What new Fluid features are on the way?

We talked to Alexander Turner, Fluid CTO, about what new features are in development at Fluid that we can look forward to.

Fluid CTO talks new features
Alexander Turner, Fluid Chief Technology Officer

Alexander, let’s jump straight in – what can we look forward to in the future with Fluid?

Our focus is to make Fluid as portable, scalable, and flexible as possible so it can exist where the cloud can’t and won’t, and to facilitate the next level of hybrid clouds and hyper-scalable applications. Fluid brings your workloads as close to your end-user and customer as possible. 

As the Fluid platform evolves, we see very lightweight deployments on the edge that enables our customers to truly deploy independent hybrid-cloud and multi-cloud environments that encompass everything from compute, storage to network and provide a homogenous cloud-like interface to data. 

We see Fluid running closer to the edge and bridging the gap between edge data storage, for applications like data and statistical analysis and collection, and low-latency applications where sensitivity and distance from the edge are critical.

What exciting developments are in the pipeline for Fluid? 

Our focus is supporting a hybrid mix between traditional workloads that currently exist in a traditional VM-led on-prem environment, as well as this next-generation workload which is container-driven, hyper-scalable, flexible, and largely, Kubernetes involved.  

With the latest release of Fluid, we integrate a very intelligent VM-based platform that allows you to not only import traditional VMware images but also create new VMs on top of your Fluid managed to compute cluster from our cloud interface. 

You can also create Kubernetes clusters with the click of a button.

– Alexander Turner

I think what’s most exciting for us is, we have an incredibly fast spin-up time for Kubernetes clusters, which is approximately 12 seconds where you can have full creation of API endpoint, for creation of a Kubernetes cluster with a globally accessible endpoint.  

We’ve bridged the gap between your traditional on-prem infrastructure, where it’s cumbersome gaining access to things like your Kubernetes API for management, and then the cloud where it’s incredibly easy. By using our cloud platform, we make accessing your on-prem Kubernetes environment, as simple as accessing your cloud environments.

How do you create a new Kubernetes cluster in 12 seconds?!  

It’s literally as simple as going to our web portal, clicking ‘create new Kube cluster’, inserting a name for the Kube cluster allocation, and the hardware cluster that it’s attached to, or the environment, and lastly, clicking ‘create’. Just 12 seconds later, you’ve got a cluster that you can log into, manage and start deploying Kubernetes workloads on. Being an API first development, this can also be achieved by calling the central cloud-based Fluid API. 

What’s coming with NetApp Astra?  

Being Kubernetes native, out of the box, Fluid is fully compatible with the Astra suite of products including Astra Data Store, which enables us to not only support completely distributed and scalable clustered file systems but also leverages the hybrid model into supporting modern disruptive scalable data platforms. 

Traditionally where your data had been siloed to a particular cloud provider or environment, Fluid now bridges that gap and leverages, not just the Astra storage which extends that storage on-prem, but provides you the tools to leverage that storage on-prem with modern platforms, such as Kubernetes.

How can Fluid support FSx for NetApp ONTAP deployments? 

Fluid seamlessly connects components of hybrid cloud environments together, whether they exist in a public cloud-like AWS, or on-premises, or at the edge. By handling connectivity requirements inherently, utilizations of FSx for NetApp ONTAP in AWS for a wide variety of use cases are made simpler. Fluid provides the bridge that the NetApp Data Fabric needs to connect data assets anywhere and in any cloud. 

What makes you excited about Fluid?

Fluid really opens up a new world of modern, scalable infrastructure on-prem, that’s completely cloud-agnostic. The pain of configuring complex infrastructure on-prem is very familiar to IT admins and executives that manage those teams from a cost basis. It’s usually a complicated multi-week process, spinning up multiple modern private cloud tools like OpenStack, requires expert knowledge in that field. What really excites me about Fluid is, we’ve taken an intelligent scalable reference architecture, and we’ve made it so easy to deploy. Then we’ve made the management of it grossly simplified too.  

What drove the trend of moving to the cloud is the scalability of the cloud and the resources that are available, but also then the manageability is so much easier. You can jump onto a cloud provider and spin up resources in a matter of minutes from signing up. With Fluid, users get the flexibility, and that turns up from an infrastructure basis for the first time, and I find that incredibly exciting.  

Thanks, Alex!