BizTech BizTech Podcasts

75. Cloud: What are the top three ways Kubernetes can help your customers? With Jeff DeVerter

June 28, 2023

Subscribe to the Next Level BizTech podcast, so you don’t miss an episode!
Amazon Music | Apple Podcasts | Listen on Spotify | Watch on YouTube

Listen in as we talk to Jeff Deverter, Chief Technology Evangelist about a new and evolving topic of Cloud, Containers, and Kubernetes. Jeff lays out his destiny and passion for technology growing up his entire life learning from his father who played a key role at IBM for 30+ years. He also gets into three key ways to talk about helping customers modernize regardless of where they are, on-prem, partial cloud, or even struggling with legacy app designs, you’ll learn how Rackspace can help!

Josh Lupresto (00:00):
Welcome to the podcast that is designed to fuel your success in selling technology solutions. I’m your host, Josh Lupresto, SVP of Sales Engineering, at Telarus, and this is Next Level BizTech. Hey everybody. Welcome back to another episode. Today we are Talking Cloud, and more importantly, we’re talking about three ways that you can help your customer with Kubernetes. And you may not know what that is yet but we’re gonna get into it and we’re gonna break it down. And more importantly, we’ve got Jeff DeVerter, chief Technology Evangelist from Rackspace on with us today. Jeff, thanks for joining, man.

Jeff DeVerter (02:12):
Josh, I am honored to be here. Thanks so much for the invitation,

Josh Lupresto (02:16):
I always like to kick this off with a little bit of background for anybody that doesn’t know you, maybe it’s blackmail that we could use against you later, but something I, I, I love to just kind of hear how everybody got into this space. Some people knew they wanted to be in tech from day one. Last guy I just talked to was a boat mechanic and didn’t love that. And, and here we are now. So, so fill us in for you. How did you get here?

Jeff DeVerter (02:38):
Well, then maybe this one will be a first for you if we’re gonna go way, way back to the very beginning. So let’s go back to high school. So I grew up in in a, in a family where, you know, the dad could still have one career for 40 something years. And he was an IBM-er through and through first job out of the Navy, IBM last, last thing he did before he retired, still working for I B M and had an amazing career. Did some incredible stuff. He started as the guy who would go in and fix the cooling systems for the big tape drive systems that was storage back in the, whenever that was early sixties. And and so, needless to say, technology was just a part, whatever it was, was part of my growing up. And, but I was also into music.

Jeff DeVerter (03:25):
And so as a, you know, a middle schooler, high schooler thinking, what do I do? Do I go get into computers? Do I do I do to do something in music? And so I was a senior in high school. We’d been moved down to Austin, Texas, and I go into, as a senior, whatever advanced placement computer science was in those days on a green screen. And I sit down in the fall and I think, can’t stare at that screen for the rest of my life. That’s green and that is boring. And so, so I think I’m gonna, I’m gonna make a run at this music thing. I had a smart guitar teacher. He said, Jeff, you should really think about the technical side of, of music cuz maybe you’re not the best guitar player in the world, . So I went in to learn how to be an recording studio engineer and producer.

Jeff DeVerter (04:05):
That was, that was gonna be the job. And ended up down in Houston, Texas and intern at the studio grow, you know, kind of grow up inside of this studio get married along the way, end up buying this recording studio. And the first thing I do when I buy a recording studio is put in a computer network. Why not Harken back to my father who’s still working for ibm, excuse me. And os two warp is around in these days. And so I put in this couple of computers and network, and I think networking sort of fun. I, I think I could do this sort of thing if I didn’t ha have this other day job. So I go on and do music for a number of years. I start having kids with the wife and realize a career in music is really hard. Even even if it’s not, you know, you’re not the musician or the other aspects of it.

Jeff DeVerter (04:46):
So I think I’m making a flip and and so back and get into all the nuts and bolts of it, but effectively cross drain, go get into get my Microsoft certifications. And so I’m still in, where was I working? I was still in Houston, and that’s when we moved over here to San Antonio. Went to work for EDS and and off I went. It’s been computers ever since until the past five years when all this media stuff now has intersected back into my day job and sure. Has come in handy.

