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Cloud Foundry & Kubernetes Is A Better Together Story: Stark & Wayne

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Guest: Brian Seguin | Wayne Seguin
Company: Stark & Wayne
Show: Let’s Talk

The Cloud Foundry Foundation (CFF) has been undergoing a major transformation for some time with the emergence and popularity of docker containers and Kubernetes to orchestrate those containers. However, having been around for such a long time, Cloud Foundry has amassed a massive user-base, it has matured and stabilized – both from a code-base and organizational structure perspective. The credit to this stability largely goes to its leadership team, specifically Chip Childers, one of the founders of Cloud Foundry, who took pains to ensure that the project’s success was not tied to a specific person.

So when Childers left the community for Puppet, the Cloud Foundry community, after initial shock, came to realize that they can continue to go on as a community even if the governance of the project will move within the Linux Foundation.

According to Wayne Seguin, CTO of Stark & Wayne, to many people Chip’s departure might have looked like doomsday for Cloud Foundry but for him he was aware of the fact that “Chip did a really amazing job. Helped get the Cloud Foundry community in a great place before he left.”.

New home for the Cloud Foundry Foundation?

To ensure the sustainability of the project, Childers helped spearhead the technical governance procedures and systems and figured out who the teams would be for those initiatives going forward. In Wayne’s eyes, “Chip could not have done a better thing for the whole Cloud Foundry ecosystem.”

Brian Seguin, Chief Operating Officer at Stark & Wayne, adds that he’d hoped this was the first step for the CFF to be incorporated into the new Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), because “as the Cloud Foundry platform and the Cloud Foundry codebase go into incorporating Kubernetes more, it’s going to have to be using some more of those Cloud Native Computing Foundation tools.” Brian sees this as a positive signal that “we’re going to move more toward integrating into the CNCF, which I think is a really good thing for the community.”

Should Users Panic?

Industry Insiders knew quite well about this transition that was going on for a long time. However, some users might panic thinking it’s doomsday for Cloud Foundry. Cloud Foundry is among those technologies like mainframe, UNIX or Kobol which will be around for a very long time to come. There is way too much investment in Cloud Foundry.

According to Brian, there are over 10,000 operators using Cloud Foundry and hundreds of Fortune 2,000 companies that have it implemented into their ecosystem. “Just from that investment alone, from all of those different companies, depending on this platform, it already has a really good vibrant community that is going to make sure that it is going to be stable into the future,” Brian adds.

There are still companies like Stark & Wayne who are committed to supporting the Cloud Native ecosystem for the foreseeable future. Addressing the fears of the user community, Wayne said, “Hold still. Calm down. Take a breath. Step back. Everybody realizes that Cloud Foundry’s going to be around for a few years yet without any issues. Take some time to figure out what is the best story, and what is the best path for your situation, for your company, to get your workloads and business units to a very good place.”

We should also remember that there is literally nothing in the market that can compete with Cloud Foundry at the moment. Users should feel confident the project isn’t going to vanish, especially since it’s part of the Linux Foundation.

Cloud Foundry and Kubernetes: A Better Together Story

What is absolutely clear is that Cloud Foundry will move closer to Kubernetes. There are already many efforts underway; in fact at one point Childers said that Cloud Foundry is the best developer experience for Kubernetes. It’s not about Cloud Foundry vs Kubernetes, rather it’s Cloud Foundry and Kubernetes.

Stark & Wayne have always believed in a better “together story.” Brian adds, “Some applications will run better natively on top of Kubernetes. Some applications will run better natively on top of Cloud Foundry. And some applications have to be completely re-architected as we start to get out with this new 5G edge solution.” Brian then mentions how Stark & Wayne are working with a lot of companies to figure out where to put each one of those application workloads. He says, “And it’s a journey. It’ll be really interesting to see how that better together story plays out.”

Stronger Stark & Wayne

Now that Stark & Wayne is a part of the Qarik Group, they have strong support for growth and offer better services for their users in the Cloud Foundry and Kubernetes space. With Stark & Wayne backed by resources and amazing people that can coach the company to the next level, they can now ask questions like What’s next? What have we seen that works? What can work for you?

