Blog Insights How Kubernetes merges with multicloud & how to manage it
Published on: February 5, 2020
4 min read

How Kubernetes merges with multicloud & how to manage it

Google Cloud's Ian Chakeres and Tim Hockin discuss how Kubernetes reduces cloud noise and makes multicloud possible.


In November 2019, we had the opportunity to co-host MulticloudCon, a zero-day event with our partners at Upbound. The event featured experts in cloud, Kubernetes, database resources, CI/CD, security, and more to learn how multicloud is evolving and empowering developers and operations experts across the industry.

In this presentation from MulticloudCon, Google Cloud's Ian Chakeres and Tim Hockin cover the challenges of using multiple clouds, and how Kubernetes cuts through the cloud noise to provide consistency in workflows. Gartner predicts that by 2021, over 75% of midsize and large organizations will have adopted a multicloud or hybrid IT strategy.

As organizations continue to amp up their multicloud initiatives, they’ll need ways to manage the complexities and differences between multiple cloud environments. Kubernetes is perfectly built for this task because it creates the right abstractions so teams can utilize multiple clouds on a consistent platform.

Discussion highlights

The challenges of multiple clouds:

"The hard thing about multiple clouds is the noise. There's so much that is different across clouds. To learn them to the depth that you need to be able to develop and debug real applications on these clouds is really, really difficult. Networking capabilities across clouds, across environments, are incredibly different and varied. Storage, auto-scaling, life cycle management, all of these things that have a real, material impact on the way you develop your applications. It can be total chaos for your staff." – Tim Hockin, Software Engineer, Kubernetes, Anthos, and GKE

Why Kubernetes is built for multicloud:

"Kubernetes is this platform that is [at a] high enough level that it hides most of those variances that we see across all the different clouds. But it's also [at a] low enough level that you can do anything that you need to, for your business and your developers. Kubernetes provides these abstractions that insulate your teams from some of the mess below, hiding that infrastructure complexity that's associated with multiple clouds." – Ian Chakeres, Engineering Manager, Anthos and GKE

How open source continues to improve Kubernetes and multicloud:

"Not only can you build the platform for your teams, but there is this entire ecosystem of people who are out there, in Kubernetes, building things that can help you run your business. I went to look at the CNCF page recently, just to look at all the different projects, and even just the graduated project list now fills your entire screen. There's this entire ecosystem that builds the infrastructure and the applications... they can fill in the gaps if there are any things that your business is running into. So Kubernetes is giving you this leverage as being a platform that actually spans all of those other clouds." – Ian Chakeres

Kubernetes and multicloud

Networking across environments, clouds, and clusters remains challenging. Organizations don’t want to train DevOps teams on multiple clouds, and even if they did, training teams on the intricacies and fine details for every single cloud provider would be an exercise in futility. Tailoring deployments for each cloud is inefficient and time-consuming. Kubernetes provides the consistency teams need to work with multiple clouds by creating abstractions that bring all deployments into one environment. Even though there are many exciting things happening in open source around Kubernetes and multicloud, not every abstraction is leak-proof.

In a perfect multicloud, multi-cluster hybrid world, teams are working with multiple providers in a seamless environment that hides the underlying infrastructure. It’s still a little too early for multicloud and hybrid Kubernetes to make that "perfect" world a reality, but as multicloud technology continues to evolve, Kubernetes will continue to be at its core.

To learn more about how the team at Google is investing in Kubernetes and multicloud, watch the full presentation below.

Cover image by Francisco Delgado on Unsplash

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