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Mirantis Lens Is Helping DevOps Manage Kubernetes Complexity With Ease | Miska Kaipiainen | Kubecon EU

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“Kubernetes is a great equalizer in terms of technical capabilities; even the smaller  players are capable of doing things that were only available for the biggest and technologically advanced companies in the past,” says Miska Kaipiainen, VP of Engineering, Strategy & Open Source Software at Mirantis.

I have been covering Mirantis Lens, the Kubernetes IDE (Integrated Development Environment), ever since it was acquired and launched by Mirantis. Mirantis Lens has seen significant user growth since its release two years ago and now boasts more than 600,000 users. At KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2022, I had the opportunity to sit down with Kaipiainen in person and talk about Lens. According to Kaipiainen, one of the reasons behind the popularity of Lens is that it helps developers cope with the complexity of Kubernetes and make things easier and simpler.

Lens will be getting new features and functionalities in the next release. I will be covering them once Mirantis can publicly talk about them. However, Kaipiainen indicated that there would be an increased focus on security and integration with the local development workflow.

Among other things, we also talked about DevOpsCare and how it’s helping DevOps teams as a co-pilot to help them with their cloud-native journey as compared to ‘outsourcing’ it. It actually helps teams gain expertise in cloud-native technologies.

Key highlights of this video are:

  • Mirantis is seeing substantial growth of Lens users. It grew from 15,000 users to 600,000 since its launch in March 2020
  • This growth is reflective of the growing adoption of cloud itself.
  • Mirantis DevOpsCare is more of a co-pilot to help companies embark on their cloud-native journey.
  • Lens will get enhanced security and improved integration with local development workflow.
  • What does shift left mean for Mirantis and Lens.

Solutions:

Connect with Miska Kaipiainen (LinkedIn, Twitter)
Follow Mirantis on Twitter 

The summary of the show is written by Emily Nicholls.

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Here is the automated and unedited transcript of the recording. Please note that the transcript has not been edited or reviewed. 

Swapnil Bhartiya: Hi, this is your host Swapnil Bhartiya and welcome to another episode of TFiR Let’s Talk. But this time we are in-person at KubeCon and CloudNativeCon in Valencia EU. And today we have with us, once again, Miska Kaipiainen, VP Engineering, Strategy & Open Source Software at Mirantis. Did I say the title correctly or has anything changed so far?

Miska Kaipiainen: No, it was perfect. Thank you.

Swapnil Bhartiya: Thank you. First of all, it’s great to see you in person after a long gap. Second is that this is I think the first KubeCon of this year. There will be more to come. So first of all, tell us you have been of course the showcase area, you have it in the sessions in Keynotes. What kind of energy do you see this time?

Miska Kaipiainen: No, it’s so, so beautiful to see this Cloud Native community, finally after these troubling years, to come together again in person really, and to see all this energy on the floor. So this has been great so far. Of course, I’ve been very busy with many, many meetings, but I think it looks very promising for the Cloud Native.

Swapnil Bhartiya: Perfect. And of course when we’re talking about Cloud Native, we have to talk about Mirantis Lens, open source product that is also there. There has been a lot of user growth, 600,000, more than that, users. So I, first of all, I want to just remind our viewers who have been watching our shows earlier to quickly tell us. Because Lens has been evolving also, right? So talk about what Lens is doing today? Anything new, exciting that you can share with us today?

Miska Kaipiainen: Yeah. So to recap, basically Lens, we introduced it to market two years ago. So when we came out with Mirantis with this Lens open source project, so two years ago, we had 15,000 users for Lens. Today, 600,000, more than that. So the expansion for the user growth has been truly amazing. And it shows that what we are doing, people are seeing it being very valuable. So people are seeing that it will help them to actually cope with this. Some say very difficult technology, but actually with Lens, we are trying to make it more simple for people.

So some of the new functionalities that we have been working on, more details will come in the coming weeks and months. But I can reveal so much that some of the functionalities related to security. So making security, more people, more aware about the potential security issues that they might be having. And another part is that there is even more integration in the local development workflow. So having additional tools and technologies, integrations in Lens, in that area.

Swapnil Bhartiya: You said from 15,000 to 600,000 or more than that, which also kind of reflects the adoption of Cloud Native itself is growing. So if I may ask just a higher level overview as well, what kind of trends are you seeing in that? Because you talked about some new features that you focus really working on, which also it’s not the future you’re building because you want it’s because you’re seeing something is happening and you’re reacting to that.

Miska Kaipiainen: Yeah, sure. So what we can see from our users is that, of course, it’s no secret that the public cloud is growing. So when we came out two years ago, I think it was around 60% of all the deployments that we were able to see, they were actually happening in public clouds. And today it’s somewhere around 75% of them, and AWS EKS is in lead. So for context, we are seeing over half a million clusters are being operated with Lens on a daily basis. So from those clusters 28% or so are on AWS and followed by Azure AKS around 22% or so, and GK in 16%.

