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KubeCon 2021 Q&A: Spectro Cloud Will Unveil Its 2.0 Platform for Managing Kubernetes


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

Read this exclusive KubeCon pre-show interview between VMblog and Konstantinos Roungeris, Head of Marketing at Spectro Cloud, a provider of a next-gen Kubernetes enterprise management platform that makes it easy for teams to manage the lifecycle of combinations of new and existing Kubernetes environments spanning data centers and the cloud.

spectrocloud logo

VMblog:  As a KubeCon 2021 sponsor, how excited is your company to be back at an in-person trade show event? And is your team prepared for what's to come? Do you anticipate any challenges?

Konstantinos Roungeris:  This is the first on-site Kubecon event in several years now. I think people have had "digital fatigue" for the last few months and we cannot wait to interact with other people: customers, partners, competitors and colleagues!

We recognize that everyone is in a transitional period with moving back to an in-person event. The organizers have been really confident and optimistic about this year's event and so are we.

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?

Roungeris:  Our booth number is S22.

We will be unveiling v2.0 of our platform, a very critical release for us, as it reflects all the work we have been doing with our customers on specific features that we think move the needle for the way that organizations are managing Kubernetes.

We feel that our next-gen Kubernetes management platform is truly best-in-class.Attendees are welcome to swing by and truly challenge us in terms of capabilities and feature depth. We would love to showcase our platform in action.

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

Roungeris:  That's our favorite part too when we are visiting events 😉. We have a great list of swag items. I think the team "went to town" this year, exactly because we feel that this Kubecon is for many reasons a celebration for us. We basically took all the concepts of our marketing and design and just turned them into real things (as in, physical objectives). My favorite one is actually a meme-like T-shirt that is almost a pun on one of my favorite music bands and our company name. Attendees will have to swing by to find out more.

VMblog:  Have you sponsored KubeCon in the past? If so, what is it about this show that keeps you coming back as a sponsor?

Roungeris:  We are a young company but yes we have. KubeCon is a must for us since we live and breathe Kubernetes.

KubeCon is perhaps the biggest and most influential independent event globally in this particular industry segment, where open source meets business-to-business (B2B) solutions. And every year it is getting bigger and better.

Besides the fact that we meet with true aficionados of the space, we are able to talk to users with real implementations and projects that are challenging, interesting, and thought-provoking. As a community meetup there is something almost romantic about coming together to solve problems that relate to the backbone of the way the world is run - software.

Of course, there is also commercial value for being a sponsor. We get to talk to people with real projects about the potential to work together. This can be valuable for any organization, especially for startups like us that aim to disrupt. Kubecon is a great environment to exchange information and network.

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

Roungeris:  I generally find the technology industry and the developments in the last 15 years extremely interesting. The notion that the software world is now progressing via a continuous, "democratized" channel of innovation that we even brand as "community" with "steering committees" and "contributors" is fascinating to me from a macro perspective. Developers and engineers are coming together from all parts of the globe. They are working together to solve problems and exchange valuable intellectual property based on their efforts, which actually belong to no one and everyone at the same time. I personally don't think we would have achieved what we've been able to in any other way. The fact that one of the key attributes that fuels the global economy, software, is actually something that is heavily driven by something that no one really "owns" is a refreshingly positive irony.

KubeCon has exploded over the last few years. I think the key to its success has always been how curated the content was and with a sense of respect to the audience it addresses.

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

Roungeris:  Spectro Cloud is aiming to disrupt the Kubernetes management space. We have a fresh approach to solving very well-known challenges for organizations that embark on this journey and road ahead in terms of containers and Kubernetes management. The whole team, and therefore the product and strategy they are driving toward, is actually aligned on taking a bold stance when it comes to changing the marketplace. This is not just because there is a business opportunity for us, but because we strongly believe that the specific space we are in needs to be challenged and changed, and moved out of status quo.

When it comes to Kubernetes management at scale, we happily welcome the challenge of being compared with any of our competitors. In fact, this is where the success comes from with customers: we usually come in as the underdog and one by one, wind up displacing our competing solutions.

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

Roungeris:  Our mission is to make Kubernetes and therefore containers more accessible and manageable by its users. Kubernetes is still perceived as a "black box" in many cases, as something that only few experts can master and fully understand. This ultimately only hinders application innovation which is the whole reason why Kubernetes exists.

Our message is simple. Modern Kubernetes management should be easier. You don't have to be an expert in Kubernetes management. You can focus instead on building interesting things on top of Kubernetes. Let us help you with the hassle of having to manage them.

