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A new industrial open supply enterprise is emerging from stealth today with $4.5 million in seed funding to provide Kubernetes-native application delivery application powered by Argo.
Kubernetes has emerged as one of the world’s most common and strong open supply projects, assisting businesses boost their application development velocity and agility by automating quite a few of the resource-intensive processes involved in managing containerized applications. Containers are application packages that “contain” all the required elements for an application to run across environments, from public and hybrid clouds to private datacenters.
Originally created by Google ahead of falling below the auspices of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), Kubernetes is the orchestration platform that enables businesses such as Box, IBM, Google, and Spotify to simply construct, test, deploy, and scale their containerized applications.
As with just about any prosperous open supply project, Kubernetes has designed an ecosystem of complementary merchandise and industrial businesses, such as Kubernetes operations management platform Rafay which not too long ago secured $25 million in funding. And then there is Loft Labs which last month raised $4.6 million in seed funding to bring self-service Kubernetes access to all developers, although Nirmata attracted $3.6 million to “conquer Kubernetes complexity” with an open supply policy engine known as Kyverno. There is even a startup accelerator and incubator that desires to “serve as a Kubernetes product pipeline” by nurturing and funding open supply application development.
And it is against that backdrop that Akuity launches today from the co-creators of Argo, an increasingly common open supply project for orchestrating Kubernetes-native application delivery employed at important businesses like Google, Tesla, GitHub, and Intuit.
Argo was created and open-sourced back in 2017 by application engineers Hong Wang and Jesse Suen although at Applatix, a Kubernetes enterprise that was acquired by Intuit the following year. The duo elected to leave Intuit earlier this year to focus all their efforts on building and commercializing Argo below a new standalone enterprise.
“Intuit will never be an Argo vendor since it is not part of Intuit’s business model,” Wang told VentureBeat. “Akuity aims to fill that void and become the Argo vendor, given our experience and deep expertise of the project.”
Alongside the company’s official debut today, Akuity also announced that it has raised $4.5 million in seed funding led by Decibel Partners, an early-stage venture capital firm backed by Cisco, with contributions from a slew of angel backers like Elastic cofounder and CEO Shay Banon.
Argo, primarily, is a collection of projects for managing clusters, operating workflows, and “getting more done” with Kubernetes. It also supplies all the supporting features that a developer may well require, like a genuine time user interface (UI), command line interface (CLI), and APIs.
The platform constitutes Argo CD, a continuous delivery (CD) tool that is setting out to replace legacy CI/CD systems such as Jenkins, Circle CI, or Spinnaker, although it is also comparable to an additional Kubernetes-native open supply project known as Flux.
Elsewhere, Argo Rollouts is a Kubernetes controller that incorporates canary and blue-green deployment, which automates the release approach for Kubernetes applications by progressively releasing new application versions incrementally. And then there is Argo Workflows and Events, which Wang mentioned are created for batch-scheduling and are most usually compared to one thing like Apache Airflow.
But getting Kubernetes-native is, arguably Argo’s core promoting point, as it assists businesses bypass clunky legacy or home-grown options and transition to Kubernetes with goal-constructed tooling.
“The fact that it is Kubernetes-native is key, because using existing tooling is like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole, since they are always mapping to legacy concepts,” Wang mentioned. “Argo does not abstract or hide anything away from developers, allowing them to leverage all the benefits of Kubernetes.”
In terms of what the industrial Argo landscape appears like at Akuity, nicely, there will be two crucial offerings. Akuity Enterprise, which is readily available today, features each and every element of the Argo project with enterprise-grade help thrown into the mix alongside a suite of tools that “make Argo even more useful and ready for the enterprise,” according to Wang. These contain disaster recovery (backup / restore), higher-availability, notifications, amongst other automation tools to handle a number of Argo CD applications.
In the future, Akuity will also launch a totally-managed and hosted version of Argo CD, which is presently nonetheless in development.
It’s worth noting that as an open supply project, other industrial and open supply projects are currently leveraging Argo, such as open supply machine understanding platform Kubeflow which has elements constructed on major of Argo Workflows, although RedHat launched the Argo CD-powered OpenShift GitOps back in February. This assists to highlight the increasing pervasiveness of Argo across the application development spectrum, but Wang does not look at this becoming a difficulty from a competitive point of view. “We don’t think companies will have a singular focus on Argo like Akuity does,” he mentioned.
Moreover, Kubernetes’ is increasing beyond its original goal to run containerized applications, such as controlling, deploying, and managing cloud infrastructure, although it is also getting employed as a “large-scale compute grid” to energy myriad machine understanding, AI, and information processing use situations. This puts industrial Kubernetes-focused businesses such as Akuity in a robust position to develop.
“All of these things require Kubernetes-native delivery tooling to help deploy, monitor, and manage these resources, and we feel Argo is uniquely positioned to facilitate this,” Wang explained.