Interview with Shiven Ramji, VP of Product at DigitalOcean

“Despite Kubernetes’ growing popularity, it is still often challenging for developers to manage manually”

Gabriela Motroc
Shiven Ramji

DigitalOcean’s Kubernetes as a Service is now available with production-ready functionality and full customer support. In short, developers of all skill levels can now harness the power of Kubernetes to simplify modern app development. We talked to VP of Product at DigitalOcean about this offering, its features and more.

“Developers are growing more committed to Kubernetes”

JAXenter: Developers of all skill levels can now harness the power of Kubernetes to simplify modern app development. What is DigitalOcean’s Kubernetes as a Service all about?

Shiven Ramji: Developers are growing more committed to Kubernetes: in 2016, just under half said they were committed to the technology but by 2017, 77 percent said the same. Despite Kubernetes’ growing popularity, it is still often challenging for developers to manage manually.

DigitalOcean Kubernetes is designed for developers who want a simple way to deploy and manage container workloads. It removes the headache involved in setting up, managing and securing Kubernetes clusters. By offering Kubernetes integrated with DigitalOcean’s core product suite, businesses have the freedom to run their existing workloads on DigitalOcean without special configuration.

JAXenter: Why Kubernetes as a service and not Docker, for example?

Shiven Ramji: Kubernetes has emerged as the container orchestration platform of choice — according to our recent Currents survey, more developers use Kubernetes (42 percent) as their container orchestration platform of choice, compared to Docker (35 percent). Additionally, we wanted to be mindful of our customers’ needs and the types of offerings they find more useful.

JAXenter: When should developers use Kubernetes as a Service? 

Shiven Ramji: Developers should use Kubernetes when wanting to deploy new features with minimal downtime. It also allows users to more easily scale software given its immutable, declarative nature. Developers typically look to Kubernetes for mature deployment and monitoring options, with quick and reliable response times.

Applications that are containerized and have a microservices architecture are ideal to run on Kubernetes. For example, we have customers who horizontally scale their compute needs for video streaming and low latency advertising serving needs.

JAXenter: How does it work? How can developers get started with Kubernetes as a Service?

Shiven Ramji: Development teams using DigitalOcean Kubernetes can quickly create managed clusters for workloads of all sizes — from a single Node, single Pod web server, to a massive set of Nodes with continuously churning compute-intensive processing pods. Regardless of the size or number of running applications, cluster creation and operation remains simple via a streamlined web interface, CLI and REST API, allowing developers to quickly launch and scale a managed Kubernetes cluster.

We see a huge opportunity in making Kubernetes easier and more approachable

Users can define custom configurations of standard and compute-optimized Droplets to handle variable workloads, optimizing price-to-performance and maximizing the use of underlying resources.

JAXenter: What are its main features?

Shiven Ramji: DigitalOcean first focused on simplifying the most critical needs of developers when deploying Kubernetes containerized apps: node provisioning, durable storage availability, security, and scalability. This included fully configured worker nodes based on any Droplet size, seamless integration with flexible block storage, worker node protection with firewalls, and integration with Load Balancers for simple, robust and secure app scaling. Continuous integration and continuous delivery workflows could also be implemented in a matter of seconds to further streamline the development process.

The new release builds upon these capabilities, adding new features based on early customer feedback that further simplify the provisioning and management process. These include:

  • Guided configuration experiences, to assist users as they provision, configure and deploy clusters;
  • Open APIs, to enable easy integrations with developer tools, and include the ability to programmatically create and update cluster and nodes settings;
  • Expanded version support, including Kubernetes version 1.12.1 and support for 1.13.1 coming soon.

SEE ALSO: A tour of cloud computing: “The next step is to make integrations between cloud services as easy as possible”

JAXenter: What are your Kubernetes predictions for 2019?

Shiven Ramji: Kubernetes will continue trending upward as more people use the technology. As adoption increases, more organizations will focus on how to simplify the management of container applications and streamline the deployment process.

We see a huge opportunity in making Kubernetes easier and more approachable and that is going to be one of our focus areas. We also see that there are so many open source components that you can add to your Kubernetes deployments to make it easy to operate and scale your applications and we have plans to support those integrations in a simple, native way inside the product.

Thank you!

Gabriela Motroc
Gabriela Motroc was editor of and JAX Magazine. Before working at Software & Support Media Group, she studied International Communication Management at the Hague University of Applied Sciences.

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