KubeCon EU: Modernizing IT Operations Through GenAI

C. Dunlap
Research Director

Summary Bullets:
• Intelligent automation solutions will serve as an initial app platform that provides enterprises with access to generative AI (GenAI)
• Security firms will leverage GenAI as a means for enhancing cloud security posture management and attack path analysis

Last month’s KubeCon EU was a big hit in terms of record-breaking attendance and new blood seeking guidance on easing tasks associated across the Kubernetes stack. Many were also looking for answers on GenAI’s new role in app modernization and operational provisioning.

Early GenAI-injected Platforms

Amid the large gathering of software ecosystem participants, numerous use cases began to solidify, revealing how AI is evolving to best serve enterprises’ digitization efforts. From GlobalData’s perspective, initial GenAI technology will become available to IT ops and developers through intelligent automation and security platforms.

Automation solutions will serve as among the first app platforms providing enterprises with access to GenAI. For example, during the conference IBM and Red Hat reiterated their intention to leverage the Ansible Wisdom project to shore up their GenAI strategy. Red Hat is collaborating with IBM Labs on the initiative which injects AI into Ansible (Red Hat’s IT automation platform) to provide developers with automated code generation. This news follows Microsoft’s plans to inject its popular Power Platform (including Power Automate) with generative AI’s ChatGPT, OpenAI, AI Builder, and Copilot.

Security firms revealed strategies that leverage GenAI as a means of enhancing cloud security posture management and attack path analysis. This is likely Cisco’s thinking behind its recently announced intent to acquire contextual cloud security provider Lightspin. Access control providers will leverage GenAI to provide customers with significantly improved visibility into their security rules structure.

Key New/updated OSS Technologies

Newly released and fast-growing open-source software (OSS) technologies centered on: improving cloud cost visibility (Open Cost, Kubecost); increasing the developers’ role in Kubernetes and DevOps models (Backstage); supporting real-time container threat-detection (Falco); improving connectivity between containers, VMs, and endpoints leveraging service mesh (Nasp); improving policy compliance/management by unifying policy enforcement across the cloud-native stack (Open Policy Agent); and enabling VM workloads on Kubernetes (KubeVirt), among others.

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation’s (CNCF) ability to rally together IT professionals and developers as well as technology providers (many of which are archrivals) via conferences such as KubeCon, illustrates the importance of shared knowledge and shared experiences in unchartered waters. Those waters include new demands on IT, the explosion of data, increased endpoints, etc., and they are causing mounting pressure on ops teams.

CNCF’s most popular OSS technology to date is Kubernetes, which supports a cloud infrastructure as a scalable and elastic platform. But that’s only the start. Numerous tools and commercial versions of the open-source system have been created to improve the automation, deployment, and management of containerized workloads and services. Many advanced services will continue to be added to this newer system of app distribution.

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