In this webinar, Redapt experts Vishnu Arunachalam and Matt Francis discuss how your enterprise can leverage Kubernetes on-premises or in the hybrid cloud with Dell EMC and Google Anthos.
Welcome to Redapt's Deployed Managed Kubernetes with Dell EMC, and Google Anthos webinar. I am Sarah Jones, and I am with Redapt Marketing, and I'll be helping host today. So let's just jump in. Why you're here: you want to modernize your IT to stay competitive, you need solutions to the challenges your IT teams face, and you want to learn more about the options available to you.
Today, we have our Redapt experts Matt Francis and Vishnu on the line. We'll be speaking with both of them throughout the webinar today. Matt has 20 years of experience in the IT industry with the past 7 years spent working hands-on with customers to adopt HCI platforms and 5 years, implementing persistent storage solutions for Kubernetes for clients. Vishnu specializes in IT leadership with extensive experience in strategy and organizational development, project management, system integration enterprise, cloud architecture, business intelligence, and much more. I will hand it over to Matt, and Vishnu.
We'll quickly go over the agenda in terms of what we'll be covering today, and then we'll dive into some of the details in itself. So the first thing that we want to start off is just to give a lay of the land in terms of what we're doing today, and what is the state of the industry in itself. So, I'll talk a little bit about some of the goals and some of the challenges that the CEOs and CIOs are facing today as part of that section. Once we have an understanding of the goals and some of the challenges, then we'll be diving more into some of the solution aspect of it, and helping you with ideas around how some of the modern development practices, and technologies such as Kubernetes, or Google Anthos, and Dell EMC infrastructure could help in solving some of those challenges that you might have. And then we'll follow through with some examples in terms of how we've implemented Anthos for some of our customers and also talk about some of the benefits that you can see within your organization and finally how Redapt, as an organization can partner with you and help in the long term.
Here's the lay of the land: in terms of how we understand, and where things stand in itself and these are numbers that we've pulled out from McKinsey Digital, the survey that they did in the July of 2019. And three of these numbers, it sounded very interesting to us, and so we kind of pop them up here, so we can have a discussion around this and that again indicates the state of the industry in itself. So, when we look at the top three things in a CEO's minds, 88% of them are looking at accelerating revenue, and this is across all industries. Whether it is a large enterprise who is focused on growing their revenue, or a small startup who is basically trying to get into the market and grow their revenue footprint as well.
We're seeing that larger enterprises are trying to innovate constantly, and bring back new revenue streams. It could be new product ideas or growing their existing customer base, even penetrating into new geographies or get into a new demography. All of these are great ideas and they are trying to innovate and stay on top of the curve in itself. And in a similar fashion, when you look at small startups, they're trying to disrupt these larger companies, example industries we can see is in communication, insurance, finance and hospitality. These are the Uber's of the world, we're trying to figure out how do I disrupt an industry that's been in existence for a long time, and to get a revenue acceleration going on in these areas. And quite often, what we find out in today's landscape is these ideas are more digital in nature and the CIOs are partnering with the CEOs towards achieving these revenue accelerations.
The second number that we're seeing is about 71% of them are looking at improving agility and speed to market. Now that we've established digital is a key area where they're focused on terms of driving revenue, agility becomes more important within the competitive landscape. The quicker you can bring features to the market is more important. And that's today visible in our COVID landscape, what we're facing right now as well. Agility is required in terms of how to find the next vaccine, and also around the technology side, in terms of how can we implement the best contact tracing capabilities that can be available, and who can be the first to get the market there. So agility becomes more important and defining for some of these businesses, especially around the healthcare side of things. So the bottom line is how can I get things done quickly? So that's something that's on top of the CEOs minds.
So the landscape has changed. It is not about releasing that one perfect product, but it is more about how quickly can I adapt my product to any of the changing users and demands. So that's how CEOs are thinking today and is my team, is my platform, is my product capable of doing that in itself is something that is going on in their minds. And it is not only about success. It is also about if I'm failing can I fail fast. Do I have clear metrics to understand that I'm failing and so I can pivot and take a different direction? Because of the larger number of ideas that I can experiment on. There is always this inclination towards starting small, but not having any growing pains, when I want to shoot back. How do I address those challenges? And how I basically get back kind of an agility. And largely how do I enable automation across my entire organization so I can get speed to market and to get that agility working as well?
So that's again, a key goal for a lot of those CEOs that we are seeing today, which is again, in consensus with what we're seeing with what McKinsey's reporting and what we are seeing on a daily basis, talking to CEOs and CIOs across organizations. The last one is about 47% that cited around cost reductions. This number could have gone a lot higher if we probably did the survey right now, given the COVID situation. We're getting calls from companies large and small talking about cost optimization and cost reduction in light of the current situation. Business continuity is kind of taking a different shape today. If there is capability for me to reduce my spend that basically ensures business continuity for me in the COVID landscape today.
