Guest: Billy Thompson (LinkedIn)
Company: Akamai (Twitter) | Linode (LinkedIn, Twitter)

Many organizations have trouble getting started with Kubernetes because they perceive it to be too complex, too expensive, and simply overwhelming. There are many providers and platforms available, but choosing the right one is also a struggle. Linode aims to lower the barrier to entry with its fully managed container orchestration engine.

In this episode of TFiR Let’s Talk recorded at the KubeCon in Detroit, Swapnil Bhartiya sits down with Billy Thompson, Solutions Engineering Manager at Akamai, to discuss the pain points of adopting Kubernetes and how Linode Kubernetes Engine (LKE) is helping to address these challenges.

Key highlights of this video interview:

  • Thompson believes that the majority of people at KubeCon are new to Kubernetes, and they come to explore the possibilities of adopting it. This could be in terms of looking for a solution to a problem or just to future-proof their success in the cloud.
  • At the event, Akamai Linode had a booth and it sponsored a workshop by Nigel Poulton, author and trainer that has helped over a million students get started with containers and Kubernetes.
  • One of the pain points of Kubernetes is the high barrier to entry: many can find it complex and overwhelming. Thompson says it is an orchestration engine so it does things for you. He recommends that people start small and not get caught up in thinking it is difficult to learn, it is just something new.
  • Linode Kubernetes Engine is a production-ready, mature product. It is an easy-to-use, cost-effective way of running Kubernetes. It can be deployed through their CLI tool, their REST API, Python, and GoLang libraries, and through their TerraForm provider.
  • Production workload use cases of LKE include education platforms, IoT, big data, AdTech, SaaS products, and serverless computing.
  • Thompson is seeing an increase of security in Kubernetes, with more talk around network and security policies in videos, training, courses, and tutorials. There is a Kubernetes certification just for security, which people are pursuing sooner than they are getting certified in Kubernetes application development.
  • In the native ecosystem, people have to develop their applications to make them work with products on cloud platforms, but Thompson feels it should be the opposite: people should develop their applications the way they want to and cloud providers should be providing tools to work with the applications. Linode provides people the flexibility, portability, control over the entire application lifecycle, and not have to change anything to make it work.
  • The advantage of the cloud is scale and cost-effectiveness; however, the hyperscalers make it expensive. Some find that migrating to the cloud is actually more expensive than co-locating a data center. Talent shortage also makes it more difficult for companies to move to the cloud, requiring more expertise.
  • Linode aims to lower the barrier to entry by simplifying the Kubernetes adoption process and offering affordable pricing, which does not change depending on the region. Thompson adds that they give everyone lightning-fast NVMe block storage, which is simple and easy to use.

The summary of the show is written by Emily Nicholls.

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