Note: This video is part of our monthly series “T3M” aka “TFiR Topic Of The Month”; the topic for January was Cost Cutting vs Cost Efficiency. If you want to participate in the series, please get in touch with us.

Guest: Lukas Gentele (LinkedIn)
Company: Loft Labs (Twitter)

Tighter budgets, layoffs, and hiring freezes have left companies with the same workload, fewer people, and more scrutiny around introducing new services, buying new products, creating a new Kubernetes cluster, and other costs. It is important for companies to find tooling that increases their productivity.

In this episode of TFiR: T3M, Swapnil Bhartiya sits down with Lukas Gentele, Co-Founder and CEO of Loft Labs, to talk about what organizations can do to ensure cost efficiency.

Key highlights of this video interview:

  • Loft Labs’ virtualization technology for Kubernetes essentially helps companies run their Kubernetes infrastructure more efficiently. Instead of running 300 individual clusters with a lot of redundancies, they can now run 1 or 2 clusters and then 300 virtual clusters running on top of it, with shared monitoring, shared logging, shared ingress, etc. Obviously, there’s a much greater savings potential when you can actually share them.
  • With virtual clusters, companies have the ability to turn them off when not in use, e.g., a Kubernetes cluster used for development can be turned off on the weekend.
  • A real Kubernetes cluster with monitoring, logging, etc. running inside of it is much harder to tear down and spin up again within a day. With a virtual cluster, you can literally do it in minutes because it relies on the shared underlying infrastructure on the platform stack.
  • With vcluster, it is easy to spin up a virtual cluster. If something doesn’t work, no need to debug. Just dispose of it and create a new one. With DevSpace, you can essentially streamline your dev workflow. Instead of running manual commands and wasting a lot of time, you can more efficiently build applications directly inside the Kubernetes cluster. The likelihood that the application will run smoothly later on in production is high because you’ve already tested it on Kubernetes.
  • The devspace.yaml file in the repository enables knowledge sharing. More senior developers can codify their procedural knowledge, tips, and tricks so less experienced junior folks can run the same way without actually knowing all of the details under the hood. This will boost team productivity.
  • Case study: A Loft Labs client in Atlanta used to run each one of its 100+ customers in a Kubernetes cluster because its application is cloud native with large workloads and containers through API or UI. That was very expensive. Today, it runs its customers inside virtual clusters rather than real clusters. They literally went down from 100+ real Kubernetes clusters to just one. It now has over 100 virtual clusters running on top of it, which is obviously much more cost-effective.
  • Loft Labs has seen customers reduce costs by as much as 40% by using virtual clusters.
  • Advice for companies to improve performance, stay innovative and cost-effective: catalog all the tools/services that you are purchasing/using and then review them regularly. Companies spin things up and later on lose track of them due to employee churn or restructuring. Ask yourself: do we still need this load balancer? Is that workload still running? What’s going on with that Kubernetes cluster? Which services are we running?
  • Backstage by Spotify is one example of an open-source project that enables this service catalog where you can specify who is working on what and what is part of the service.

This summary was written by Camille Gregory.

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