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Rafay 2022 Predictions: The KubeMaster - Coming to IT Departments in 2022

vmblog predictions 2022 

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The KubeMaster - Coming to IT Departments in 2022

By Haseeb Budhani, CEO of Rafay

IT complexity has been on the rise for some time and is not showing any signs of slowing down. Over the past year, cloud technology continued to evolve and cloud use grew - the average organization is using 100 different cloud applications in 2021. Hybrid cloud adoption, already increasing before the COVID-19 pandemic, is becoming even more established with at least 82% of enterprises having deployed a hybrid cloud in their organization. Multi-cloud can't be left out of this equation either, with enterprises typically using around eight clouds from multiple vendors.

These complex cloud environments have led to the use of containers, with Kubernetes as the main way to orchestrate them. Unfortunately, while Kubernetes was created to make the management of modern cloud applications easier, it is incredibly difficult to manage in and of itself. For example, to deploy and manage a single application in a data center requires a working familiarity with a Kubernetes distribution and working integrations with a number of supporting systems and enterprise software including code registries, CI/CD, secrets management, storage management, networking, logging and monitoring, and more. In a hybrid cloud infrastructure, the overhead continues to mount.

This rapid growth in cloud adoption combined with insurmountable complexity means not every Kubernetes implementation is successful, and some misconfigurations have even led to security breaches and significant application downtime. Overwhelmed teams with little training add fuel to the fire, putting implementations farther behind as Kubernetes management becomes more difficult. In order to address all of this, 2022 will see a new role emerge in the enterprise- the Kubernetes Manager (aka KubeMaster). This is a job function that more companies will need as operating and managing Kubernetes becomes a significantly larger part of engineering operations.

What is a KubeMaster?

Similar to a Webmaster for websites, the KubeMaster is an expert in the overall management and operation of a Kubernetes environment. KubeMasters need to be experts in several areas related to containers, security, development and more. Some of the minimum requirements of the job include:

  • Application development operations - a KubeMaster needs to understand how developers work and the tools they use to build and deploy modern apps. This can include code registries, continuous integration (CI) tools and GitOps-powered deployment best practices.
  • Kubernetes cluster operations - KubeMasters need to know how to manage and organize applications in clusters, provision and upgrade clusters and connect them to the ecosystem.
  • Security - it is one thing to be aware of secrets management for applications and its components, but many KubeMasters will also need to know how to properly secure the Kubernetes infrastructure itself. This includes SSO and RBAC for all kubectl commands and other critical Kubernetes components.
  • Compliance - compliance includes knowing regulatory and policy issues, how to meet protection requirements, and how to meet compliance requirements for all of the entities the IT system interacts with. It will also be necessary for the KubeMaster to be able to support compliance audits.
  • Monitoring and logging - the entities that make up clusters managed by Kubernetes create overwhelming amounts of logging information. Infrastructure equipment and other parts of local and remote clouds also generate massive amounts of data. A KubeMaster must know how to manage all of this data and where to get support for the reporting systems.

Some enterprises began instituting KubeMaster positions in 2021, and this trend will continue in 2022. As the need for KubeMasters grows, I believe that qualified people will naturally step up to the plate to provide the above services. A KubeMaster will come at a high cost, but their expertise is mission-critical and well worth it. It probably won't be long until we see KubeMaster titles showing up on business cards and LinkedIn profiles. 



Haseeb Budhani 

Haseeb Budhani is co-founder and CEO of Rafay Systems. His passion is solving hard networking problems with elegant, cost-effective solutions. Prior to co-founding Rafay, Haseeb founded and was the CEO of Soha Systems, which was acquired by Akamai Technologies and previously held positions at Infineta Systems, NET and Citrix Systems.

Published Wednesday, November 17, 2021 7:29 AM by David Marshall
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