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What's Next for Cloud Native Development Technologies?

Andy Thurai
Emerging Technology Strategy & Evangelist

Welcome to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Innovators, a series of occasional articles featuring advice, insights, and fresh ideas from IT industry experts and Oracle cloud thought leaders.

The next wave of cloud native development will be about inclusivity, according to Bob Quillin, Vice President of Developer Relations at Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. That means enabling more enterprises to access and use technologies like containers and serverless, and being more inclusive of traditional, on-premises applications.

I recently chatted with Quillin about the future of cloud native development, and he also gave me some updates on Oracle Container Engine for Kubernetes (OKE) and the current state of cloud native security.

Listen to our conversation here, and read a condensed version below:
   

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure unveiled its Container Engine for Kubernetes awhile back. Is OKE mature and can enterprises start using it? Where does it stand?

Quillin: Yes. It's been out for over a year now. It was one of the earliest platforms to be certified as Kubernetes conformant. As a managed service, it provides a fully managed control plane, it will manage the masters for you and provide total lifecycle management. It's currently being used by hundreds of enterprises. It's all based on standard Docker and standard Kubernetes, and it integrates very easily with Oracle Cloud networking, storage, and load balancing. Plus, you can leverage all of the power of our enterprise-grade cloud infrastructure.

As a developer advocate, I'm super proud of the fact that we've got a certified, Kubernetes platform managed service running on top of an enterprise-grade cloud. This provides a unique combination of a great cloud with high levels of security and superior performance that can run simple cloud native applications, open source applications, and the most advanced applications out there. We're finding that it has a lot of interest from the startup community who are often up and running within an hour or so. I also work with larger organizations who are running WebLogic and Java and database applications, and those development teams are seeing amazing successes, too. So, it's an inclusive technology that can provide value no matter where you are on the spectrum.

What is happening in the area of cloud native applications and security?

Quillin: I think security was a much more contentious topic in the container world probably three or four years ago. There's been tremendous progress and focus on security since then. Obviously, Oracle has lots of security experts, and enterprise security is certainly one of the core tenants that we push forward in terms of applications, and this will continue to be a major area of focus. I think the registry is an area where there is a lot of good work happening with image scanning, tagging containers, and having registered containers and images. We're working with partners like Twistlock, for example, to integrate their image scanning and tagging into our registry, too.

There are several levels of security in our cloud. On top of that you have Kubernetes security, which is both role and application based. You have multiple levels of security that create many different dimensions and options to control or constrain access. The tools are there to create a very secure and stable environment. We still have more work to do because security is always a moving target, but Oracle is a great security partner to have, and continuing to leverage that technology in the container and application world is a big goal for Oracle Cloud.

Looking ahead, what do you think are going to be the hottest new trends?

Quillin: One of them is definitely serverless technologies. I think they are the next big opportunity for standardization and open Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF)-sanctioned activities. The focus will be on creating more ways to build out serverless applications based on standard technologies, and the CNCF is starting to address that. You'll likely see a lot of progress on that going forward. It's also one of the bigger challenges people are going to face, and the industry needs to come together on that.

What else do you see happening in the future?

Quillin: We're basically exiting this first wave of cloud native, and I think it's pretty clear that there's a set of patterns and methodologies that have emerged to build new cloud native applications. For new greenfield applications, the tooling and technology is at just the right moment. The next big challenge to enable a second wave of cloud native development is reaching out to more underserved communities, being more inclusive in terms of on-premises technologies and traditional technologies, and enabling more enterprise access to these technologies so we can get more organizations to adopt cloud native. That will happen through better training, more managed services so they don't have to do it themselves, and then more blueprints and solutions that provide access to best practices. We could all benefit from finding ways to simplify. Oracle, in particular, is focusing on ways to take away all that complexity from the user. Open standards, more inclusive enterprise strategies, and simplification of complexities are the three big things I'm looking forward to.

If our readers want to learn more about cloud native technologies at Oracle, where should they go?

Quillin: A good starting point is cloudnative.oracle.com. It's a microsite that’s a great focal point for learning what's going on in cloud native. It also branches into related content sources throughout Oracle. I'd also recommend going to some local meetups. We spend a lot of time here in Austin, for example, with local meetups. But our evangelist teams are all over the world, so look for an Oracle Cloud Native Evangelist in your neck of the woods. And if you have an interesting meetup or conference, definitely reach out to us. We're happy to participate.

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