Brad Maltz, Dell Technologies | KubeCon + CloudNativeCon NA 2022

Brad Maltz, Dell Technologies | KubeCon + CloudNativeCon NA 2022

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(upbeat music) >> Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome back to theCUBE Live in Detroit, Michigan. Lisa Martin here with John Furrier.

We are covering KubeCon + CloudNativeCon '22. John, this is day two of our coverage wall-to-wall three days of coverage on theCUBE. We've been talking a lot about the developer and how the world is starting to really revolve around developer and DevOps portfolios. >> Yes, developers, startups, big companies, all transforming. This next segment, we want to hear from how Dell Technologies cloud natives, big time strategy there and looking forward to it.

It's good. It's going to be a great segment. >> Yes, please welcome back one of our alumni to theCUBE. Brad Maltz is here, Senior Director of DevOps Portfolio and DevRel for Dell Technologies.

Good to see you. >> Thank you guys for having me. >> So, Dell at KubeCon, what's going on? >> Yeah, that's literally the most common question I'm getting. So for us, it's a lot about our customer base is making that transformation into a DevOps world. And they have a ton of Dell and they're like, Hey, from a Dell perspective, how do you help us make that transformation into a DevOps operating model? So we're here to explain that.

We're here to talk about infrastructure as code, our container Kubernetes story, our multi-cloud story. We're talking about all of it. >> Tell us about those stories and what the value is in it for companies to work with Dell as they transition.

>> So when we look at it from a DevOps perspective for us, it's all about the culture, the operating model shift they're trying to make. And what that means to them is they have to figure out how do they automate all of the stacks they have to deal with. Whether it's going to be server, storage, data protection, network, and all the way up through the hypervisor and Kubernetes. That means they need to work with an ecosystem of tools.

Things like Ansible, things like Terraform, all that stuff. Our job is to make our portfolio more consumable in the infrastructure as code space. That's one part of the discussion. The second part of the conversation is Kubernetes won. Kubernetes won the abstraction in this multi-cloud world and we as Dell are helping our customers consume Kubernetes.

Whether it's by bringing solutions and more appliance oriented mentality to the market or whether it's actually enabling them with our container storage modules and CSI drivers. >> So it as supercloud as we call or multi-cloud as some people call it, you're starting to see the abstraction for interoperability, but essentially just distributed hybrid cloud. Edge as you guys have a big presence. So Dell's supplying not just the data center anymore.

Cloud models are moving to hybrid on-premises, edge is growing. We saw some great use cases where military applications are using Kubernetes and all kinds of new things. So this real examples happening right now.

This is going to impact Dell's customers and Dell as a supplier of compute and servers. And the gear that runs everything. Like at a telco, you can have a data center at an edge spot, like a box could be a data center. >> Telco is a great example cause we created the business, the Telco business unit. And in the Telco business unit, our goal was, hey, telco is a little different than enterprise edge.

Enterprise edge, retail, manufacturing, healthcare. They have certain needs. Telco, much smaller group of customers that have a much different set of needs.

And that's very similar is how do we scale at the edge? How do we control things programmatically? How do we do it in a secure way? And how do we do it so that our people internally don't have to deal with the underpinnings of all that infrastructure. Just make it easier for them. That's our goal through the edge discussions, through telco and all that. >> Yeah. We've been doing a big thing on why hardware matters.

Hardware's back. We look at all the hyperscalers, the big competition is faster, faster, faster chips, faster the physics. This is part of the supply chain both hardware and software. Okay. So developers want more power.

At the end of the day, this community here wants invisible infrastructure and they want it fast. >> Brad: Yes, that's exactly right. >> There's a lot under the hub. It's still servers. >> You still got firmware, you still got bio, you still got to management operating system, You still got to patch things, kernels, security issues, all of that from a server perspective.

We haven't even talked about storage or networking or any of the other stuff. So there's a ton of buttons and dials under the covers. >> And that's totally going to be awesome. And the question comes in, okay, now take me to the cloud native because automation, infrastructures code, these are now the hotspots.

Software supply chain, not hardware, software supply chain. So these are all things that are going to be intersecting. What's your view? >> In the multi-cloud view of the world, what we really have are our customers are saying, okay, we started on one cloud, Amazon or Azure or Google. And they're like, you know what? We had to go to a second cloud for whatever reason, many reasons. Now we have to manage two clouds. And by the way, we never got fully off-prem.