So that’s what we can see and then some other public cloud vendors as well. So yeah, move the cloud, obvious. And yeah, also I think the number of users starting to use Lens, it very much reflects, as you said, also the adoption of the Cloud Native. It’s becoming more mainstream, I would say nowadays, maybe there is not so much hype anymore, but it’s been getting used in products and more and more all the time.

Swapnil Bhartiya: Excellent. One more thing I’m curious about is when we do look at these Cloud Native Kubernetes, technologies. The spectrum of user base is you have heavily tech companies, big giants, and then you also have a lot of smaller players. They’re also embracing and using Kubernetes, which also means that the label expertise that big companies have versus smaller companies have is also different, which brings back to the point of making it easier to use. We also see a lot of adoption of low-code/no-code also. So anything else that you’re seeing from the perspective of more people are using it and not everybody is a big tech company?

Miska Kaipiainen: So I think Kubernetes is a great equalizer in terms of technical capabilities. So now with the help of Kubernetes, even the smaller kind of players are capable of doing things that were only available for the biggest kind of technologically advanced companies in the past. So now it’s more like everybody’s on an equal crown. So now it’s more about how much innovation you can create on top of this technology. And that’s exciting to see all these cool new technologies that are not so much anymore about building the foundation of the Kubernetes, but stuff that is going to be built on top. And that’s what I’m seeing.

Swapnil Bhartiya: From Mirantis view also cover DevOpsCare. And there’s a lot of talk about that as well. So just first of all give us an update on what’s going on there.

Miska Kaipiainen: Yeah. So DevOpsCare, it’s the new managed service offering by Mirantis and it’s same for all the people who are using Kubernetes on any infrastructure. So the users they might be on EKS or some other infrastructure. So where we are basically trying to help be their co-pilot in their efforts where they are introducing the Cloud Native technologies in their products and in their services. We try to help them with setting up, nice way how to operate their CI/CD pipelines, how to do the infra automation system. So basically yeah, being like their co-pilot, we are not trying to do outsourcing. So we are not outsourcing business, but yeah being their trusted partner, co-pilot for their efforts and basically accelerating their time to value with their efforts. So that’s the kind of core value of the DevOpsCare offering.

Swapnil Bhartiya: Earlier we were talking about trend and I would just like listening to you, helping folks. One more thing that we are happening, this is nothing new, which is a shift left focusing on security a lot is going on there as well. And you are also talking about some of the features that you’re focusing on will be security. So talk about, once again, going back to the point of the trends you’re seeing in this space is also reflecting on the product itself. So first of all, if I ask you simply, how would you define shift left and then let’s talk about it from the Mirantis or less perspective.

Miska Kaipiainen: Yeah. Well, for me, shift left is if you think about the word DevOps. And for me the way how I read it, it’s from left to right and Dev is on the left. And so for me shift left is that we are more and more empowering developers to do some critical decisions. And we are trying to automate as much as possible for the Ops part of things and now for developers to make the good choices. So they require new type of ways, how they can observe things. It’s not just about writing code anymore. It’s also to see how the changes they’re making are reflective in reality and the applications and services that are operating, how they can see that in real time and make adjustments in their code accordingly. So yeah, for me, shift left is all about more and more empowering developers and becoming on a pilot seat when creating new applications and services.

Swapnil Bhartiya: Right. And you also touched upon when developer writing something, they should be able to see. And that’s what we also talked about in Oxford also. Observability, you events how things are running. But when we talk about, first of all, things are evolving. Just what happened and then based on what happened, you analyze it, but then you have to do something about it too.

Miska Kaipiainen: Yes.

Swapnil Bhartiya: So how do you think that in all of this together, so shifting left means when you’re writing the code, it starts all the way from there.

Miska Kaipiainen: Yes, absolutely. So traditionally they have been a little bit separate, so we have different systems. So if we have very separate like operations teams, so they have created these beautiful dashboards where they are monitoring basically the health of the system. If I may, and now with the shift left, we have these teams of developers who don’t actually even have access to see the health of the entire system. They are scoped in the small, small island, but they are, they are basically fully managing this island and we need to provide tools and technologies that are designed for that purpose, not for this entire kind of infrastructure monitoring, but for the specific applications. And that’s where Lens has been very helpful for many of its users.

Swapnil Bhartiya: Miska, thank you so much for joining me today. Also, as I said earlier, also in person, it’s a different excitement to sit with somebody in the same room and talk about things like that. And I would love to do the things like this in person, in future as well, but we cannot have KubeCon every month. So I’m hopeful to see you soon in our virtual interview and we’ll talk about a lot of things that you folks are working on. So thanks for your time today.

Miska Kaipiainen: Absolutely. Thank you very much.

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