SiliconANGLE | November 11, 2016

Using distributed systems to reinvigorate application development

Using distributed systems to reinvigorate application development | #KubeCon

As customers realize the benefits of using containers for applications, the companies that provide platforms for implementing those solutions are looking for the balance of ease and power to get those customers engaged.

At the KubeCon 2016 event in Seattle, WA, Rakesh Malhotra, SVP of Products and Engineering at Apprenda Inc., and Joseph Jacks, senior director of Product Management at Apprenda, spoke with John Furrier (@furrier), co-host of theCUBE*, from the SiliconANGLE Media team, about current trends with containers, customers and distributed systems.

Apprenda’s aims

As Malhotra explained, while Apprenda had been drawn to Kubernetes (the open-source container cluster management software project by Google) almost a year ago, it finally made the big dive with investments in early spring, based on what it saw as “a lot of great organic traction” and that it had been enormously pleased with the results so far.

Malhotra also noted that while the people at Appendra “love getting our hands dirty,” its customers just want to get their business problems solved, so finding ways of delivering powerful solutions with smooth interfaces and deployability has been a large part of the company’s drive.

“We see a lot of customers that we’re working with trying to transform their businesses, and Kubernetes is a tool to help them do that,” Malhotra shared. “It’s not just about Kubernetes for the sake of Kubernetes, or for the sake of container orchestration,” he said, but instead about providing a technology foundation that can serve their needs, whatever those may be.

Breaking it down to its main focus, Malhotra said, “Our core problem is to help customers build applications and run applications in a strategic and more efficient manner. As customers build applications and software to run their company, we want to be the platform, and we’re helping customers realize that.”

Distributed systems rise

As the conversation continued, Jacks shared his perspective on how architecture is being influenced by the pervasive presence of online connectivity, along with “really big macro trends” and their increasing relevance for enterprise customers and the industry at large.

“I think sort of the core underlying driver is just the rise of usage of the internet, frankly. … This proliferation of ease of access to real-time services … has hit a level of maturation and saturation that is now seeping into the way we design and build our systems,” he said.

As Jack explained it, the advantage of Kubernetes is in emulating the “distributed systems patterns of the internet,” allowing developers to write software, pack it into a container, and run it on systems with “previously hard to harness and use distributed systems primitives.”

In short, he said distributed systems are becoming a really important part of how people think about writing and building next-generation applications, with that influence extending to other tech architectures, which businesses are adopting in bids to remain competitive and current.