So now we have all of our on-premises stuff plus multiple clouds. How do we deal with the complexity there? And the complexity there is everything from data problems of data mobility, data protection, replication, all that stuff. How do we deal with the actual application life cycle management across that? And that's where a lot of the tooling we're discussing comes in. That's where Kubernetes comes in and they want to do it in an agnostic way. 'Cause if they can't begin to transition to do it in a standardized layer, then the end of the day they're still going to be managing three totally different environments with three separate engineering teams.

>> So is your target audience primarily existing Dell customers, legacy customers, or is it really wide open? >> It's actually been opening up. So we have kind of, the way I view it is we have three different segments that we're going to be going after. We have what I would say is the top 10% of the industry that's really able to skill up into this DevOps world very quickly. They're going to go after the GitOps, they're going to go after all those things. That's a combination of existing customers, but also the really, really large customers that can build their own clouds on-premises. We then have the other end of the spectrum.

People that aren't making the shift. People that are like, you know what this DevOps transformation it's not going to help us there, but we still need server and storage and whatnot. And then I like to call it the squishy middle. 60, 70% of the market that's like, we can't scale up in time, we can't hire the people, they're not available 'cause that 10% just got them all, but we still have the same problems. And how do we operate in a world where we have that multi-cloud type of a problem, but we can't find the people. Now you got to figure out more of the no-code, low-code packaged solutions, packaged automation coming from companies like Dell and others.

>> So there's customers that are either at the beginning of their journey are not convinced yet. What are some of the barriers that they're seeing that Dell can help them overcome? >> Number one thing, education. >> Lisa: Really? >> We're hearing that consistently here at KubeCon and just customer meetings all over the place. There is a segment of the industry that they're empowered to move into a DevOps model. They don't have the ability or resources. They're not able to say, I've been doing this forever in this way in storage.

How do I do that in another thing? And they're scared. They want somebody to come in and kind of handhold them a little bit, but somebody they trust. Somebody they've been working with for a very long time. That's Dell's role. Hands-on labs, training materials, how-to videos, but do it in the comfortable way that they feel like, okay we got this.

>> And the success with the customers has been that well-documented. The success with the company, again, continues to survive and thrive in all conditions. So Michael Dell knows what he's doing. Love following his strategy. Michael, if you're watching, I know he watches theCUBE video, congratulations. But now the hard question for Dell is this, the applications used to run on PCs, now they're running PCs under the covers and servers.

The application space here at this community is enabled by Kubernetes, is creating a new application runtime like environment. I like, compared to the old app server days when things were like just application specific, development got easier. We're in that renaissance now where the app runtime is being enabled by Kubernetes. You guys been there, done that in the old school, now the new school. What's your view on this Kubernetes? What's Dell's view on? >> Yeah, so back to Kubernetes won in my head.

It's just flat out won and part of the reason, and it beat out a lot of things. You remember Cloud Foundry, which there's still a thing, but Cloud Foundry went a little too far up into the application stack and constrained the application developers a bit too much. Kubernetes success is two things. It's because they're not constraining the developer, but they're also figuring out how to enable that IT operations mindset.

And they become that happy medium that's out there. So now all of a sudden, application modernization conversations and cloud-native app development, there is a standard package. There's standard load balancing and security paradigm, standard registration mechanisms, all built into the Kubernetes layer, by the way, enabled by an ecosystem. And because they're actually going through that, what's happening now is we can finally move forward.

We can take that next step and we can build around that ecosystem of Kubernetes. >> That is thematically something that we've been hearing, John, for the last day and a half is the maturation of Kubernetes People, what's next? We are ready for the next step. Talk about Dell as an enabler of that.

>> Yeah, so a funny, another part of that paradigm is Kubernetes does not equal virtualization. And this is a hard one in this industry right now. A lot of people say, well, yeah, we did the VMware pivot and then the KVM and everything else and they're like, this is just another one of those pivots. I'm like, no it's not.

Virtualization was the pivot of physical hardware became virtual hardware, but you still thought of it in CPU memory disc and you managed it in the same way. Kubernetes, it's a such a different way of thinking about operationalization and all that abstraction that what we're realizing is people need to take baby steps into Kubernetes right now. The maturity of it is great because there is an ecosystem around it, but the majority of the industry isn't even aware of the basics of Kubernetes right now. So our job, we look at it as the education part, but also can we deliver the solutions together with the OpenShift's of the world and the Tanzu's of the world and the Rancher's of the world. Can we deliver more of that full stack experience going into the next few years? That's where we believe we can help accelerate them. Education and that delivery mechanism.