In a recent independent study that we conducted with IT executives, two-thirds of them feel that Kubernetes management must provide a balance between usability and flexibility, between enterprise control and developer innovation. Ninety-eight percent (98%) reported challenges with multi-cloud, multi-cluster and enterprise controls for production systems. This is telling us that we should prioritize focusing on solving those problems for users in order to build confidence with technology leaders and practitioners. This is the best way to unlock the potential for Kubernetes, as well as all the wonderful capabilities it can enable. It reflects a new way of building and
connecting services anywhere.

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.

Roungeris:  Spectro Cloud provides a complete and integrated next-gen platform that enables organizations to easily manage the full lifecycle of any combination of new or existing, simple or complex, small or large Kubernetes environments whether in a data center, edge, on bare metal, or in the cloud. We have a unique approach to managing multiple clusters, giving IT teams complete control, visibility and production-scale efficiencies to provide developers highly-curated Kubernetes stacks and tools based on their specific needs, with granular governance and enterprise-grade security.

We believe we have an answer on how to easily deploy and manage Kubernetes in production without giving up on flexibility or control. Our goal is to enable our customers in their Kubernetes adoption journey and accelerate their container-based application innovation by making the underlying management complexity invisible to users.

The key to addressing those challenges is enabling true repeatability. Similar to the foundational thinking behind CliQr, the company that our executive team founded and then later sold to Cisco, with Spectro Cloud, our unique approach is around enabling different teams (e.g., IT operations teams, developer teams, site reliability engineers) to to automate all configuration processes and treat every cluster the same. This includes new or existing clusters, and clusters in the data center, edge, on bare metal or in the cloud, regardless of the technology provider or platform host. Our approach entails the creation of "Cluster Profiles,". These effectively reflect an image or blueprint of the "desired" state for every cluster being managed (new or existing, irrespective of where that is hosted).

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

Roungeris:  Our platform is based on a true full-stack approach to declarative management. This means that as opposed to our competition, our platform doesn't only look after your Kubernetes infrastructure, but also all the add-on application services that your developers need. This ensures 0 configuration drift and support across the complete lifecycle of operations with pre-validated and tested stacks, designed to always stay as you define them.

It is ideal for multi-cluster, multi-cloud and multi-distro deployments. There are lock-in or opinionated stacks as opposed to lots of other similar solutions, our platform works with everything from a Kubernetes point of view. You can choose from the repository or bring your own mix of layers. We just make sure it works and with enterprise governance controls, you can enable multiple departments across any location: data centers, cloud infrastructure-as-a-service, cloud managed Kubernetes services, edge and bare metal environments. You can also import your existing Kubernetes stacks from clouds or even from other container platforms.

It is completely flexible, but with all the enterprise features for at scale production environments: extensive cost visibility and optimization, granular role-based access control (self-healing and others) Unlike other solutions, we are really big helping organizations on day 2 operations; this is when things usually go wrong with Kubernetes.

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?

Roungeris:  We would like to be perceived as the new kid on the Kubernetes management block that is here to stay and disrupt the market. We have some unique features and we believe no one can do Kubernetes-as-a-Service, bare metal Kubernetes and multi-cluster fleet management better than us.

When it comes to benefits we are of course all about streamlining operations - basically less time, less cost, less risk. Every other provider will claim the same. One additional angle and huge benefit when it comes to working with us is that we are flexible to work with customers on common use cases, bring in other technology partners and implement features to support their unique use cases. So our message to those interested would be to try us!

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?

Roungeris:  As mentioned, we are unveiling our version 2.0 of our platform, giving it a name and presenting all the features that we have been working hard with customers to develop. Besides an updated brand and overall experience, we are packaging features that support the future of Kubernetes use cases and implementations.

One of the things that we would love to talk about, coming out of a recent announcement we made this summer about a key open source contribution that we made, is the way our platform now supports bare metal Kubernetes stacks. This has been a challenge for many teams and it is a big issue that we see for a growing number of organizations. Bare metal can and will unlock many new use cases for Kubernetes. It truly frees applications to access infrastructure capabilities in such a more efficient way. Up until today, bare metal Kubernetes was only seen as a challenge for the brave: with this new unique release, we aim to make it real for so many users of our platform.

VMblog:  There will be plenty of interesting topics covered during the KubeCon keynotes and breakout sessions. But can you take this opportunity to share your own thoughts about any big changes or directions you see for this industry? What trends do you see?

Roungeris:  We like to say, "If software is eating the world, open source and containers are eating the software world". The amount of innovation that has come out of the open source community has been staggering: this indicates where the technology industry is going (at least when it comes to the application explosion we have been experiencing in this last decade).

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?

Roungeris:  KubeCon is 100% worth it! It is THE must-go-to event in the tech industry. Just the fact that it is effectively a huge open source community meetup with primarily educational scope, distinguishes it from other events. The content workshops, labs and events at Kubecon are always a great place to start even if one is new to the technology space.


Published Tuesday, October 12, 2021 7:31 AM by David Marshall
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