Pulumi, a Seattle based startup, announced Series A funding and the release of Team Edition of their Multi Cloud App Deployment tool (see Techmeme discussion). Rishidot Research has already identified Pulumi’s approach as one of the three different approaches to cloud native platforms with Pulumi falling into Infrastructure as developer friendly code category. This funding gives Pulumi the necessary muscle to go beyond their open source community and target enterprise customers.
Why Pulumi is interesting?
There are certain factors that might help Pulumi adoption and we will highlight some of them here.
- Multi Cloud is fast becoming the norm inside most enterprises. One of the biggest challenges with multi cloud is the consumption of cloud services from different providers. There are companies that take a more Ops centric approach to streamline multi cloud consumption. Pulumi is focussing on developers and the platform is making it easy for developers to consume the infrastructure for their applications, in a language they are familiar
- Enterprises are slowly becoming more agile and embracing DevOps as their deployment mantra. Slowly, they are approaching the two pizza teams model, popularized by Amazon, to bring agility in deployment. When small teams are made to own the entire lifecycle of the application (or Microservice), giving developers the option of provisioning the underlying infrastructure using a programming model of their choice is more appealing
- Kubernetes is fast becoming a standard for container orchestration. There are many Kubernetes platforms focussed on making Kubernetes more consumable. But, in a complex environment, YAML complexity could be a big issue. YAML complexity could be the friction point that completely derails the DevOps strategy of an organization. Pulumi is abstracting away this complexity with a set of libraries so that developers need not worry about YAML configuration files
- Starting with the early cloud days, developer productivity and deployment velocity are two key parameters for any CIO. Pulumi is trying to optimize both parameters, trying to make their platform appealing to the enterprises
Pulumi faces competition from many different players. We will highlight some of these competitors here.
- Application platform providers – There are many application and container platforms based on Kubernetes as the container orchestration engine. Pulumi competes with them head on
- Infrastructure as Code Platforms – Many traditional DevOps platforms like Chef, Puppet, Ansible, etc are competitors
- Enterprises going all in with a single cloud provider will use the tools of the cloud provider
- Projects like Metaparticle that focusses on taming the complexity around Kubernetes with a developer centric focus
Pulumi can compete with the first two categories of competitors using YAML complexity. They can try to convince those enterprises who had gone all in with a single provider talking about increased developer productivity with Pulumi and the choice offered by a multi cloud strategy
What they need to do
Pulumi has to compete with large traditional enterprise providers and cloud providers as they try to get into enterprises.
- They will need to convince enterprises that YAML complexity is a big problem. I did an unscientific Twitter poll and only a small chunk of people who voted in the poll think it is a problem. They have their task cut out trying to convince organizations that they need their platform to remove any bottleneck that can arise through YAML complexity. They need to educate Enterprise IT decision makers, Ops and developers on the value offered by their platform
- They need to expand their platform from Day 1 to Day 2 by integrating with tools that enterprises use. They already have a rich set of integrations and they need to expand on this
Infrastructure as a developer friendly code is real and Pulumi is leading the pack with the next wave of application platforms. Let us wait and see how this market shapes up