>> And the community support is going to be there too. You got to have the. >> 100%. >> The community, not just education, which you guys done before, but doing it with open source vibe. >> That's where DevRel comes in. So the DevRel half of my world now is all about Dell in the community.

And to be part of community isn't just to say, Hey, I'm going to go sponsor something. That's not community to me. >> It doesn't hurt.

>> It doesn't hurt, but we're going to do that. We're definitely going to help with that. What our notion is you got to participate, you got to contribute, you got to be there, you got to be part of the community. That's part of my developer relations team is to become part of it. >> You got to be part of it and belong. Belonging is earning.

>> Brad: Yes. >> And that's the key. And the other thing we were talking about standards and Dell has won a lot of business 'cause the PC and the servers all had standards, standard components. Standards now in the community are being driven by developer consensus.

>> Brad: Yes. >> So that is an interesting new paradigm. So if you make cloud native work where all the hardware and software that's powering the builders is invisible.

The developers will tell you what they want. >> 100%. >> And that's why your Kubernetes, Cloud Foundry example is so on point. It's a little bit nuanced, but what happened there is, let's explain Kubernetes was loosely de facto enabling. They didn't try to take too much territory.

They didn't over push. >> Brad: Exactly. >> They were very flexible, lightweight at first, but it was enabling. >> It was organic. >> And we called it on theCUBE, I'm not going to lie, we called that early on. So props to us.

>> Brad: Good job. >> Pat on the back. >> Lisa: Pat your own back. >> We get it right a lot. But now there's impact though. But the Dell I think speaks to the theme here, which just we talked is that you got startups here.

We had from Envoy, we saw the donator there. He started his own company. You got Dell, which has large enterprises running massive workloads with a lot of legacy and modernization.

So you got a combination of both coming together. This is going to be a collision of innovation. >> Oh I look, that's exactly right.

Part of what I've been getting is not just the end users, the infrastructure developers, and whatnot around here. Startups look, come to Dell, and they're like, why are you here? Like we build this and we don't talk to you. And we're like, why not? If we come to market and start delivering more of those Kubernetes oriented solutions and the Kubernetes stack experience, that's where you guys should be working with us. You're part of the ecosystem. >> Well, your job is to say to them, look it when you want to write your software for the edge and we have market share of the most hardware at the edge, 'cause we perform better on the edge.

No one wants to write software on the slower platform. >> No. >> Name me one I want to write software that's just, this is something, but people don't understand that's why you're here.

>> Brad: That's exactly right. >> The game is about performance. >> Brad: Yeah. >> Cloud can do it, you can do it with a machine.

So it depends where in the distributed computing chain you're at. >> You bring up one topic that actually isn't a core discussion topic around DevOps, but I am seeing more HPC and a AI/ML conversations popping up in this DevOps cloud native space. 'Cause even the market of HPC, which is a very traditional market, commodity server driven in the past, they're starting to say, how do I take advantage of Kubernetes and all of the benefits that we've been talking about. >> What are some of the things that you've heard like in your sense is the key theme or the talk track of Kubernetes, its evolution? What's on the developer's minds the last day and a half at this conference? >> Oh, okay. That's a hard question, but a good one. So the way I look at it is probably it's the robustness of the features within Kubernetes, not the native features, but even partner included features. They just want to be able to handle security in a much more, I hate to say zero trust, but secure cloud native way.

There's tools in the Kubernetes ecosystem that are so integrated into Kubernetes. They don't have to think sometimes as much about how do they do it themselves. They can go find through open source or off-the-shelf startup and say, I need that and I can spin it up in about five minutes and now I'm doing that without having to spend weeks or months and having to build that.

And that's security is one example. You can go through the networking discussion, you can go through so many different areas. The fact is because of community and the ecosystem, that is the winning formula for Kubernetes to enable the development. That's all I'm hearing here is they're like, give me more, give me more startups, give me more of these technologies. >> And ease of use has been a big topic here.

We've been talking before we came on camera about VMware has done great since it used the virtual machine example versus Kubernetes. That is millions of developers and operators on VMware. They have about 200,000 plus just in VMUG alone. So they are going to transform their careers.

They're looking for a home. They're looking for a community for the next 10 years. I mean, VMware will still be around with Broadcom, but I'm speculating that it will be much more in maintenance mode.

