoption and a stronger movement towards IT modernization. Many enterprise IT organizations have a strong relationship with Red Hat and this acquisition will help them stick with Red Hat as they move towards containerized workloads.

    Overall an interesting acquisition by Red Hat and it all depends on how well they position the combined offerings and how well they integrate with existing products. Let us see how it shapes up.


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    Taking Stock of Cloud Application Platforms

    January 4th, 2018

    Based on our agenda to focus on Cloud Native Landscape in the first half of 2018, this post will take stock of the major application platforms to set the context for further discussions in the coming weeks and months (see our post on public cloud for the same reason). In this post, we are discussing the major platforms based on the signals we get from the data we collect from enterprise users. We are also following other platforms closely and our future research will include them.

    Red Hat OpenShift


    • One of the early adopters of both Docker containers and Kubernetes, OpenShift is built entirely on industry standard components for any container platform
    • With the focus on Developers and DevOps workflow, OpenShift abstracts away some of the complexities associated with Kubernetes deployment
    • With Red Hat’s other products in their portfolio, OpenShift can emerge as the RHEL equivalent for Application Infrastructure


    In 2018, we expect to hear from Red Hat on their “serverless” strategy. With the success of AWS Lambda and other serverless offerings in the market, the enterprises want to have clarity on Red Hat’s strategy on this. With their JBoss portfolio and their investments in Apache OpenWhisk, we expect to see some announcement to fill this gap.

    Pivotal CloudFoundry


    • Pivotal’s move up the stack with SpringOne platform and announcements about future “serverless” offerings is a smart move and is in tune with their developer focus. The developers are kingmakers and Pivotal is well positioned to empower them with their focus on Spring and “serverless”
    • With their data assets and a strong consulting business, they are well positioned to help enterprises in their modernization journey


    We expect Pivotal to move out of CloudFoundry underneath their platform and re-platform completely on Kubernetes and Docker based containers (currently Moby Project). If their core focus is on developers, they should use industry standard commoditized components underneath and focus only on developer experience. We are Day 1 advocate of the CloudFoundry project and we had invited CloudFoundry customers to keynote in our Deploycon conferences but the success of Kubernetes since 2014 makes it critical for Pivotal to focus on building the best developer experience entirely on top of Kubernetes and eliminate any technical debt underneath. With their strength on Spring platform, they can emerge as a strong Kubernetes vendor helping enterprise modernization

    Mesosphere DC/OS


    • Mesosphere has integrated well with Kubernetes and they are well positioned to support both traditional web apps and data intensive workloads. Their strength in supporting big data frameworks makes them a strong player in the application development platform space
    • Apache Mesos is proven to be a mature enterprise platform and DC/OS on top of Mesos for cluster management makes them a credible enterprise platform


    Even though they have integrations with many modern developer and DevOps tools, we expect Mesosphere to focus on building a seamless developer experience this year. With the operational maturity underneath (Apache Mesos) and Kubernetes for container orchestration, having a solid developer experience will help Mesosphere DC/OS

    There are many Kubernetes based container platforms we didn’t consider for this post as they don’t fit into the App Dev Platform definition. We are closely watching Docker Enterprise, Apprenda, SAP Cloud Platform and it will be part of our analysis in the future.

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    Taking Stock of Public Cloud Vendors

    January 2nd, 2018

    A very happy new year from Rishidot Research. As we enter 2018, the pressure on CIOs to modernize their IT is going to increase significantly. Any further delay will hurt the business bottom line. At Rishidot Research, we have our hands full on a research agenda focussed on Cloud Native Computing landscape and CIOs will find our research very valuable for their modernization strategy. As a first step, and also to set the context for our discussions in the coming months, we will take stock of the major public cloud vendors and where they stand against their competition.

    Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the leading cloud vendor by a huge margin. The scale and the momentum in the recent AWS Re:Invent 2017 is a clear indication of this trend. Now AWS’ user conference is comparable to the traditional IT vendors and the number of CIOs and other decision makers I came across in this event indicates that enterprises are eager to embrace public clouds. It is only natural to start our analysis with AWS.

