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The nautical themes associated with Kubernetes got me thinking about the many similarities between boating and building software products. What goes on with both activities depends entirely on what you want to do. After achieving early goals, what you want to do usually grows into more expansive and challenging pursuits over time. 

That’s precisely what has gone on here at Carbon Relay, but let me draw the parallel for you. 

One style of boating is to keep things simple and safe. For that, there are options like pontoon boats, which come in packages that have everything a boater needs for a nice, easy day on the water. They’re fun, but with less power, maneuverability and seaworthiness than larger craft, they limit where you can go and what you do. 

This scenario parallels Carbon Relay’s early development efforts. Our pontoon boat was the Docker platform, and more specifically, the Docker Swarm clustering and scheduling tool for managing Docker containers. 

Leaving the Dock with Docker

With Docker Swarm, our first product made it very easy for customers to get started with containerization. Most of their operational parameters selections were preset. All they needed to do was start the engine and go. 

Due to Docker Swarm’s lack of flexibility, however, these customers were limited in what they could do with our first product. From a functionality perspective, they had to stay close to shore and never venture out in rough conditions. 

Those limitations bothered us, especially team members who had come to Carbon Relay from places where Kubernetes is used extensively, such as Black Duck Software. So, we analyzed the pros and cons, and decided to migrate over to the Kubernetes platform. 

We knew going in that Kubernetes is vastly more flexible than Docker, which would give us and our customers the ability to do more with greater customization. But we also knew that to getting there would involve figuring out, configuring and controlling many more things – and doing so continuously – than what we needed to do in Docker.

We had a great solution to that challenge – our people. Carbon Relay’s data scientists and engineers are some of the best machine learning (ML) minds in the business. When they looked at Kubernetes’ complexity, and began shifting over to that platform, they saw many places where machine learning could greatly pare back that complexity.

Using their knowledge and prior experience, they began applying ML technologies and techniques to automate and optimize the needed configurations and settings for orchestration.

And that’s how Red Sky Ops was born. 

An AIOps platform for deploying, scaling and managing containerized applications in Kubernetes environments, Red Sky Ops provides intelligent and automated ways to overcome Kubernetes and container complexity, boosts app performance, reduces costs and minimize alert noise. Following is a partial roster of its features and functions.

  • Automated Optimization for Kubernetes Application Configuration – Using ML and AI the product will take in all of the data from trial runs of an application and determine the optimal configuration for pod, container, and application parameters
  • Seamless Kubernetes Integration – Our Kubernetes controllers and resources allow for a seamless integration experience for running experiments with applications deployed to Kubernetes
  • Insight into Application Configuration and Performance –  Our experiments will provide multiple options for cost/performance tradeoffs in applications. This can also provide insights into configuration changes that had the most impact.
  • API Integration – Experiment result data can be accessed from our API and integrated with data in third party systems.
  • Repeatable Experiments – This process of running optimization experiments can be integrated into performance and scalability pipelines to provide an automated solution for determining the optimal configuration prior to deploying new versions of the application.

If your organization is ready to embark on its own Kubernetes cruise to containerization, Carbon Relay is ready to help. We can help you to build and customize the right vessel for wherever you want to take it.  Whatever your destination, we can get you outfitted, geared up and properly rigged for the trip. Get started because an ocean of benefits awaits. 

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