So “how do I operate more efficiently?” is something that every CEO is thinking about. How can I replace my legacy apps with modern apps that can basically scale in or scale out and scale back in this world. So if I'm a retailer, who's having a heavy amount of production in my e-commerce site, I want to have the capability of basically scaling that out and so I'm giving a great experience for any customer who's coming in. And at the same time in a situation like COVID where my sales are shrinking, I need to have the capabilities of scaling it back in so I can see that same level of cost reduction when I'm not operating at that level of revenue in itself.
Both ends are becoming more important for CEOs and that capability and product will basically help them in terms of meeting business demands much more quickly. Those are some key things that we're seeing. And what we're seeing, which is common across all of these different priorities is that they are all hinged on information technology and digital transformation and modernization. These are key factors which would be influencing all of these three different goals.
If the goals are around increasing revenue, improving agility and also reducing costs, where are some of the challenges that CIOs are facing today when they partner with these different CEOs? 80% of them have basically mentioned demand. They have adopted cloud, but they haven't been able to see the business benefits around it. So this is quite interesting actually if you look at the data. So most of the folks have basically understood that cloud is a great way for me to basically get revenues flowing and get my agility improved but at the same time when they move over to the cloud, there are still gaps in terms of achieving that full innovation or full business benefits in itself.
That seems to be the biggest cause of concern for 80% of the CIOs in itself. So that kind of makes it clear that just because I can move my infrastructure from an on-premise environment over to cloud, doesn't ensure that I'm already seeing all the different business benefits. I believe that there's a lot more to that equation and that's something that we'll be addressing in the later part of the conversation. The 60% of them are citing technical and managerial talent gaps. The cloud's been in existence for about 10 years and so is the innovation that is happening on some of our on-premise side of things around storage and infrastructure and running optimized workloads as well. So the talent gap that can basically identify these technical areas of improvement and also manage them through the completion is pretty short and that's an area where organizations are finding some difficulty in terms of hiring the right talent to close these gaps in itself.
52% are talking about security and compliance. This is becoming more and more evident with the number of security breaches that are being spread out in different news and also different compliance is coming through whether it's the California Privacy Law that we're talking about or GDPR or enforce guidelines on PCI compliance, all of these are basically making sure that it is becoming a challenging environment for the businesses to operate, to make sure that they have the right security requirements and also have the right compliance to operate their business as well.
The last thing, a smaller percentage which is about 33%, which is still about 1/3, are talking about change management, and implementation complications. So if you look at across the entire spectrum, there are definitely challenges that are identified across both technology, as well as the talent and management which is causing some of these goals around either increasing the revenue or getting the agility or cost optimization not being able to be reached by these businesses. So that's, I think in a nutshell, in terms of how we look at the state of industry between goals and challenges.
Now we'll move into modern development practices and how they could basically benefit businesses and how they can basically solve some of these different challenges in itself. In short, modern development practices leverage the power of DevOps, the power of scalability in the cloud, and the hybrid cloud platforms all in conjunction to basically form a really nice solution that meets your business needs in itself. So you may be used to working with the monolithic applications, but then how do we design say, 12-Factor Applications, which are more cloud native in nature, but at the same time that have the flexibility of running it within my data center in itself. How do I deploy new DevOps practices and not just around CI/CD in application pipelines, but also in infrastructure as a code and achieve full automation across my entire data center and expand it over to the cloud? Those are all key things that we have to consider.
Microservices is becoming a lot more interesting in the space of achieving agility. They may break this monolith into different microservices and host them separately and manage them by different teams, then we can achieve the scale that we want and not be disrupted by change in itself. And microservices deployed as containers really gives it that flexibility in terms of scaling them up pretty quickly and also shrinking them when there are not enough requirements. In a nutshell, if you look at modern DevOps practices, which have achieved the automation, both in infrastructure and in applications, provides the agility, the microservices architecture, and the domain driven architecture—which allows you to basically build out applications in more different components and put them into containers—have provided a way for building out some modern development practices that could help businesses scale much better and address the challenges that we have cited around either talent gaps or where the technology gaps and achieve the goals that you're looking for your enterprises.
As Vishnu said, containers and microservices are really one of the key enablers of a modern development practice. Kubernetes enables you to make the potential of container technology and operational reality by automating and simplifying your container workflows. It automates deploying, scaling, and the management of your containerized applications.
One of the key tenets that I think makes it so powerful is the ability to deploy your services via declarative statements. And what that means is instead of telling Kubernetes to do a specific action, you tell Kubernetes what your desired outcome is, then it works behind the scenes to fulfill it. Its ability to understand the current state of your application and what its needs really are, is extremely powerful. For example, what happens whenever your company launches a breakthrough product that drives millions of users to your application or your website.