Josh Lupresto (05:17):
Love it. I love the background. I, I do love a, a good, I mean, I thought it was gonna be linear. It was linear, and then it came back. So, no, I, I love it. I think it’s great stuff. Okay, so, so tell us a little bit about a, as we kind of kick this off your role at Rackspace and then really get into you know, a lot of people have known you as an infrastructure provider mm-hmm. , there’s so much more that you guys do than that, that we lean in you on and partners lean on you for. But first just tell us a little bit about your role, Rackspace, and then, you know, define for us your cloud and Kubernetes practice there.

Jeff DeVerter (05:49):
I’d be happy to. So, you know, that that first thing that you ever do is the thing you’re known for, for the rest of your life, . And you know, it’s it’s what happens at every family reunion when you go back, ah, you’re the guy who did the dumb thing when you were four years old, , and that’s the only thing they remember you for. Well, you know, Rackspace, well, you actually, your first question, what’s my job? So, chief Technology evangelist. So I, I started at Rackspace in 2008 and, and I came to Rackspace to start a practice around running the infrastructure for Microsoft SharePoint servers. I had been a SharePoint architect working in different financial services firms. And and had a good friend who was running one of the main lines of businesses here at Rackspace. And they were thinking about building a multi-tenant SharePoint environment, you might think of as Office 365 today, where they’d build the big farm in the sky of servers and sell off little bits, five and 10 and $15 at a, at a pub.

Jeff DeVerter (06:46):
And and I didn’t know a lot about Rackspace at this point, but I learned more and I realized, well, I got great data centers. They’re super smart people and they’re the best at running Windows servers. Of course they did Linux, but that didn’t help me in the share Microsoft world. Mm-Hmm. and SQL and Active Directory. And I thought Windows, SQL and Active Directory, that sure sounds like the building blocks for everything needed for SharePoint. And so I came back and I said, well, what you wanna do is wrong. What you should do is this thing. Take some of your people, take 10 of them, and and put ’em in a room, teach ’em SharePoint and teach ’em how to do the hardest things in, in managing SharePoint farms that can be done. And you’ll, you’ll, you’ll be down the world over for it.

Jeff DeVerter (07:23):
And he said, that’s a great idea and you should come do that. And I said, no, . And then eventually got talked into it, obviously, and so came and built that as a business here. And so, but it was building on what Rackspace did very well at this point, and that was a managed services provider, and that meant our managed hosting provider. So that meant we did, we had three core things. We had data centers, we had servers, and we had smart people. Now we’ve gotten to a point where we’ve got over 7,000 of these smart people. We’ve got over 40 data centers all around the world, and I can’t even begin to count the, the amount of servers that we manage and maintain. But, but that line of business still is alive and well. We see that private cloud business growing pretty significantly.

Jeff DeVerter (08:03):
But we did something, if anyone’s familiar with Rackspace or follows us in the news that we started talking about mid last year and we executed on and pulled the rip cord on the beginning of this year. And that was, we really split our operating business into two pieces. And that was the piece that does all of the private cloudy stuff still growing nicely, and all the stuff that does all of the public cloud things. And and so, you know, back in the early teens, oh, it was about 2015, I think when we launched, but you know, we provided, started providing services for a w s, then Azure and then Google. We’ve risen to be among the largest resellers and service providers for each of those clouds globally. But that brings lots of other technology along. And you know, without giving too much away in everything, we’re gonna talk about, you know, it, we, we look for other technologies to help companies kind of bridge the, the gap of, of of how to look at technology transformation and how it impacts the business in ways that are steps that don’t cripple the business but give them, put them in a position to really be able to to launch kind of medi I was gonna say mediocrely, I’m getting overhead gold folks.

Jeff DeVerter (09:19):
meteorically, that’s more important. That’s a more impressive word. Their business on the, on, on new technologies like containers enabled by Kubernetes.

