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KubeCon 2021 Q&A: Linode Showcases the Linode Kubernetes Engine with Horizontal Pod Autoscaling and Other New Roadmap Features

KubeCon-2021-QA 

KubeCon + CloudNativeCon 2021.  Will you be in attendance?  If so, VMblog invites you to swing by and check out the Linode booth in the sponsor showcase.

Read this exclusive KubeCon pre-show interview between VMblog and Hillary Wilmoth, Director of Product Marketing at Linode.  Linode accelerates innovation by making cloud computing simple, accessible and affordable to all.  Founded in 2003, Linode helped pioneer the cloud computing industry and is today the largest independent open cloud provider in the world. 

linode logo 

VMblog:  How can people find you at the show this year?  Can you give VMblog readers a sneak peek as to what you will be showing off at your booth?  What should attendees expect to see and hear at your booth?

Hillary Wilmoth:  You can find Linode at booth S78m during the show. We'll be showing off our managed Kubernetes service, Linode Kubernetes Engine, as well as our most recent enhancement to it, horizontal pod autoscaling. Folks at the show can also see what's next on our product roadmap, and learn more about the training resources we offer for anyone getting started with containers.

VMblog:  Attendees always enjoy a good trade show tchotchke. Are you giving away any prizes at your booth or participating in any prize giveaways?

Wilmoth:  Linode is very well known for our conference shirts (so soft!). We hate to disappoint, so this year's shirt features a custom KubeCon design whipped up by our amazing creative team. We're also handing out exclusive Kubecon sticker packs, blue-light glasses, and $100/90 day credits to try out Linode Kubernetes Engine.

VMblog:  What keeps you coming back to KubeCon as a sponsor?

Wilmoth:  It all comes down to community. Not just the keynotes and other sessions, but the camaraderie and energy that is generated by everyone that is part of the Kubernetes ecosystem. We return each year because CNCF and the KubeCon organizers create an immersive atmosphere for developers and users to learn more about cloud native technologies, for our engineering team members to expand their own education, and for our partner and business development teams to engage one-on-one with the community.

VMblog:  What do you attribute to the success and growth of this industry and the KubeCon event itself?

Wilmoth:  Interest in Kubernetes keeps growing and, likewise, the event where the industry that surrounds it comes together does, too. This growth is partly the result of Kubernetes moving beyond the traditional audience of infrastructure developers and more into the mainstream IT world. The growth of managed services around Kubernetes, like Linode Kubernetes Engine, has really helped here. We, and others, are making it easier for developers to build and run containerized applications, which has helped more customers see how to benefit from Kubernetes for themselves. As for KubeCon's growth, it is an example of a vibrant, healthy ecosystem.

VMblog:  What are you most interested in hearing about at this year's KubeCon event?

Wilmoth:  As exciting as Kubernetes' growth has been, it is still developing. The topic of staying up to date on versions and the current variances in this process will be interesting to hear more about at the conference.

VMblog:  What are some of the reasons why you believe a KubeCon attendee should add you to their MUST SEE list?

Wilmoth:  Because we not only built Linode Kubernetes Engine to be one of the easiest ways to get started with Kubernetes, but because we designed it to be easy on your budget, too. 

With Linode Kubernetes Engine, you only pay for the Linode servers, NodeBalancers, and Block Storage services that you consume. You don't pay a penny for your cluster's master services. Each Linode Kubernetes Engine cluster comes with a complimentary control plane - including API, scheduler, etcd, and resource controllers. That is a big differentiator for a managed service. Our approach makes it easier to get started, so you can make Kubernetes work for you.

VMblog:  How does your company or product fit within the container, cloud, Kubernetes ecosystem?

Wilmoth:  There are a number of management platforms in the market designed to simplify Kubernetes. Yet, most of them aren't simple at all. They were built in a rush to get into the early Kubernetes wave and instead of making things simple, they added complexity by leaving developers with too many options to navigate on their own. They also added cost, because developers often didn't need all of the bells and whistles that came with them.

Our mission as a company is to make the cloud simpler, affordable, and accessible to all. It's the approach we took when we built our own managed service around Kubernetes. Rather than bombarding developers with an overload of features, we give them the option to pull in the integrations and customizations that they see fit. And then we priced the service with a predictable price model.

VMblog:  Can you give us the high-level rundown of your company's technology offerings?  Explain to readers who you are, what you do, what problems you solve, etc.