    Amazon Web Services

    • AWS leads all the cloud providers in the sheer number of services they offer to customers. Their push towards serverless which started two years back is now moving to other areas such as containers (AWS Fargate), Data Services (AWS Aurora Serverless), etc.. At Rishidot Research, we deeply believe in higher order abstractions playing a critical role in enterprise IT (we were only of the early believers in PaaS and ran a conference dedicated to it) and we strongly advocate the “serverless” abstractions as the path forward. AWS serverless abstractions other than Lambda is still in early stages and we would expect the services to become even more seamless and autonomic (eg: Without having to describe the limits on resources. AWS should handle that seamlessly with better ways to limit runaway costs)
    • Even though they are slow to push container services and Machine Learning, they are pushing hard in these two areas. AWS Fargate is how container services should be and might provide a competition to many Cars and PaaS vendors in the market. I would characterize their approach to “giving choice to customers” as an underdog marketing approach in areas where they are not a leader in the market. Both containers and ML are areas where mindshare is still not there with AWS. By touting “user choice”, AWS is trying to catch up with other cloud providers
    • One of the criticism I heard from users during AWS Re:Invent 2017 conference is on the interoperability of their services. I would expect AWS to focus on fixing the issues and solving the pain points faced by users of multiple AWS services. I would also like to see Amazon cut down the complexity in the consumption of services. The sheer number of services offered by Amazon makes it a daunting task for decision makers as they plot their strategy. Anything Amazon can do to tame this complexity beast will be helpful. A good example is AWS Fargate service. At Rishidot Research, we believe in the composability of the different layers in the IT stack but it shouldn’t come at the cost of increased complexity to consume the services
    • Both in terms of their service offerings and the customer momentum, AWS has the lead in the market. One trend I observed during the recent Re:Invent is that the size of the IT team makes a difference in organizations going all in with AWS. Large businesses with smaller IT teams are more open to going all in with AWS. If you are an enterprise decision maker wanting to go all in with a single cloud provider, the size of your IT team will impact the decision making process.

    Microsoft Azure

    • Microsoft Azure is steadily increasing their public cloud marketplace. The main Azure development is driven mostly by the existing relationship between Microsoft and the IT decision makers but they are changing minds among OSS developers and the younger generation of developers by a strong OSS push. Being the largest contributor in terms of the number of lines of code (because of .NET being open sourced), Microsoft has gained the critical credibility needed to make Azure palatable to OSS developers. By releasing services like CosmosDB, Microsoft has been working hard to gain developer adoption to Azure cloud services
    • Microsoft may not be a leader in Containers but they are investing heavily in hiring Kubernetes talent. Many pundits (including myself) have linked AWS’s embrace of Kubernetes and CNCF as an indication of standardization around Kubernetes but Microsoft’s investment is critical because they are now in a position to neutralize Google from pushing Kubernetes in a direction suitable for them
    • I would like to see Microsoft focus more on making their services more “serverless”. They have necessary components including service fabric and others to move in that direction. I am expecting some announcements in this direction from Microsoft in the next Build conference
    • Microsoft is still an underdog when it comes to ML and AI workloads. They do have a solid technology to make Azure an attractive destination for such workloads. I am yet to see a coherent go to market strategy in this case
    • With Azure Stack (AS), Microsoft gave a great story for hybrid cloud/edge computing in last year’s Build conference. The use case with Carnival Cruise Line is a perfect example of Azure Stack. The way they are integrating serverless technologies with Azure Stack will make AS an attractive option for edge computing use cases

    Google Cloud

    • After a slow start, Google Cloud got attention through two open source projects, Kubernetes and Tensorflow. With Kubernetes, Google is uniquely positioned to help enterprises “run like Google”. Even though they showcased some customers in last year’s Google Cloud user conference, they are yet to publicly demonstrate continued success with enterprises. I am hoping to see more customers in this year’s conference
    • Even though Google got early momentum with Kubernetes, AWS and Azure have since caught up with Google in terms of both mindshare (in the case of Azure) and market share (in the case of AWS). I would love to see Google showcasing technology that will make their cloud more attractive than both AWS and Microsoft when it comes to container workloads
    • Google cloud is a clear leader in ML and AI workloads on the cloud. They took a more opinionated approach with Tensorflow and it is paying off, mainly due to the success of Tensorflow as an OSS project. They need to demonstrate that they can capitalize on this early success this year
    • Google has an advantage in Big Data services but AWS and Azure are catching up fast

    IBM Cloud

    • IBM started its cloud push much earlier than Oracle and even before Google or Microsoft showed their seriousness towards enterprise adoption of cloud. In spite of their acquisitions around cloud data centers, data services and even DevOps, they are still lagging behind the top three cloud providers in both mindshare and market share (at least, with AWS and Microsoft). More than anything else, there is absolutely no clarity on IBM’s cloud journey. After betting on OpenStack and CloudFoundry early on and, now, Kubernetes, they are yet to demonstrate a clear path towards success in the cloud. In 2018, I expect to see a more coherent cloud story from them
    • IBM Watson was supposed to help IBM gain on cloud computing. Even though there are some customer stories based on Watson and IBM Cloud, we need to hear more in 2018

    Oracle Cloud

    • Oracle was the last to enter infrastructure as a Service business among the top cloud vendors. They are still in early stages even though they have made some announcements related to containers and container orchestration. I expect to see them take a deeper plunge in the Kubernetes ecosystem even though they are yet to demonstrate that they can work well with other vendors in an open source project.
    • They need to shore up higher order services if they have to compete effectively with AWS and Azure. They cannot just rely on their database service as the path to cloud success and they need to compete with AWS on the breadth and depth of higher order services. Looking forward to hearing from them on this topic in 2018

    We are also closely tracking both Alibaba cloud and Huawei cloud. We do notice that Alibaba cloud is fast adding new features but we are waiting to hear from them on their US traction. We will include these two cloud providers in our future analysis.

    Disclosure: AWS, Microsoft and Google paid for travel and stay to attend their user conferences in 2017

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