In-Depth

Smaller Companies Shine at KubeCon North America 2022

Tom goes to the Motor City and finds not all of the cool Kubernetes innovation is coming from major players.

Cloud Native Computing Foundation's (CNCF's) flagship Kubernetes (K8s) conference, KubeCon + CloudNativeCon, was held as a live and virtual event Oct. 24-28 in Detroit. The live event had about 8,000 attendees and the virtual event had about the same. In other articles, I've discussed my overall feelings about the event and covered announcements from some of the more established companies present. In this article I will discuss some of the smaller companies at KubeCon that I was able to chat with.

Quobyte -- Software-defined storage (SDS) is an interesting topic, and I spent a fair amount of time chatting with Quobyte about their SDS product. Basically, you can deploy Quobyte on any x86 server or in the cloud and get file and object storage in the same namespace. It scales out linearly; when you add new resources to your storage cluster, your capacity will increase without compromising performance. This scale-out model provides a true pay-as-you-grow solution for your storage infrastructure. For those interested in taking Quobyte for a test drive, or deploying it with only community support, there is a free version available.

Civo -- If you don't have the time, desire or expertise to set up K8s on your own, Civo is a K8s service provider who takes care of all the back-end work. Just provide them with a credit card, and, in as quick as in 90 seconds, you can get a K8s cluster up and running with a supported and curated stack. I also like the fact that they are totally transparent in their pricing. As a side note, Civo is hosting Navigate, their own cloud-native tech conference in Tampa, Fla., in February 2023.

Kubecost -- This company, which made my list of top takeaways from KubeCon North America 2021, is catching traction within the community with more than 5,000 teams currently using their product. Kubecost is an open source spend-management tool that provides real-time cost visibility and insights for K8s. At the 2022 event, they announced Kubecost Cloud, a hosted version of Kubecost.

According to Kubecost, their product has saved companies, who manage billions in cloud spending, an estimated $100+ million dollars. Current Kubecost customers include Adobe, Under Armour and Broadcom.

Quali -- Environments-as-a-Service (EaaS) is an "aaS" that hasn't got much attention. EaaS is far more overreaching than Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) as it encompasses both a specific application and the environment on which it runs, which makes sense as they are interdependent on each other. EaaS automates the deployment of, and provides version control for, the entire environment. This allows them to be deployed and run together and enact version control.

Quali announced new capabilities in their product that simplify the management of infrastructure as code (IaC), strengthen infrastructure governance, and provide further actionable data on the usage and cost of cloud infrastructure. Quali's products operate across all major cloud providers and work with containers, VMs, and K8s on any of their targeted infrastructure components.

Trilio -- Protecting cloud-native data can be difficult, especially in a multi-cloud environment. Trilio was one of the earliest entrants to address this very problem.

TrilioVault for Kubernetes (TKV) is their multi-tenant, software-only, scale-out, API-driven back-up solution for cloud-native infrastructures. TKV has gained quite a following within the K8s community. At the event, Trilio announced that Continuous Restore has been GAed. This offers faster levels of replication, restoration and migration of K8s data and metadata from any cloud or storage platform to another. It also offers near-instantaneous recovery times for cloud-native applications, and now supports OpenShift for data protection. Its integration with Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management (ACM) framework brings Fleet Management capabilities to Trilio, and support for Red Hat's OpenShift-managed service offerings on AWS. Microsoft Azure also enables and allows moving OpenShift between these different infrastructures.

Granulate -- Recently acquired by Intel, Granulate just launched gMaestro, a free solution for autonomous K8s cost optimization regardless if it's running on-premises or in public clouds. By right-sizing workloads, they claim up to 60 percent cost savings. They also claim that gMaestro can be deployed with a single line of code.

InfluxData -- This is the company behind InfluxDB, a time-series platform that I have mentioned before. At KubeCon, InfluxData released the next generation of this product, marking a massive release for them and their customers as InfluxDB is now a columnar real-time data platform. In this latest release, it's possible to perform a real-time query across any series within milliseconds, which allows it to be used for time-sensitive use cases. They also erased the restrictions on the number of series that can be opened at the same time.

The feature in this new release that has me most excited is that you can now query InfluxData using standard SQL. This will make the product more accessible and open it up to a swath of new users and use-cases.

Cosmonic -- At WasmDay (Oct 24, 2022), WebAssembly pioneer Cosmonic announced full developer access to its distributed application development platform. Cosmonic is a lightweight, low-boilerplate environment that simplifies application development and allows developers to run their apps anywhere, and at scale, in a matter of minutes. It does this, in part, by abstracting non-functional application requirements such as databases and servers as services. This level of abstraction allows developers to focus on cloud-native application innovation -- from concept to production scalability -- with just a few steps.

KubeCon is very accommodating to the smaller companies trying to increase awareness about their products, many of which fill niches that the larger companies don't have the time, resources or vision to pursue. While some of these smaller companies enjoy the autonomy that comes with their limited size, others seek to be picked up and assimilated by larger, more established companies. A hat tip to the CNCF for making it economical for companies such as these to show their wares.

About the Author

Tom Fenton has a wealth of hands-on IT experience gained over the past 25 years in a variety of technologies, with the past 15 years focusing on virtualization and storage. He currently works as a Technical Marketing Manager for ControlUp. He previously worked at VMware as a Senior Course Developer, Solutions Engineer, and in the Competitive Marketing group. He has also worked as a Senior Validation Engineer with The Taneja Group, where he headed the Validation Service Lab and was instrumental in starting up its vSphere Virtual Volumes practice. He's on Twitter @vDoppler.

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