Knative: Serverless Workloads with Ville Aikas

Infrastructure software is having a renaissance.

Cloud providers offer a wide range of deployment tools, including virtual machines, managed Kubernetes clusters, standalone container instances, and serverless functions. Kubernetes has standardized the container orchestration layer and created a thriving community. The Kubernetes community gives the cloud providers a neutral ground to collaborate on projects that benefit everyone.

The two forces of cloud providers and Kubernetes have led to massive improvements in software quality and development practices over the last few years. But one downside of the current ecosystem is that many more developers learn how to operate a Kubernetes cluster than perhaps is necessary. “Serverless” tools are at a higher level than Kubernetes, and can improve developer productivity–but a risk of using a serverless tool is the potential for lock-in, and a lack of portability.

Knative is an open-source serverless platform from Google built on top of Kubernetes. Ville Aikas is a senior staff engineer at Google who has worked at the company for eleven years. With his experience, Ville brings a rare perspective to the subjects of Kubernetes, serverless, and the infrastructure lessons of Google. Ville joins the show to discuss Knative, the motivation for building it, and the future of “serverless” infrastructure.


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