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Interview: Craig McLuckie and Joe Beda on the value of Kubernetes

Over the past year, Kubernetes has become the de facto standard for managing and orchestrating Docker containers. To find out why, I asked its creators Craig McLuckie and Joe Beda—cofounders of the startup Heptio and former Google colleagues—to explain Kubernetes’s value to the enterprise.

As Joe Beda describes Kubernetes, it builds on container portability to enable orchestration of many services in many containers. “With Kubernetes, instead of saying I want to run this program on this particular machine, or particular server or VM, you can say, ‘Find me the right place to do that,’” says Beda. “Now you can go from deploying one of something to deploying ten or 100 instances across a whole set of machines. It starts enabling new workflows with how people develop, how they deploy, and how they operate software over the long term.”

McLuckie and Beda worked together on Google Compute Engine. As McLuckie explains it, they were looking to fill the gap between IaaS, which was too low-level, and PaaS, which was too high-level. To do that, they turned to Google’s own infrastructure for running Linux containers at massive scale and derived much of the functionality of the Kubernetes open source project from that.

At a high level, the cofounders see the benefits of Kubernetes to the enterprise as twofold:

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