Stark & Wayne will also leverage the relationships Qarik has with bigger players in the space like Google. “They’re our premium Google partner, and they’re there to help us with those relationships and grow things such as us helping to better implement the Google Kf story, which is Google’s version of Cloud Foundry that is actually running on top of Kubernetes,” Brian adds.

“Stark & Wayne is committed to, and going to help our users to not only figure out where their workloads will fit best, but also as our offerings for Cloud Foundry experience on top of Kubernetes evolve and become production viable, stable, we’re going to be right there to help our customers with our deep knowledge of Cloud Foundry and Kubernetes to achieve getting their workloads running on these things in effective manners,” quips Wayne.

To sum it up, it’s a win-win for Stark & Wayne, Qarik, Cloud Foundry and Kubernetes.


Here is the rough, unedited transcript of the show…

Swapnil Bhartiya: Hi. This is your host, Swapnil Bhartiya, and welcome to TFiR Let’s Talk. The Cloud Foundry Foundation and community has been going through its own transformation journey for quite some time with the popularity of, of course, containers, and then arrival of Kubernetes. But recently, things kind of picked up some pace. Chip Childers, long time member of the Cloud Foundry community leadership team, has left the community. What do these changes mean, not only for the community, for the ecosystem, for the project, and the users? To discuss some of these topics today, we have with us two guests from Stark & Wayne, Brian Seguin, Chief Operating Officer, and Wayne Seguin, Chief Technology Officer. Brian, Wayne, it’s great to have you both on the show. Brian, you have been here before. Wayne, it’s your first time. So, welcome to the show.

Wayne Seguin: Thank you. It’s good to be here.

Brian Seguin: Thank you, Swap. Good to be here.

Swapnil Bhartiya: Yeah. Let’s talk about the elephant in the room, which was that when you folks heard about Chip’s departure, what was your initial reaction? I’m pretty sure that you had a sense of what’s going on there.

Wayne Seguin: I mean, I’m sure many people are like, “Oh, no! It’s doomsday for Cloud Foundry!” Right? That’s where their mind would go. For me, it was more of a visceral, just completely depression cycle. And then, I had to dig out of it because working with Chip is wonderful. It’s amazing. Great guy. And we’ve had so many great chats over the years, and I’ve learned so much from him. So for me, it was a great disappointment that I don’t get to keep working with him in the Cloud Foundry community all of the time now. And that was my first reaction. My second reaction was a little more, “Okay, I step back. I’m calmed down. I’m in my nirvana place.” And once I got myself to there, I was like, “You know what? Chip did really amazing job. Helped get the Cloud Foundry community in a great place before he left.”

And what I mean by that specifically is his most recent efforts, especially this year, is Chip got or helped spearhead… Obviously, a lot of people were involved, but he helped spearhead this technical governance procedures and system, and he helped also figure out who the teams are going to be to go forward with that, so that the Cloud Foundry Foundation this year moving forward has a very open and inviting and clear way for going about technical governance of all the internal projects within Cloud Foundry Foundation. He could not have done a better thing for the whole Cloud Foundry ecosystem, to be honest. It was absolutely amazing. So as far as I’m concerned, I’m going to miss him. But, he left the Cloud Foundry Foundation with a strong mic drop, but like, “Yo, I did that.” So Chip, if you ever watch this, we love you. We miss you. And we hope to work with you again.

Brian Seguin: And I think from my perspective, I was hoping that this is the first step for the Cloud Foundry Foundation to be incorporated into the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. Because, as the Cloud Foundry platform and the Cloud Foundry code base goes into incorporating Kubernetes more, it’s going to have to be using some more of those Cloud Native Computing Foundation tools. So, I’ve always seen it as a positive signal that, “Okay, now it sounds like we’re going to move more toward integrating into the CNCF.” And that’s a really good thing I think, for the community.