If your teams are reliant on deploying bandwidth points VMs and configuring them, we've all seen the horror stories that have been in the press about that. But with Kubernetes, you get autonomous scaling where it will detect the increased demand and automatically reacts to spin up additional resources and containers to be able to handle that type of workload.
And what about whenever you want to introduce new features? As Vishnu said, monolithic applications are very painful and really time consuming to try to update and ultimately stifle innovation. Building microservices and containers speeds up the development cycles and Kubernetes makes the rollout a lot less risky, with the ability to do things like container canary deployments, as well as the ability to automatically roll back services to previous versions. This allows you to test new features on the wild, on a subset of users in a very controlled manner.
Here at Redapt, we placed a large bet on Kubernetes as it started to emerge from Google and thankfully that bet really paid off as Kubernetes has become the de facto standard for the operations of container and microservices in the industry. As it was emerging, we worked with customers to build their own Kubernetes clusters from scratch and let me tell you, setting up and managing a secure, highly available Kubernetes cluster at scale, it's a lot of work. The process is really complex and time consuming.
Additionally, when you're using Kubernetes in production, you need a team of employees with extensive Kubernetes skills available at all times of the day. And in most cases and most organizations, that's really just not feasible.
There's also a ton of other services that must be deployed to truly unlock that full potential of a modern application practice and DevOps, whether it be anything as simple as ID and access management or network services, code repositories, container registries, the CI/CD pipeline tools, centralized logging, telemetry of your services, all of those things are needed to be bolted on in order to really provide you a platform that's truly able to enable your developers.
And this is why we're so excited whenever Google launches Anthos. As the creator of Kubernetes, which is really the platform that supports all of Google's own internal services, Google's uniquely positioned to unlock the value while removing a lot of the complexity of making it actually operational. The main engine for Anthos is GKE or the Google Kubernetes Engine, which integrates with all of Google's other tooling and comes with built-in security, logging, telemetry, and monitoring at both the host and container levels. Within a few clicks or a single command line GKE gives you a production ready cluster without having to build everything from the ground up. It unburdens operations from the care and feeding of the cluster through automated remediation and upgrades, it also gives you automatic scaling and not just of the pods that's running your workloads, but also the underlying infrastructure that's needed to support them.
In addition to GKE, Anthos provides an advanced service mesh which really has great benefits for single site clusters, but it's the true key to unlocking the potential of a hybrid or multi cloud deployment. It flexibly controls the flows of traffics and API calls, provides security with authentication and authorization and provides encryption between the services so you can make the choice to run those services wherever it makes the most sense for your application. Anthos also provides the additional services that we talked about earlier to enable your DevOps teams with all of the tools like the code repositories and registries and logging in telemetry systems.
As an end-to-end solution it solves the day to day challenges faced by operators, developers, and security teams for providing visibility into the state and performance of your distributed applications, enabling increased developer productivity, operations in confidence with deploying applications rapidly while reducing their administrative overhead and the operational risk associated with doing that at the same time, actually satisfying your security team with extremely tight governance.
And whatever you're deploying Anthos on the prem or at the edge, Dell EMC provides a great portfolio of products that give you the flexibility to choose the infrastructure that best aligns with your business requirements. VxFlex is one of those, and it's an Anthos ready, validated solution that provides a fully managed appliance experience. As a validated solution Dell has already taken the time and invested the engineering resources to ensure successful Anthos deployments. It can be deployed as either independent compute and storage nodes or as a hyperconverged nodes, or even as a combination of those two. It allows you the flexibility to seamlessly scale compute or storage as a single unit or independently of each other.
And in much the same way that you don't have the burden of managing infrastructure whenever you're in the public cloud, VxFlex abstracts the underlying hardware and handles the deployment expansion and upgrade of all the system components all the way from the firmware level up to the hypervisor. And the storage services are tightly integrated into Kubernetes and provide extreme levels of performance and resiliency.
VxFlex also provides a cloud-like scale with the ability to grow from a few nodes up to a thousand nodes inside of a single workload domain. Likewise, for VxRail, it is a fully integrated hyperconverged solution utilizing vSAN. It provides simplified deployment expansions as well as one click upgrades. Options are available for as low as a two node cluster, which would be great for an edge deployment or remote office site, and can scale up with multiple clusters of 64 nodes inside of each workload domain. VxRail and vSAN are the most widely adopted HCI platform on the market and all of it is backed by a single phone call to Dell technology support.