Josh Lupresto (09:29):
So, so walk us through, I mean, you, you’ve obviously seen a lot of evolution. I mean, that was when I first got my Fourier into AWS and, and Rackspace about that 2008 time Yeah. Where it was all, all kind of coming out. And I, you know, you, you’ve seen that evolution go from private cloud to now you know, just from a, generally speaking from a technology perspective to this idea of containers and Kubernetes. So for anybody that’s not familiar, give us just a little primer on how do you see the world of what private cloud was to, what does Kubernetes bring to the table? Maybe just define that a little bit.

Jeff DeVerter (10:02):
So private cloud, let’s define what we mean when we say let’s, let’s put some some broad brush terms around things. So the first would be, what do we mean when we say a cloud, A cloud is a collection of computing assets. Think of ’em as servers. Those servers can be, you know, maybe geared more towards compute, running, running computationally, things maybe geared towards storage. How do I store all the data that’s getting computed over on the other thing? We have to manage stuff like automation authentication or people who they say they are. And if this is a multi-tenant cloud, we have to have the delineation of tenants. There’s all sorts of things that happen including let’s just leave it at that. They do so much more. But a cloud handles all of that stuff. It is the orchestration layer, the security layer, the authentication layer, and then managing the assets of all the, all the, all of the technology that rides in there.

Jeff DeVerter (10:54):
So when we think about aws, Azure, Google, fill in the blank for public cloud provider, they utilize, generally speaking their own their own technology to handle doing all of those things. And they do it for many, many companies all around the world. So they are a multi-tenant provider. They are not closed in that context of as many people in as possible. Well, those types of workloads and that type of an environment sometimes don’t fit into a public cloud world. So now we start to think about what is, maybe it’s the definition of public cloud or private cloud. So when I say public, I’m gonna let lots of people in, if I say private, let’s close to a single company or a single community. And and so we think about private clouds as ones that, that have dedicated resources that are singularly focused, again, on an individual company, maybe in, in a community, but usually just a single company.

Jeff DeVerter (11:48):
And companies will oftentimes stand them up on their own sometimes with help, like from Rackspace to be able to do the things they need to do. Now, we can get into a little bit later what workloads maybe fit more in a public cloud, maybe what fits better in a private cloud and the evolution of all these things. But it, it, all of this type of transformation makes you think about those applications and how they operate. So for instance, if I’m moving out into the public cloud, we often talk about, you know, are you doing a lift and shift or are you gonna do a whole modernization? So lift and shift means effectively, everybody’s workloads run predominantly in a virtual machine. You got VMware running somewhere, you got a bunch of little virtual machines running inside those hypervisors, and there’s your applications running. So then that makes us think, do we run public or private?

Jeff DeVerter (12:37):
So let’s say for a second, we’re going public. Well, are we going to use all of the amazing capabilities that exist in aws, let’s say, are we gonna go truly serverless? Are we gonna run lambda functions? That’s a lot of transformation. It’s a lot of work. So a lot of people will take this kind of lift and shift or move and improve and then sort of transform, but it does require geographic changes, right? I have to leave where I was and I have to go to the region and the data center that I, that I select inside of s. But then we think, is that really the best way to go? There are incremental steps and we’re running under this construct of a, of the delineation points of being the hypervisor or the server, and then the virtual machine that runs in there. Well, there’s an another segmentation, and that gets us into the topic of containers where instead of containing at a virtual machine level, an operating system, and then everything that runs on that operating system, we segregate the operating system.

Jeff DeVerter (13:36):
Leave that alone for a minute. Let’s just put into a container all of the assets that make either my whole application or even a subsection of my application run. And that creates these, these containers that sometimes do breed like bunnies and grow and end up with a lot of them. So we’ll have to talk about orchestration a little bit, but it allows us to contain them in a way that allows us to break these big monolithic applications up into smaller segments, allows us to get into microservices and and evolve our applications that way.

Josh Lupresto (14:12):
I love it. Alright, so titleless track three ways to, to help the customers modernize with Kubernetes. And I feel like you just covered one of those that I wanna call out. You talked about the transformation and that idea to transform as you have this giant monolithic application and the idea of now com containers makes it easier and more resilient for that application fair?