Wayne Seguin: Yeah, and so fundamentally, Cloud Foundry has moved from being the hot new to the old mature, stable. Regardless of the amount of questioning about the future of Cloud Foundry, what nobody can deny is it is known. It is stable. It is scalable to massive scale. I mean, it’s ridiculous how big of a footprint, or more than one footprint, that you can actually attack for workloads on Cloud Foundry. And so, it’s mature, stable in that period of its life. It doesn’t need a lot of, “Okay. Well, let’s add more technological features to it.” It’s like, “No, let’s keep it where it’s at.” It’s really healthy. It’s stable. It’s mature. As Chip realized and pointed out to us, whether we liked it or not, that going from this sort of transition in life cycle of software, it no longer needs a lot of CTO work, right? So fundamentally, it’s in a good place, and it’s now business as usual, and it’s just another effort and project and ecosystem to look after by the CNCF and the Linux Foundation, right? So…

Swapnil Bhartiya: What does it mean for the foundation, as you said that it will be part of Linux Foundation or CNCF? But, should people worry about it? What would be the structure of the project? Another good thing with Linux Foundation is that it’s a foundation of foundations. So, talk about how it would affect the Cloud Foundry Foundation.

Wayne Seguin: From my point of view, it’s just good things. It’s mature. Like I said earlier, mature, stable. It carries on and continues life, and it becomes another technological tool. If it fits the needs of your organization, you should by all means use it. If not, you should by all means figure out what’s next.

Brian Seguin: And I think there has to be something said for the community that is currently using Cloud Foundry. You’re talking about over 10,000 operators out there that are using cloud Foundry and over hundreds of Fortune 2000 companies that also have it implemented into their ecosystem. They realize that it is a mature, stable product and their path is going to be into the future. It’s going to be a three to five year journey, because it’s going to impact all of their developer teams and they’re going to have to figure out what the next best technology is for them to incorporate. So, just from that investment alone, from all of those different companies, depending on this platform, it already has a really good vibrant community that is going to make sure that it is going to be stable into the future.

Swapnil Bhartiya: Once again, I talk to address some of the fears of the users who have invested heavily in Cloud Foundry. I mean, before this announcement came out, they were still doing a lot of work there. What do you have to say for the sustenance of Cloud Foundry? Should they be worried about anything?

Wayne Seguin: Excellent question. And yes, fear, uncertainty, and doubt are definitely motivators in today’s world, as in all technologies. I would say, “Hold still. Calm down. Take a breath. Step back. Everybody realize that Cloud Foundry’s going to be around for a few years yet without any issues. Take some time to figure out what is the best story, and what is the best path for your situation, for your company, to get your workloads and business units to a very good place.”

Brian Seguin: And Wayne, correct me if I’m wrong, but there is not really a next best shiny object for the developer experience. Cloud Foundry is still leading the way from that standpoint, right?

Wayne Seguin: Yes. There’s nothing that competes with it today. There’s pockets of, “Oh, this is awesome for some workloads, for some companies, for some use cases.” There’s a whole lot of that going around, but there’s nothing as systemic and universally sort of a self-contained unit for accelerating application delivery, and as scalable as Cloud Foundry is today. That’s not to say that they’re not going to emerge over the next year. I fully believe they are, because there’s a whole lot of attention going to, “Okay, what’s next? And how can we improve on this?” And those efforts are wonderful. And I’m looking forward to vetting with Stark & Wayne and their clients which of these options are going to be optimal in what situations. And then, we can move forward and advise customers on, “In your situation, we feel this is the best pilot option, but here’s some other options. Let’s figure out, based on your needs and our discussion, what’s best for you.” So, for the developer experience, there are a number of projects, especially spearheaded on top of Kubernetes, that are aiming at kind of scratching that itch, so to speak.

Swapnil Bhartiya: And as Chip used to say that Cloud Foundry is the best developer experience for Kubernetes. And of course, these projects, they’re part of Linux Foundation, but they’re coming closer. You did touch upon this a bit, but if you can talk a bit about where do you see Cloud Foundry and Kubernetes… Once again, I don’t like Kubernetes versus Cloud Foundry. So, I’m talking Kubernetes and Cloud Foundry going forward?

Wayne Seguin: That’s music to my ears. Fundamentally, at Stark & Wayne, we have always believed in a better together story, because quite frankly, depending on the developer needs as well as the business use cases and the specific workloads in questions, there is not a universal, “This way is best.” It’s a, “Let’s tailor this to figure out what works best for your story, for your business, and for your business units and use cases.”

