As the Top 5 corporate committer to the Kubernetes Project in 2019, Kubermatic develops Kubermatic Kubernetes Platform to accelerate the cloud native transformation. We talked with Sebastian Scheele, CEO and Co-founder of Kubermatic about the company, Kubermatic Kubernetes Platform, KubeOne, and KubeCarrier.
What is Kubermatic? What made you build the company?
Kubermatic stands for ‘Kubernetes Automatic’ and that is exactly what we want to achieve: full automation of Kubernetes and cloud-native operations across multi-cloud, data centers, and edge and IoT environments. We develop open core software that empowers IT teams to quickly transform towards a cloud-native stack while at the same time eliminating as much manual intervention as possible.
When we founded Kubermatic in 2016, the cloud-native community was still a rather small circle and people would be discussing whether Kubernetes, Docker Swarm or Mesos would make the race. We were convinced of the huge potential of Kubernetes but felt that it was far too complex. So we founded Kubermatic to make Kubernetes as boring as possible.
When was Kubernetes first used? Tell us about your success story, please.
We used Kubernetes right from the start and launched our core software Kubermatic Kubernetes Platform (KKP) in early 2017. Only a couple of weeks later, the first customer was in production with a dozen of Kubernetes clusters on AWS. Today, that does not seem like a large installation anymore, but at that time that was a huge. Meanwhile, you can easily deploy and manage thousands of clusters with Kubermatic Kubernetes Platform.
How does Kubermatic help the enterprises which need to develop their own cloud-native platforms?
First, we would recommend building your own cloud-native platform from scratch. From what we have seen over the past years, Build Your Own approaches are error-prone and result in long time-to-market and high maintenance effort. The contrary to what you want to have with accelerating digitization sitting in your neck.
The cloud-native community has built so many great tools and platforms that are production-proven and developed by leading cloud-native experts. The problem is just that this cloud-native landscape is incredibly vast and complex. We help enterprises to reduce this complexity and navigate through the landscape to find the best possible solution for their specific use case.
Can you tell us about your three core products: Kubermatic Kubernetes Platform, KubeOne, and KubeCarrier.
With our open-source portfolio, we want to help IT teams facilitate their Kubernetes operations at every step of their cloud-native transformation.
KubeOne deploys and manages single Kubernetes clusters on any infrastructure and is in particular suitable for small Kubernetes installations or edge scenarios.
Kubermatic Kubernetes Platform centralizes and automates the deployment and management of up to thousands of Kubernetes clusters across multi-cloud, multi-cluster, edge, and IoT environments. It is designed for teams in need of a single pane of glass for large Kubernetes set-ups in complex enterprise environments.
The latest project KubeCarrier brings the whole experience we gained from building KubeOne and Kubermatic Kubernetes Platform to the service and application layer. With KubeCarrier, we develop a framework to centralize and automate the management of services and applications across multiple Kubernetes clusters and multiple environments.
We know that Kubermatic is a top 5 corporate contributor to the Kubernetes Project. What kind of contributions do you provide?
We leave our team a lot of freedom when it comes to contributing to open source. We have the core contributors to the Kubernetes dashboard as well as one of the Kubernetes Release Managers in our team. Moreover, we were pretty active in the Cluster API SIG. And then, this all adds up.
Kubermatic hosts the largest Container Conference in Europe after KubeCon. How did Covid-19 affect the event? What is the future of ContainerDays?
Unfortunately, we had to cancel ContainerDays this year. For summer 2021, we currently plan to have a virtual or hybrid conference. But in general, we prefer in-person networking and exchange over virtual experiences, so the future of ContainerDays is definitely a real-world one.
Recently, you’ve published Kubermatic Kubernetes Platform 2.15. What is new with the new version?
The two highlight improvements we did with this release was the introduction of external cluster support and the new KKP installer. With external cluster support, operators can now connect their existing Kubernetes clusters to KKP and manage them together with the KKP clusters from one central management platform which is pretty cool. The new installer has taken us quite some time and effort but really facilitates the installation process, so the community now benefits from a much better installation experience.
What are your plans for 2021?
Currently, I see a huge potential for cloud-native edge computing and am sure that Kubernetes will be key in shaping this extremely dynamic and exciting ecosystem. We will definitely contribute our part to bring Kubernetes to the edge.