Canonical Adds Managed Services for Kubernetes Environments

As part of an effort to help organizations accelerate their transition to modern applications based on Kubernetes clusters, Canonical is making available 10 complementary databases and tools as a set of services that it will continually manage and update on behalf of customers.

Canonical will manage databases including MySQL, InfluxDB, PostgreSQL, MongoDB and ElasticSearch along with Kafka, open source event streaming software and Open Source Mano, a platform for managing network functions virtualization (NFV) software.

In addition, access to Grafana, Prometheus and Graylog analytics and monitoring tools will be provided as an integrated managed service.

Nilay Patel, a product manager for Canonical, says each of these managed services can be deployed on a public or private cloud based on virtual machines or bare-metal servers. Canonical already provides a set of managed Kubernetes services on each of those platforms. Each service is backed by specific service level agreements (SLAs) that IT teams can monitor using dashboards provided by Canonical.

By making these databases and tools available as a set of highly integrated services, Patel says Canonical is making it easier to absorb what has become a high rate of change within modern IT environments running microservices-based applications. IT organizations that are also trying to determine how best to allocate their own limited IT resources can now spend more time developing applications versus managing infrastructure, he notes.

IT infrastructure will only become more complex to manage as edge computing applications based on Kubernetes emerge alongside existing on-premises and public cloud computing environments, he adds.

It’s not clear to what degree more organizations may be ready to give up more control over IT infrastructure. Historically, managed services have only accounted for less than a quarter of all IT infrastructure consumed. However, as IT becomes more complex, organizations are finding it challenging to attain and retain the IT expertise required to manage all the elements of a full-stack environment.

Even in the wake an economic downturn that could result in larger numbers of IT professionals becoming available, those who have the skills required to manage a Kubernetes-based environment are still relatively low. As such, the willingness to rely on an external third-party to manage Kubernetes environments is already rising, Patel says. In part, that issue helps explain why reliance on managed services provided by cloud service providers has increased sharply. Canonical is essentially making a case to extend that managed services reliance beyond a single public cloud platform.

Of course, it remains to be seen what the appetite for new application development projects might really be in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. While some organizations may naturally pause or abandon application development, others will forge ahead as nascent digital business initiatives are transformed into business continuity strategies that require new applications to engage end users that may soon prefer to access applications remotely long after the current pandemic has subsided.

Whatever the ultimate path forward, it does not appear IT is going to get any simpler to manage anytime soon. The issue many organizations will be wrestling with now is determining precisely how much of that management challenge they now want to take on themselves versus relying on the expertise of others.

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