Brian Seguin: So, some applications will run better natively on top of Kubernetes. Some applications will run better natively on top of Cloud Foundry. And some applications have to be completely re-architected as we start to get out with this new 5G edge solution that’ll be coming out. And that’s kind of where we’re seeing a lot of these companies evaluate is saying, “All right. These workloads were natively built inside of Cloud Foundry, and we need to keep them there because these developers are insanely productive. However, these other applications that we have on top of Cloud Foundry, those are actually going to run better natively inside of a Kubernetes runtime engine.” And we’re actually working with a lot of companies to figure out where we put each one of those application workloads. And it’s a journey. It’ll be really interesting to see how that better together story plays out.

Wayne Seguin: I mean, playing on top of that, the one thing that is very exciting to me is Cloud Foundry has effectively leveled the playing field from a developer experience perspective. However, a lot of companies that we are engaging with are moving up the abstraction stack. So, they’re no longer saying, “Okay. How can we make it easy for developers to get their code into production?” But again, true to the continuous integration continuous deployment, CICD story, is how can we now make this deployment not even a thought on the… That the application teams need to even consider or think about, and rather a byproduct of the process of development which they go through, and how can we optimize the developer workflows.

Swapnil Bhartiya: Right. Since we are talking about, of course [inaudible 00:11:11], I want to just quickly change the gear. We can talk about projects as much as we want. We can talk about community. But the thing is, a vendor ecosystem is critical to… Especially with Open Source. Open Source solves Day one problem. Day two problem is when you actually bring it in production, you have to worry about manageability, maintenance, update, adding feature. And that’s where Stark & Wayne was playing a big role. You folks started as consultation, but you started off also offering a lot of things. And now, you folks are getting acquired. So, that is also part of this whole transformation that we are going through in this Cloud Foundry community. What does this mean for, once again not only Stark & Wayne, but also for your customers and users and community?

Wayne Seguin: For Stark & Wayne, I have to give a great kudos to Dr. Nic for what he did for the company and for the community by selling Stark & Wayne. It was a bittersweet moment for him, obviously, and I have to definitely give a kudos there. The reason for this is we went from a cash basis company where we were just trying to make ends meet and being opportunistic in how we approach things, but always trying to do right by the community. Always trying to have an Open Source. Not first, but strong priority as we moved forward with things and do whatever we can with the small team and the very limited resources we had.

Fast forward to today, and we are now part of the Qarik group. And as part of the Qarik group, we have strong support for growing and doing even better by our community in the Cloud Foundry ecosystem and all of the companies who are in there and all of the people who are in there. We now are actually have been backed by resources and just amazing people that can kind of coach us to help Stark & Wayne go to that next level, specifically and strategically help out all Cloud Foundry customers over the next three to five years as not just where it is today, but what’s next? What have we seen that works? What can work for you? And all the stuff we were talking about earlier. We now have the ability to focus on that wonderful story and deliver on it. So, I’m stoked.

Brian Seguin: And to build off of what Wayne’s saying, we really took our time with Dr. Nic to find the right company to partner with that believes in the Open Source Cloud Foundry story, that believes in the Open Source Cloud Foundry ecosystem, that will actually take their time and the resources to invest in growing our commitment to that ecosystem and to our customers. And that’s what we’re seeing now and we’re seeing today. And it has been fantastic.

Swapnil Bhartiya: It may be too early, but if I ask you that as the community at the project, as Cloud Foundry itself is changing… And the fact is it is changing. Kubernetes building now, as you folks… So, will Stark & Wayne’s focus also evolve? Because if I am not wrong, you folks are with your users, know wherever your users are in their journey. You want to be there with them. It’s not a, “Hey, we only do this. I don’t care.” So, how would we see the evolution of Stark & Wayne also?