Wilmoth:  We've been around since the dawn of cloud computing. Over the years, roughly one million developers and companies have trusted Linode as their cloud provider for their innovative projects, applications, and businesses. That trust is something we don't take lightly. We do one thing and we do one thing very well: cloud infrastructure. As the world's largest independent infrastructure provider, we serve our customers, not investors or shareholders.

We're an alternative to the big hyperscale providers. We offer the same core cloud services, are built on the same hardware, and have data centers located around the world. In fact, according to studies by Cloud Spectator, Linode outperforms many of these larger players on the important measure of price-performance. And we're the only cloud provider that provides 24x7x365, human support for all of our customers.

We provide much needed choice for developers, small businesses, and multicloud enterprises to find the best fit for their applications and data.

VMblog:  And while talking about your products, can you give readers a few examples of how your offerings are unique?  What are your differentiators?

Wilmoth:  We provide a wide range of cloud computing services that the majority of software developers and companies can use. From services like compute, block storage, and object storage through to managed Kubernetes services and cloud-based GPUs, we offer the tools for developers to build their applications and get going quickly.

While the compute, storage, and networking may be similar, we differ from other providers in two vital areas: support and pricing.

We're unique in that we provide free, 24/7/365, human support for all our customers. And we make sure that any issue is dealt with by the same person from beginning to end. It's that attention to detail around support that really sets us apart from other cloud providers, where you struggle to get someone on the phone unless your spend is in the millions. We think everybody should benefit from the cloud, and we over-invest in support to make sure this happens.

The other big difference is our approach to pricing. Each service we offer costs the same wherever you run your service -- whether in our data center in Atlanta, our data center in Mumbai, or any of the 11 data centers we operate globally. Additionally, we include generous data transfer allowances, services that others cost out separately like cloud firewalls and DDoS protection, and we constantly upgrade our network and cloud infrastructure so customers get the best service at the same cost. For example, we are moving all our block storage to NVMe across all our locations, and customers will get a significant boost in performance for the same price. We think that is what our customers want to get from their cloud provider - better service, predictable pricing, and continuous improvement in how they can perform.

VMblog:  If an attendee likes what they see and hear at your booth, what message about your product can you send them back with to sell their boss on your technology?

Wilmoth:  Containerization and Kubernetes can be confusing / daunting / challenging (insert word here that may talk you out of trying it), but there are solutions out there that make it easier for your DevOps and Development teams to work with fully stable, scalable, and efficient applications without a lot of manual intervention. Our team makes sure Linode Kubernetes Engine is right for you, your architecture, and your application, and invests the time to help you figure it out.

If you're already using Kubernetes, great! We'd like to introduce you to how alternative providers like Linode are making it easier and more cost efficient to run applications that are highly available.

VMblog:  Normally at the KubeCon event, sponsors are showcasing new products or new product updates and features for the first time.  Do you have anything new that you've either recently announced or plan to discuss in more detail at the event?  Can we get a sneak peek?

Wilmoth:  The Linode Kubernetes Engine was released at KubeCon two years ago, so we're very happy to be back with our new feature, horizontal pod autoscaling, and a roadmap including Kubernetes dashboards, and high availability control plane. If you'd like to be one of the first to test any of our roadmap items, sign up for our beta program.

VMblog:  At what stage do you feel we are at with regard to containers?  Is there anything still holding it back?  Or keeping it from a wider distribution? 

Wilmoth:  There is still some fear on how to get started with containers, or how to transition from a monolithic application into one supported by containers. And that fear leads to delayed adoption of a beneficial ecosystem of technology. It can be difficult to get over the hump and start adapting existing apps for Kubernetes or to incorporate it into your development process, but it's worth it in the end.

VMblog:  What would you say to prospective attendees who are thinking about attending KubeCon but aren't sure if it's worth it or not?

Wilmoth:  Aside from the swag being top notch, the educational opportunities are really there across the board for developers to start designing their own applications or infrastructure ideas using Kubernetes. The sponsors promoting new tech that supports Kubernetes also have a lot to offer, like a managed Kubernetes service for example that can help you achieve excellent cost efficiencies and performance improvements. Even if you take one idea back that can be evaluated or incorporated into your process, that may pay for the cost of admission.

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Published Friday, October 08, 2021 10:16 AM by David Marshall
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