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KubeCon 2021 Q&A: CloudNatix Explores the Event and Its Hyperscale-grade DevOps Automation Platform


KubeCon + CloudNativeCon 2021 - Another Successful Event.  Were you in attendance?  Did you meet with CloudNatix?

With the conclusion of another very successful KubeCon | CloudNativeCon event, VMblog had the pleasure to follow up with Somik Behera, Co-Founding Head of Products at CloudNatix.

CloudNatix Logo


VMblog:  To kick things off, 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.

Somik Behera:  CloudNatix has created a hyperscale-grade DevOps automation platform that dramatically improves the efficiency of cloud and on-prem infrastructure operations. It's the first platform in a category of ‘planet-scale cluster managers', delivered as a service.

The CloudNatix platform monitors infrastructure utilization and automates optimization across multiple cloud providers, VMs and containers, on prem and in the cloud. Our enterprise-grade solution (including HA, monitoring, etc.) delivers a level of DevOps automation only seen in hyperscale tech companies for their internal operations. Using this platform, our customers have been able to reduce infrastructure spend by as much as 50%. At the same time, with a single management pane, Developer and DevOps teams can manage legacy and container / microservice-based applications in a more cohesive and scalable fashion.

There's a basket of technologies loosely known as Autopilot that Google and other hyperscalers use to improve cluster efficiency, reduce human toil by SREs and improve the productivity of developers by freeing them to do more useful work. Google has published several resources on the concept of Autopilot, and we're building The Autopilot community to help share knowledge of how enterprises operating at planet scale can benefit from it.

VMblog:  Share your thoughts about any big changes or directions you saw emerge at KubeCon last week?

Behera:  As we see it, almost every enterprise with a global footprint will inevitably move to multi cloud native applications. This approach-leveraging containerized applications and microservices architecture in production across multiple Kubernetes clusters running in clouds spanning multiple geographies-was pioneered by hyperscale IaaS players like Google, AWS, Microsoft Azure and others. Then webscale innovators like Doordash, Uber, and Twitter followed suit, and now customers expect that same kind of instant experience from others too. Enterprises that want to deliver rapid software iteration across a global footprint are next to adopt the multi cloud native approach.

Once we're operating multi cloud native apps, however, we inevitably run into new challenges. For example, how do we perform autoscaling, self healing, disaster recovery, operations management, and cost optimization when we're running across multiple clusters, multiple regions, multiple clouds?  CloudNatix's notion of planet-scale cluster management addresses this problem by aggregating clusters and using logical services that span clusters.

VMblog:  What do you think are some of the biggest issues facing this industry right now?

Behera:  Cloud spend (and waste) is emerging as our industry's greatest challenge. It's a concern at start-ups and newly public companies alike. Analysts have estimated that the total waste is $50 billion or more. It's this issue of cloud waste and unmanageability that we at CloudNatix are here to solve for our customers.

VMblog:  And finally, how did cloud waste become such a big problem?

Behera:  The majority of mainstream enterprises have adopted cloud, they've expanded its use, and they're grappling with the challenges around multi-tenancy, security, DevSecOps, and governance. Hand in hand with this goes a whole new set of challenges around cost management. Suddenly, enterprises are faced with managing the variable costs of public cloud infrastructure: optimizing compute infrastructure, utilization, and capacity to rein in cloud spend. Most companies have underutilized on-prem infrastructure too.

Sarah Wang and Martin Cassado addressed this issue head on in their research on the Trillion-Dollar Paradox. As they explain, the cloud provides flexibility for startups, but as companies grow and scale, cloud costs can balloon, and the pressure this puts on margins can start to outweigh the benefits. This is particularly true for larger enterprises managing big, diverse, global fleets of cloud infrastructure. The hyperscale IaaS providers (Amazon, Google and Microsoft) have figured out how to optimize their own infrastructure, and enterprises are going to have to do the same.


Somik Behera is the Co-Founding Head of Products at CloudNatix, a company building an efficient Planet-Scale Cluster Manager . Prior, Somik helped lead product management at D2iQ and Nicira, and he was an early engineer at VMware. Somik holds a Bachelors in Computer Science from The University of Texas at Austin and has completed graduate work in Management Sciences & Engineering from Stanford University. Somik holds 10+ patents and patents pending in the fields of cloud infrastructure and SDN.

Published Monday, October 18, 2021 7:43 AM by David Marshall
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