Finally, with powered servers and the entire Dell EMC storage portfolio, they really provide an industry leading performance and data services. If you're utilizing it for bare metal or disaggregated designs, these align well with organizations that already have a modern data center practice and utilize their own infrastructure provisioning and management automation tools. The portfolio also gives you access to storage platforms to build your own data lakes and optic services, which is the first step to running AI, ML and analytic workloads inside of your Anthos clusters. All of that is really a whole other topic in and of itself so we'll be addressing some more of that in future webcasts so stay tuned for more information.
So wherever your Kubernetes journey takes you, Anthos is going to pave the way to a hybrid and multi cloud reality. By giving you an end-to-end solution Anthos removes the barriers to entry that so many organizations have faced over the years. Ultimately Anthos gives you the ability to unleash your developers and to allow them to innovate faster while still maintaining operational stability and security. After all, innovation is the key to your competitive edge and unlocking your organization's full potential in today's complex and competitive business environment. I'll go ahead and turn it back over to Vishnu now to show you how Redapt can help you take some of the next steps.
In this section, we'll talk about some of the real world examples in terms of how we've implemented Anthos for a lot of outlines and how they're being able to realize the business benefits associated with them as well. This is a larger retail SaaS company, and the company basically specializes in running their software in several stores. And the software integrates with the radius IoT devices which are installed across the entire store, which include the wide range RFID sensors, video cameras and beacons, and so on and so forth. And this data that they collect at the edge in the retail store is processed to basically provide insights into product placement, optimal number of people who have to be attending to the folks in the store, and so on and so forth. So drives that efficiency for several retailers and itself and provides real time insights.
To make this happen, there is a lot of computation that needs to happen at the edge or at the retail store in itself. For this solution to work, it is important to have a compute that is installed at the edge, which can process this information and provide the real time insights directly in the store in itself. The solution was built for the edge using containers, and was rightly deployed in Kubernetes and it worked well for them in a smaller scale, and was the right solution for them to do as well in having a small 2-node Kubernetes cluster running each one of these stores and basically doing the edge computation and providing the real time insights just to the store workers. And all of this information in its crystallizing summarized form was sent back to the cloud before any additional processing that is required. As the scale of this software as a service company expanded, there are more edge locations that they have to start managing.
Once the number of Kubernetes clusters is done from, say, 10 to 20 to 100 then it became pretty much configuration management nightmare when it came to managing all of these 100 different Kubernetes clusters and making sure that they have the same configurations and that they have the right software that is running on each of these different edge nodes. This is basically where the Redapt was able to partner with Google and come in front with a solution empowered by Anthos in itself. As Matt pointed out, Anthos provides that single pane of glass through which you can basically monitor these 100 or even more clusters, and make sure that there is a configuration management that applies to all of these different clusters in a seamless way. A central monitoring capabilities that they have now through a single pane again, within the Google Cloud console, to look at the health of these different clusters and how they're working.
And in terms of pushing through software updates, again, they could push it at one single point and Anthos takes the capabilities and picks the skills of basically deploying that same software across these different nodes. So all in all, there are challenges around doing Kubernetes at scale and basically getting a solution that is more manageable through Anthos and Kubernetes is definitely a big win for them. And is a clear example of how adopting the modern software principles and software architecture and bringing cloud into the mix along with some of the efficiencies and innovations that we have in the edge could provide a comprehensive solution for many organizations and not just the retail SaaS company that we talked about.
Staying competitive is more important in today's world because the disruption could come from anywhere and modernizing the way you develop and you deliver your products to your consumers is becoming more and more relevant in today's landscape. Customers are unforgiving. The capabilities through which you can make changes with your systems pretty quickly and adapt to changing business needs is going to make sure that you're remaining competitive and you're basically realizing more revenue, or achieving more cost optimization, as well. As Matt pointed out, Kubernetes excels in the space in terms of either just managing your containers or orchestrating workflows around them, and also around the automation and deployment of these different applications. So we've been working with Kubernetes for the last five years now, and I've definitely seen the benefits of Kubernetes in organizations, both small and large.
Google Anthos and Dell EMC coupling together provides that really nice innovation where modernization is not now just in the cloud, it is capable to do it the same level of modernization at your own data center, with the combination of a Google Anthos solution and a Dell EMC hardware and to make sure that those solutions are portable to the cloud, or can still live back within your on-premise environment. It provides that nice flexibility in terms of choosing the place where you want to deploy and operate your applications.
And finally, with our experience we are uniquely positioned to basically allow us to partner with you and accelerate that journey for you. So you don't have to go through the same challenges that several CIOs have cited around cloud adoption and talent shortages. We have a larger pool of talent that is experienced on capabilities around either Google Cloud, Anthos, Kubernetes and we can share our experiences and help you build the next innovative solution that would help you achieve your business goals.
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