Wayne Seguin: So, the evolution of Stark & Wayne is fundamentally, we’ve focused in the platform space, specifically Cloud Foundry. And then later on, we also became a Kubernetes certified service provider. We branched out. And that wasn’t us saying, “Oh, that’s the future. We’re going there.” That was, “No, this story is so much better together from everything we can now do.” And that’s only going to grow and continue as we move into the future. Stark & Wayne is committed to, and going to help our users to not only figure out where their workloads will fit best, but also as our offerings for Cloud Foundry experience on top of Kubernetes evolve and become production viable, stable, we’re going to be right there to help our customers with our deep knowledge of Cloud Foundry and Kubernetes to achieve getting their workloads running on these things in effective manners.

And also, because of our new parent company, we can then also help them with the sort of whole transformation story around their applications, and what’s next in re-platforming, and what’s beyond. And how can we do these things better including, like I was saying earlier, the CICD DevOps taking and transforming things that way. So, we have a much stronger story and a much bigger foothold in, or much bigger presence in being able to support the community in these areas.

Brian Seguin: And to add on to what Wayne’s saying, Stark & Wayne has always been viewed, inside of our customers’ organizations, as the trusted advisors on strategy, architecture, and those things. But mostly, on the platform side of things. Qarik actually, takes a holistic view and does that strategic advisor role for lots of other things, such as security, data science, UI, UX, and the holistic DevOps in Cloud Native space. So together, we are able to provide an end-to-end solution for our customers as trusted advisors working alongside our clients to do the holistic Cloud Native journey.

Wayne Seguin: Yeah. And for example, I mean, we also now have the ability to offer, moving forward, enterprise support for things like Open Source Cloud Foundry with Kubernetes running alongside, and really strong stories for those kinds of things which we were just never able to do before. We did, but at small scale.

Swapnil Bhartiya: If you just go back to the same point, as you’re talking about that Stark & Wayne will be with the customer in their journey wherever they are, irrespective of what they’re using. And now through this partnership, as you mentioned that you have room to grow. So, can you talk about what benefit this partnership brings to Stark & Wayne?

Brian Seguin: The benefit that Qarik is bringing to Stark & Wayne is not only just investing in the company, in our company’s growth, and investing in us, in our abilities to better help our customers in the Cloud Foundry and Kubernetes ecosystems. But, it’s also about building relationships with people that they already have footholds with, such as Qarik is a premium Google service provider. They’re our premium Google partner, and they’re there to help us with those relationships and grow things such as us helping to implement better the Google Kf story, which is Google’s version of Cloud Foundry that is actually running on top of Kubernetes. And it’s actually a really awesome GA product that is extremely viable and running in production with their customers today. They’re going to have some really cool stories there, I think, and we’re really excited to see where that leads. But also in the Amazon ecosystem is Qarik has some really awesome relationships. Stark & Wayne however, will still continue to maintain our agnostic perspective when it comes to implementing cloud technology because customer and the customer’s use case is always our first and foremost thought.

Wayne Seguin: Yeah. So from my point of view, Qarik does bring the premier level of Google partnership, which is just amazing to watch in action, as well as the amazing Amazon AWS partnership that they have as well. And so, we’re excited to be able to bring those in. We were always too small before to meet the requirements to get those going at Stark & Wayne, even though we had deep technical expertise in both platforms. Now, we can bring those partnerships to bear and get just much more assistance than we had before. So, that’s a wonderful thing. The other thing that really excites me personally about Qarik is they’re so like-minded to us. They’re all about the people, both the people inside the company, as well as the clients. And they’re a people first mindset, a growth mindset. They want to do right by all of the employees. They want to do right by all of the customers.

And it’s just super refreshing to have folks who are on the same journey. Different space, because they focus on the transformation, DevOps, all that stuff. But, they’re very complementary and I couldn’t be happier for the folks that work at Stark & Wayne. This is truly a great change for them. We’re going to actual have career paths, and all kinds of wonderful, extra benefits and perks that we just weren’t able to. We tried our best. We did good by our folks, I really do believe. But now, we can do amazing by them.

Swapnil Bhartiya: Ah. Brian, Wayne, thank you so much for taking time out today and talk about this transformation that Cloud Foundry community ecosystem, of course, the user base is going through, and Stark & Wayne’s own journey. So, thanks for sharing those insights, and I would love to have you both on the show again. Thank you.

Wayne Seguin: Thanks for having us. I’m super excited for the future and future talks.

Brian Seguin: Thank you, Swap.

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