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Mesos is a system for managing distributed systems. The goal of Mesos is to help engineers orchestrate resources among multi-node applications like Spark. Mesos can also manage lower level schedulers like Kubernetes. A common misconception is that Mesos aims to solve the same problem as Kubernetes, but Mesos is a higher level abstraction.
Ben Hindman co-founded Mesosphere to bring the Mesos project to market. Large enterprises like Uber, Netflix, and Yelp use Mesosphere for resource management. Before he started the company, Ben worked in the Berkeley AMP Lab, a research program where the Spark and Tachyon projects were also born.
At this point, he has spent significant time in both academia and industry. This conversation spans distributed systems theory, history, and practice. Ben and I spoke at KubeCon 2018 in Copenhagen–which was an amazing conference. We were both amazed at how big the audience for Kubernetes has gotten, and the pace at which the technology is advancing.
Today, Kubernetes is mostly used for scheduling containerized applications that engineers have built themselves. But there will be higher level tools that use Kubernetes as a building block. Much like Zookeeper was used as a building block for Hadoop, Kubernetes will be used to build serverless applications and distributed databases.
Once you are using a distributed database built on Kubernetes, you don’t want to think about the container orchestration–you want to think about the raw storage and CPU requirements for that database. This is one reason why Mesos is so compelling. Since Kubernetes creates an increased cardinality of distributed systems, it’s good to know that there is a framework built to manage those higher level applications.
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