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eBay Looks to Kubernetes to Bridge Dev & Ops

Mitch Wagner
4/25/2017
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SAN FRANCISCO – Open Networking User Group Spring 2017 – For eBay, Kubernetes is emerging as a multi-tool that solves several technology problems, including bridging development and operations, simplifying application deployment and connecting to the public cloud.

Operations has a different set of needs than developers, eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY) Chief Cloud Engineer Ashwin Raveendran said in a presentation here Tuesday. IT operations has requirements not available in the sheltered development environment, including availability, security, monitoring, service discovery, autoscaling and more.

eBay's Ashwin Raveendran addresses the Open Networking User Group conference.
eBay's Ashwin Raveendran addresses the Open Networking User Group conference.

Kubernetes is the bridge that connects containerized applications to the real world of app deployment, Raveendran said. For eBay, Kubernetes has many virtues. It provides standardized specs, with built-in network functions, pluggability, federation, dynamic scheduling, widespread adoption and it's open source.

Kubernetes has simplified deployment of eBay's 4,000 applications. Applications at eBay deploy through a private cloud, platform-as-a-service (PaaS) layer, without going directly to machines to deploy code. That's true for 90% of the applications eBay uses; 10%, such as database services, don't fit that model, Raveendran said.


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And eBay is looking to Kubernetes to bridge its private cloud to the public cloud. For example, there's work being done to get Amazon Lambda serverless compute running on Kubernetes. And as public cloud costs come down, eBay is seeing more of a need to move some workloads to public cloud, rather than having it all on private cloud as it is now, Raveendran said.

eBay is coming to look at IT as a dial that can be turned one way for private cloud and another for public cloud. If an application group has a particular need -- for example, graphics processors or advanced features not available in eBay's in-house IT -- eBay wants to be able to easily move those workloads to a public cloud. Kubernetes provides abstraction to facilitate that, allowing containers to run anywhere they want.

eBay likes Kubernetes so much it has its own Kubernetes distro, which it names Tess.

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