Analysts Say Kubernetes Is a Services-Building Opportunity for the Channel
As more businesses use cloud computing for applications, storage and more, channel partners are finding new opportunities for helping their customers run and manage services on those clouds. And one of the fastest growing segments of that marketplace, services involving the Kubernetes container orchestration platform, is where channel partners should now be taking a closer look and making investments that will prepare them to help the growing number of customers that are eyeing the technology.
That’s the recommendation of four IT analysts who spoke with Channel Futures at the recent KubeCon CloudNativeCon North America conference in San Diego, where some 12,000 developers, IT executives, vendors, customers and others gathered for a wide range of sessions, keynotes and user panels about Kubernetes.
“Most adoption of Kubernetes and containers has been by application developers so we’re just now getting to the point where this is being considered as tool for general purpose operations,” Tony Iams, an analyst with Gartner, told Channel Futures. “So if a channel partner is building software for anything, then they absolutely have to be thinking about this, if they aren’t already.”
A similar debate was happening some 20 years ago as Linux first started taking off in the enterprise, said Iams. “Of course this is a channel opportunity because someone needs to get the code to work and someone needs to support it.”
For customers, another key benefit of Kubernetes is that it is open source code, which reduces the possibility of vendor lock-in if customers want to move their workloads to different providers at any time, said Iams. “In theory, using open code reduces the barrier to switching because everyone is building on the same upstream code.”
A big change in the Kubernetes marketplace is coming in 2020 as VMware gets more involved in the Kubernetes space with its Project Pacific and Tanzu initiatives, which will essentially see VMware infusing their vSphere virtualization platform with Kubernetes, said Iams.
“You’ll be able to use Kubernetes with the same tooling and processes that you use for VMware vSphere,” he said, which will provide intriguing business opportunities for VMware partners for their midsized and large enterprise customers who use VMware. “You’re going to see a lot more interest in this as an operational technology.”
Kubernetes is a cloud native application that uses containers, microservices and other processes to deploy applications on the cloud that are portable and standards-based.
Another analyst, Larry Carvalho of IDC, said that channel partners can be particularly valuable to their customers by providing Kubernetes services in a marketplace where many companies are finding it difficult to find and hire their own experts in open source software technologies including Kubernetes.
“There is a huge shortage in talent…