CTO Interview | Behind the scenes: Fluid foundations


(2-3 minute read) 

TLDR: We spoke to Fluid CTO, Alexander Turner regarding why he saw there had to be a better way for on-premises environments to be created, and his favorite Fluid features, such as the bridge between cloud and on-premises infrastructure. 

Alexander, how did you become involved with Fluid?  

Coming out of a recent tenure with one of the large cloud providers, I was looking to instantiate and drive change in the industry where I felt that we had some real sticking points. I met Andrew Sjoquist (Fluid Founder), and he has brilliant ideas for Fluid. It was just a perfect match. Andrew had brilliant ideation around where the pain points were for his customers, we both had a vision, and both wanted to make a change.

Alexander Turner, Fluid CTO

Why was Fluid created?  

Fluid was created because there had to be a better way for on-premises environments to be created. 

Today, it’s become cool to move workloads to the cloud. That cloud simplicity makes a lot of sense. Cloud cost and data ingress can be challenging, but ultimately it comes down to that the cloud is not everywhere. The type of cloud deployments that we’re seeing deployed are very large, especially when one of the big three deploy a new cloud environment, it’s not generally in a small city or a small footprint. It’s fairly high demand, and there’s a high ROI required to build the infrastructures.  

We noted a trend towards edge workloads. We want to provide end-users and customers ultimate flexibility in the location of their data and their workloads. The challenge today is it’s still really hard to deploy stuff. AWS, Microsoft, and Google have their products to deploy on-premises, but it does wedge you to their cloud and their ecosystem, which may not necessarily be a good fit.  

We believe that the future of multi and hybrid cloud is driven by Kubernetes. We’ve been on a mission to democratize Kubernetes on-premises and make it as easy as possible for anyone to deploy infrastructure. We make it as easy as if you were deploying a large cluster in the cloud. We want you to be able to just plug some boxes together, power them on, run a one-line command and then take control from your portal.  

What do you think is the most awesome feature of Fluid?  

I really love the bridge between the cloud and on-premise infrastructure.  

As an engineer myself, one of the most frustrating things I’ve found working in big corporates or complicated network environments was always, how do you get access to things? Even if you’re deploying a VMware cluster, it’s often a headache getting your vSphere console access out accessible to the internet or accessible globally. It involves multiple teams, it’s a stuff around. 

We’ve built a secure reverse tunneling tool, which leverages two levels of encryption for you to use and access our cloud-hosted portal as if you were accessing a service from the cloud. Simply put, you can just go to the portal at Fluid HQ, enter your cloud pairing token, and you’re online and managing a cluster remotely.  

That bridge between cloud-managed and on-premises really makes on-premises and those edge workloads feel like the cloud again.