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KubeCon 2021 Q&A: Platform9 Will Showcase Their Latest Managed Kubernetes Products - Focusing on Multicloud and Edge


KubeCon + CloudNativeCon 2021.  Are you in attendance?  If so, VMblog invites you to swing by and check out the Platform9 booth in the sponsor showcase.

Read this exclusive KubeCon interview between VMblog and Sirish Raghuram, co-founder and CEO of Platform9, a leader in multi-cloud Kubernetes-as-a-Service. Platform9 makes it easy for enterprises to operate and scale private, edge, or hybrid clouds with its industry-first SaaS management plane for Kubernetes.


platform9 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?

Sirish Raghuram:  We are extremely excited to be back for the in-person event. A good number of our staff are attending the physical event and many will be participating virtually. We are also gearing up the virtual booth with office hours and content/collateral for the virtual environment.

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?

Raghuram:  We can be found at booth G15 where we are showing off our latest Platform9 Managed Kubernetes product demos at the booth. Our focus is on two main areas this year: Multicloud and Edge. Our backwall theme talks about how Platform9 provides public cloud simplicity while providing the full control and flexibility of DIY (do it yourself) implementations. Platform9 provides the freedom for customers to use any infrastructure, any cloud, and any location, for full control, while providing a fully-managed experience that includes  proactive support, monitoring, alerting, and troubleshooting etc.


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

Raghuram:  We are giving away the iPhone 13 as part of a survey participants drawing and $50 gift cards drawings everyday when attendees interact with us or consume our content (videos, solution briefs, eBooks etc).

VMblog:  You've sponsored KubeCon in the past.  What is it about the show that keeps you coming back as a sponsor?

Raghuram:  Yes, we have sponsored KubeCon in the past. We continue to come back to KubeCon as a sponsor because, as a full-fledged Kubernetes-based company, all of our solutions and products are powered by Kubernetes and other related cloud-native software in that ecosystem such as EFK, Prometheus, etc.

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

Raghuram:  It's driven by the adoption of Kubernetes itself and the increasing use of containers in the industry. As companies move toward large scale cloud-native architecture and implementations, Kubernetes will be their de-facto standard choice. However, Kubernetes by itself doesn't solve all the enterprise challenges like management of security, edge, multi-cluster, multi-cloud, etc. The community is vibrant and incubating a number of projects to address all of these challenges.

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

Raghuram:  We are looking forward to hearing about Kubernetes adoption in various industries and for various use cases, especially around multi-cloud and edge deployments, and how enterprises are solving real-world production challenges. In addition, we are interested in which community projects are gaining traction and why.

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

Raghuram:  With more than 40,000 nodes under management across edge, private, and cloud infrastructure, Platform9 has earned the expertise and experience to help KubeCon attendees learn about how to be successful with the most demanding operational challenges they are facing, or will likely face, once they enter large-scale production. If the attendee has a telco 5g, retail store, or multi-cloud use case, we can explain how we are helping some large service providers and enterprises roll out successful implementations.

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.

Raghuram:  We are a fully-managed Kubernetes-as-a-Service (KaaS) for multi-cloud, edge, and on-premises infrastructure. Our KaaS offers the simplicity of public cloud consumption with the control of DIY. Customers can bring their own public cloud accounts or on-premises/edge infrastructure, plug it in to our KaaS, and start building their container applications. Platform9 handles all the heavy-lifting of keeping the clusters up and running 24/7 with 99.9% uptime.

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

Raghuram:  In addition to delivering KaaS on any infrastructure of customer choice, we provide the industry's only day-2 operations with closed loop automation as seen in the following diagram. The outcome for the customer is peace of mind, high uptime, always-available Kubernetes expertise, and white-glove partnership experience. When a customer's k8s cluster fails at 2 am, Platform9 notices it and takes proactive action to remediate it oftentimes without the customer involvement. Customers tell us that Platform9 feels like an extension of their team covering their back with in-depth K8s expertise and knowledge about their environment with a mature KaaS that's been battle tested at scale within large enterprises like Juniper, Maviner, Cloudera, RedFin, and Kingfisher.


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?

Raghuram:  The message should be how Platform9 offloads the operational complexity of Kubernetes with our software and people (who are all 100% certified Kubernetes admins), no matter where the user wants it running, so they can focus on their applications and business while saving on cost and effort to run Kubernetes itself.

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?

Raghuram:  Yes, recently we launched our software-defined retail solution, designed to help retailers accelerate the rollout of store applications and improve digital experiences for consumers. The solution enables retailers to centrally manage store IT with a converged infrastructure stack. We also announced how retail AI startup Norna reduced cloud costs by 50% and lowered its total cost of operations (TCO) by 78% after implementing this product offering. 

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? 

Raghuram:  Containers are clearly taking off. Adoption varies based on industry and use case, but those who have adopted it are all in. However, the vast majority of enterprises are still testing the waters. What is holding the adoption back the most is a lack of availability of skills, the effort and time required to containerize existing applications, and just the sheer complexity of adopting and operating a new technology like Kubernetes and all its associated components.

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?

Raghuram:  We see a massive trend towards distributed clouds. Customers are not just going to be running their workloads on hyperscale public cloud infrastructure. There is a critical  shift happening in the edge with a variety of use cases in telco 5g, media/CDN, connected cars, smart cities, smart factories etc. In addition, private cloud technologies have matured to the point where you can run them cost-effectively on-premises as well.

VMblog:  Do you have any tips for first time attendees that you'd like to share?

Raghuram:  The show can be overwhelming because of its scope and size. Plan ahead on exactly what areas you want to focus on and make it a priority to attend those sessions, visit the vendors who focus on those areas, and be sure to leave the show fully educated so that you can make good decisions for your business.

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?

Raghuram:  If you want to stay relevant in the technology space in the next 10 years, this is a must-attend event. This is where the industry is heading. 


Published Wednesday, October 13, 2021 7:34 AM by David Marshall
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