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Isaac Mosquera, Co-founder and CTO of Armory, predicts that in 2021:

  • Clouds will continue to innovate and will create new targets beyond Kubernetes
  • GitOps will gain momentum
  • CIOs and CTOs will start to decentralize decisions, teams, tools and processes

Here is an abridged version of the discussion.

Swapnil Bhartiya: This is your host Swapnil Bhartiya and today, we have our wizard Isaac Mosquera, Co-founder and CTO of Armory. Can you please tell us about the company?
Isaac Mosquera: We started Armory about five years ago to help bring Spinnaker to the enterprise. But the bigger story for Armory is that we want to enable safe, secure, and scalable deployments for the enterprise. These organizations that have 20,000 to 30,000 developers really need to figure out how to standardize and build safe roads into production or standardized roads into productions that everybody can use and deliver software into the world. If you look at the next 10 to 20 years, what will differentiate the Fortune 100 from everybody else is how good and quick they can get software out into their customers’ hands.

Swapnil Bhartiya: Now, go grab your crystal ball and tell us what predictions you have for 2021. I assume you are going to talk about CI/CD.
Isaac Mosquera: Yeah, absolutely. Because you mentioned CI/CD, the whole point of CD is to get your software onto some compute platform. I think the first thing that I see in my crystal ball is that the clouds will continue to innovate and pour billions of dollars into R&D and will create new targets beyond Kubernetes. We’re already starting to see that. Actually, with the enterprises we work with, there is a very small amount of workloads on Kubernetes. I think in the next couple of years, you’re going to see that there is going to be these new targets where people can deploy that will be easier and faster and more secure than what Kubernetes is today. And that will present a challenge for enterprises because, ultimately, your CI/CD system needs to be able to deploy into the best targets for your business units, for your teams. And if your CI/CD system can’t do that or keep up with the technology, then you’re going to be left behind, you’re going to go slower. Back to my first statement, enterprises will be defined based on how good they can do this. I think building your own CI/CD system will soon be out of touch because you will not be able to keep up with this innovation. And we’re already moving past Kubernetes. You already see that in the organizations and I think that will get even stronger and bigger in the coming years.

My next prediction is around GitOps. You’ve probably heard some of this term today, in particular, to Kubernetes, that adoption will continue to grow. But I think what you’re going to see is that enterprises are going to start applying the GitOps mentality to the rest of their organizations, to all of their other non-Kubernetes deployments. The reason they’re doing this is when you’re dealing with thousands of developers and they create a significant amount of code, they create hundreds of deployments per day, how do you audit that? How do you make that safe? How do you make that scalable? Well, Git and GitOps provide a great piece of fundamentals around a process that allow you to get to that scale, reach that auditability, be able to enforce compliance at the code level where developers are, not where operations folks are, and shift all of those security audit compliance concerns to the left. You’ll see a huge uptake of GitOps and it’ll be applied everywhere, very much like Agile was in the early 2000s. So agile is not a process, it’s a set of fundamentals. Everybody is doing a certain type of agile process. I think you’re going to see the same thing for GitOps here in the next few years. We refer to it as different terms: infrastructure as code, policy as code, everything as code. It will fall under the big umbrella that is being called GitOps. In fact, the GitOps working group in the CNCF just got started in terms of defining what GitOps really is. So, we’re in the very early days around GitOps and the value it provides to the enterprise, but I see a huge uptick in that.

CIOs and CTOs historically have centralized a lot of things. They’ve made a lot of decisions for the entire org, for example, “Hey, we’re all going to use Kubernetes” or “We’re all going to use vSphere.” Those types of decisions can no longer be made because the enterprises are too complex. When you’re dealing with thousands of developers, what you will see is that all of them need different types of infrastructure in order to get their jobs done. It’s not a one-size-fits-all. That will force CIOs and CTOs to start decentralizing decisions, decentralizing teams, decentralizing tools and processes, so that each team can make the best decision for themselves. We are already starting to see that. We’re seeing that with microservices. Microservices, at its core, is about loosely coupled architectures. Now, your organizational structure will also have to follow that as well.

Swapnil Bhartiya: What is going to be the focus of Armory in 2021?
Isaac Mosquera: Our big push here in 2021 is really around providing Spinnaker as a cloud offering. One of the trends that we’re seeing is that enterprises and mid-tier companies are really trying to focus on their core value in terms of creating software and delegating out to vendors. Part of that means being able to onboard quickly. So, for us at Armory, you’ll see a lot more of our offerings be cloud first, or SaaS first, so that you can consume it online without having to stand up anything on your own in your own infrastructure. I think that’s a trend that’s been going on. So, you’ll see us push there, too. The enterprises are getting more comfortable with delegating that out to a vendor who may not be inside of your account or even in your data center. Back to the GitOps movement, I think we have a lot of components. We have pipelines as code, infrastructure as code, policy as code. I think what you’ll also see us do is really organize these features and products and package them up in a way that fits under the GitOps umbrella, again, through our online and cloud offering, which will be a huge push for us here in 2021.