Heptio – Making Enterprises Cloud Ready
Nov. 30, 2016
With an $8.5M investment from Accel and Madrona Venture Group Heptio begins its Mission – Bring Kubernetes to the enterprise. In other words, another startup reaching for the title of becoming the data center operating system. As we’ve mentioned before there there are lots (at least 20?) that are in one way or another are out for the same piece of enterprise real estate. For awhile it wasn’t clear what exactly was the status of Kubernetes since there wasn’t a Docker like relationship between the the open source world to Kubernetes. That changed with this funding announcement. Now that Kubernetes has a “step father” relationship in the commercial software world we can expect a barrier for adoption might have been removed.
Heptio founders Joe Beda and Craig McLuckie previously worked for Google building and managing systems. Their plan is to provide enterprises access to this same type of systems management that Google uses. Who wouldn’t want that? Actually when you think about it, Google has done more to disrupt the status quo of enterprise systems than any if the incumbents – but that’a topic for another day.
While there is a great deal of creative software development for modern systems management there is one question that is a potential stumbling block. How are these twenty or so companies different? Heptio’s answer is that there are four dominant value drivers – 1) Decoupling, 2) Eliminate Toil, 3) Build Nimble Development Tools and 4) Improve (Developer) Efficiency. The trouble with this is that everyone is claiming these same four value propositions. It may be that Kubernetes’ orchestration is better than brand X, Y or Z but in the larger scheme of things that doesn’t matter. Enterprises are going to be looking at more than just the differential performance advantage. Enterprises must gain competitive advantage through their investment in developers and management systems. Just look at what’s going on in automobile business. Ford Motor is likely to have 10K developers on board in just a few short years – looking at it that way – the journey is not about the incremental performance advantage – the journey is how do things like Kubernetes make Ford’s investment in software a long term advantage. Ford itself is moving from a car manufacturer to a delivery of vehicle related mobile services. What role do groups like Heptio play in helping Ford get there?