Cisco embraces Kubernetes, pushing container software into mainstream

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Cisco this week took big steps toward helping customers deploy, monitor and manage on-premises and public-cloud production-ready Kubernetes-based container applications.

Kubernetes, originally designed by Google, is an open-source-based system for developing and orchestrating containerized applications. Containers can be deployed across multiple server hosts and Kubernetes orchestration lets customers build application services that span multiple containers, schedule those containers across a cluster, scale those containers and manage the container health. 

Because the technology is still relatively new, Cisco says organizations are still challenged to efficiently and confidently utilize Kubernetes as they modernize legacy applications and develop new cloud applications.

Tie into that the fact existing open source monitoring and orchestration tools are often siloed and have not been joined into enterprise monitoring and orchestration suites, enterprise customers end up being open-source-application integrators, which may not be their strong suit, says Dave Cope, Sr. Director of Cloud Products and Solutions Market Development for Cisco’s Cloud Platform and Solutions Group.

That’s where this week’s upgrades to the company’s AppDynamics and Cisco CloudCenter come in.

AppDynamics embraces Kubernetes

AppDynamics for Kubernetes can reduce the time it takes to identify and troubleshoot performance issues across Kubernetes clusters on multicloud environments by intelligently filtering performance metrics based on Kubernetes labels. This Kubernetes-label filtering means IT operations teams no longer need to monitor thousands of threads executing a similar service, Cisco said.

“Traditional monitoring tools make it difficult to respond to poor user experiences due to alert storms caused by cascading microservice failures. By leveraging unique machine learning capabilities, AppDynamics for Kubernetes makes it simple to identify the root cause of a failure by baselining performance and intelligently alerting IT teams when problems occur,” said Matt Chotin, Sr. Director, Technical Evangelism, AppDynamics.

With AppDynamics for Kubernetes users will be able to correlate Kubernetes performance with business metrics such as customer-conversion rate or end-user experience with the performance of applications on the Kubernetes platform, Cisco says.

Cisco bought AppDynamics in 2017 in a $3.7 billion deal that gave Cisco the technology to better manage cloud services as well as application infrastructure.

CloudCenter 4.9 features

Cisco also released CloudCenter 4.9 which brings with it support for Kubernetes, Microsoft Azure Stack, which is Microsoft’s Azure cloud software and the OpenStack Pike.

According to Cisco with the release of CloudCenter 4.9, users can:

  • Use interface and application-lifecycle management features to deploy and manage containerized applications in Kubernetes clusters.
  • Deploy clusters in a private data center, which can be created by the new Cisco Container Platform or those hosted in a Container as a Service (CaaS) environment in the cloud, such as the Google Kubernetes Engine.
  • Send containerized workloads to Kubernetes and VM-based workloads to on-premises and cloud environments, both in a logically similar manner. In CloudCenter, container-based services are now elevated to the same logical level as VM-based application services. CloudCenter extends the orchestration that makes Kubernetes powerful and popular, and to VM-based workloads as well.

CloudCenter is built on software Cisco got when it acquired CliQr in 2016 for $260 million. 

Cisco/Google collaboration

Cisco CloudCenter 4.9 will become a key element of the open, hybrid cloud offering being developed by Cisco and Google and that is expected later this year.  In October 2017 the companies partnered to help enterprises and application developers use Cisco tools to manage their on-premises environments and link them up with Google’s public IaaS cloud.

Cisco CloudCenter 4.9 and AppDynamics for Kubernetes are available now as standalone subscription-based software offerings or bundled together through the Cisco Multicloud Portfolio as Cloud Consume. They also are available with Cisco HyperFlex through Cisco SmartPlay bundles.

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