But to get someone's career in fourth gear, fifth gear, you got to go and get that next skill set, and that's the question. Where do all these operators, IT operators go to become enterprise operators? >> Brad: That's exactly right. >> That is a big topic. What's your reaction? >> Sp I'm actually a living proof of that.

I grew up in the VMware ecosystem. And for me making that pivot, it took me many years. One of the ways I did that was I actually have run in Dell, our advanced development pivotal Dojos, if you remember Pivotal. >> Yes. >> And doing the Pair Programming in Agile.

It took me that mental shift to say, okay, we were doing it that way and now there's a new way to do it through code with developers and using all the new buzzwords. And that pivot is different for somebody that's just starting now, and they don't have access to a Dojo that they can go handle like a whole bunch of pair programmers. How do they make that pivot? That's 100% what we have to do.

>> Okay, so my question is this, this is a hard question for you, maybe you can answer or not or maybe you can. What's different now than the attempt in the past from Dell EMC to do work or align with the developers? I think, was it five, six years ago, it was an effort. Was it timing? What's different now from then? >> So that attempt was awesome.

That team was great. I was very close to that team and that was from the EMC side originally is where they have built that out. And the notion of that was that we just have to go start contributing knowledge and technology into the community and start really taking the brand and trying to expand the brand to be relevant in that community. Nothing wrong. That was actually an amazing way they did it. I think through the merger there was definitely a little bit of, okay, well, maybe this isn't one of our top priorities right now and that's probably what happened through the actual merger.

>> John: It's a little bit distraction. >> It was distraction. >> Timings wasn't as good now. >> You try merging a 67 billion merger. I mean it's just really hard to do. What happened here is I think we finally got past a lot of that with the merger and now we're in steady stage/growth mode, which is a notion that now we can go and do this again in the new world, taking our lessons learned from what we did before, and try to actually go and update that in these new power apps.

>> And you could point to some specific timing issues. Like at that time this community wasn't as advanced along. Kubernetes wasn't as clear.

Visibility to that value proposition. Although a lot of people were speculating what happened that way. >> Exactly. >> But now with multi-cloud, I think developers starting to see the reality that it ain't going to be one cloud. >> Well, multi-cloud is not one cloud, so 100%.

>> Well, I mean there's multi-cloud today, but it's really not multi-cloud by the way it could be. The people have multiple clouds. I think that gives developers comfort that existing enterprise players. Remember Microsoft wasn't really in the cloud game six, seven years ago. Look where they are now.

Significant progress, nipping at the heels of AWS. So all the enterprise players are back at the table. >> Brad: Yeah, definitely. We're here. >> And that's timing issue.

>> We're here. >> Talk about, you're here, you are helping customers get to the basics of Kubernetes. You talked a lot about the importance of the education.

>> Brad: Yes. >> That screams to me that Dell can be a facilitator of cultural change within organizations, whether it's a bank or a hospital or a retailer or whatnot. Another thing that I'm curious about, what you guys are doing, how you've evolved, Dell is a massive partner ecosystem. How is the partner ecosystem involved in helping customers build their DevOps portfolios and really start embracing, understanding, and learning about Kubernetes? >> So that's an ever changing world right now. And that's part of why we're here at KubeCon is to help expand that. We have a very, very strong partner community.

Not even just channel, but like technology partner community. And our goal is to understand with our DevOps portfolio what needs to be the next step of that partner community. Do we have to go partner up with like the, I'll use examples, the Do we have to partner up with all the mesh companies, the HashiCorp, which we are, We have to understand where the layers that make sense and where don't.

There are some that don't make sense because they're so often to an app developer land or they're so far above even Kubernetes sometimes that maybe they don't make sense in our partner community. >> How influential are, I know we got to go soon, but how influential are your customers in helping to make some of those decisions? It's all about the customer at the end of the day. >> They're the only one that's deciding for us. They have to come to us.

We have to see the need. We have to understand the discussions through our sales mechanisms, our other mechanisms. We're using that data every single day, every hour to make those decisions. >> Awesome. Brad, it's been great to have you. Sorry we took more of your time than we planned, but it was so interesting. >> No, this is awesome.

>> Dell at KubeCon, you've done a great job of explaining why that absolutely resonates, the relevance, and why customers should be looking at Dell as their partner for this. Thank you so much for your time and your insights. >> Thank you guys. >> All right.

For John Furrier and our guest, I'm Lisa Martin. You're watching theCUBE live at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon '22 from Detroit, Michigan. Stick around, our next guest will be here in just a minute. (gentle music)

2022-10-31 01:20

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