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    One way to think about Kubernetes is that it is an attempt by AWS’ competitors to provide shared common higher-level services, so that AWS has less ability to lock-in its customers into its proprietary versions of these services.

    It’s not unlike how in the 90s, all the Unix vendors teamed up to share many components, so they could compete effectively against Windows.

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      Yeah I agree. I just don’t think Kubernetes is actually very good. It’s operationally very complex and each of the big 3 providers have their own quirks and limits with their managed k8s service. At my previous employer we were responsible for many hundreds of k8s clusters, and had a team of 10 to keep k8s happy and add enough additional automation to keep it all running. The team probably needed to be twice that to really keep up.

      I keep wondering if there is an opportunity to make something better in the same area. Hashcorp is trying with Nomad. Though I don’t have any direct experience with Nomad to know if they are succeeding in making a better alternative. It integrates with the rest of their ecosystem, but separates concerns. Vault for secrets management and Consul for service discovery and stuff.

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        This sounds like progress! OpenStack was bad, K8s is not very good, maybe a new contender will be acceptable, verging on decent. ;)

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          I wish I could upvote this multiple times. (openstack flashback intensifies).

          More seriously, from what I heard k8s really seems to be a lot easier to handle than OpenStack and its contemporaries. We had a very small team and at times it felt like we needed 6 out of 12 people (in the whole tech department of the company) just to keep our infra running. I’ve not heard such horror stories with k8s.

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            I want to know why nomad isn’t that “acceptable verging on decent” list

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              I don’t know anything about nomad.

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          That was sorta how I thought about OpenStack, but I get the impression that software wasn’t really good enough to run in production and resultingly fizzled out.

          Not quite the same though because OpenStack was trying to be an open-source thing at the same level as EC2 + ELB + EBS, rather than at a higher level?

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            Now, I never actually deployed openstack, so I may not know what I’m talking about. But I always got the impression that Openstack was what you got when you had a committee made up of a bunch of large hardware vendors looking after their own interests. The result being fairly low quality, and high complexity.

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              I didn’t personally either but I saw someone try and just bail out after, like, a week or two.

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                I actually saw someone put significant resources into getting an Openstack installation to work. It was months and months for a single person, and the end result wasn’t extremely stable. It could have been made good enough with more people, but unfortunately at the same time, AWS with all its offerings was much much easier.

                Kubernetes seems like a marginally better design and implementation of the same architectural pattern: the vendor-neutral cluster monster.

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                  The problem usually was that you wanted some of this compartmentalization (and VMs) on premise, that’s why AWS was out. In our case we simply needed to be locally available because of special hardware in the DC. We thought about going into the cloud (and partly were), but in the end we still needed so much stuff locally that OpenStack was feasible (and not even Docker wasn’t, because of Multicast and a few other things iirc)

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          Upvoted mostly for the link to the superbly prescient 1997 Isenberg piece.