Jeff DeVerter (14:34):
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And here’s one thing I didn’t mention. Customers can start that transformation today, right? Where they are on the infrastructure they already have. In fact, most developers when they’re, when they’re working in a, in a containerized environment, are doing so right on their lap. You can’t see this, I’m typing on my laptop. Yeah. Right on their laptop in an environment that would, from a logistic point of view, look just like what would become production which is really an important part of the whole development cycle. So they can start to be an, I would even say be cloudy before they’re actually in cloudy infrastructure.

Josh Lupresto (15:11):
Yeah. Fair. Good point. All all right. So, so if point number one or way number one is breaking down the monolithic application, I want to, I want to call out, let’s just see if ROI is point number two. So you, you laid down this kind of evolution where the operating system gets segmented away from being included in that whole package. And in that package, in that container, I just have the application and its dependencies, which is a much lighter a much lighter package size. So talk to me about ROI. If I’m a customer and I’m trying to understand wh how do I think of in a sense like this modernization or, you know, just generally speaking, ROI, is there a way that that moving to containers and microservices transcends back to ROI?

Jeff DeVerter (15:55):
Yeah, it should always, there should always be technical value. I mean, Josh, you and I get up in the morning because the technology’s cool and it got better while we slept, so we get up for that. But a business can’t, a business has to wake up and begin what it does every single day to continue to create the value that it set out to do when it came up with its mission. And the thing that it does that, that attracts customers to give them whatever that their, their money is. And so when we think about doing anything on the technology side, it either has to make us more efficient to save money. It either has to be more productive to make us more money, or it just has to make us more money and more money and more money. I mean, even nonprofits make money.

Jeff DeVerter (16:33):
So, so it has to, it can’t be for the shiny new tech. It has to be because it’s solving a problem. So my question really goes back to, you should always ask the question. In fact, I think this is the, the, the, the best thing to do when talking to customers is just say, you know, what are your business challenges? What are, what are the business opportunities that you have this year? Because in the past, we could, we could maybe stretch everything to soar to get back to technology. But today, in today’s climate, based on all the transformation that happened in the, in the teens and based on all of the data that got moved into some form of cloud and our do and our expectation that technology is a part of solutions because of covid, I do go back to that because everything became an app in Covid.

Jeff DeVerter (17:18):
Mm-Hmm. That technology is, is, it may not be the, the savior of all those things, but it certainly is a segment of absolutely every opportunity or every challenge that a business is facing. So start there. What are you trying to do? Well, we’re trying to get ready to move to the cloud, but we’re not ready to go yet. But we do wanna start to get our developers thinking that way and start working on our applications. Containers are an amazing thing because containers are also astoundingly portable. And now I can, once I’m ready to choose cloud of choice, I can move those things into that cloud of choice

Josh Lupresto (17:49):
Fair. Move it here, move it private, move it Azure, move it g ccp, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t, doesn’t compare what it’s surrounded with, right? It’s, I,

Jeff DeVerter (17:54):
And it’s not a binary decision because I can take, once I start to break my application up, I may choose that this one function that I’ve moved into a container, I may realize there’s an as a service out there that can do it better, faster, cheaper than I can, and at a fraction of a penny per transaction subscribe.

Josh Lupresto (18:11):
Right? All right. So I wanna get into the Rackspace specific offerings for a second. So if you think about us, the, the, the engineering team, right? Mm-Hmm. , we get pulled into partner conversations, customer conversations, discoveries, and inevitably everybody’s at some sort of different investment cycle, buying cycle, business need. And we’re trying to solve for a lot of, once we figure out what are we trying to solve for there’s commonalities there, but, but often it’s different, right? Some might be we need help modernizing. Some might be we’re having resiliency issues. Another might be we’ve lost some staffing. So the, the point is, sometimes we can’t do a full rip and replace. Sometimes it’s just, I sunk these investments in, but I need help managing them. Maybe I don’t even know what I have. Right? So, you know, you guys had,

Jeff DeVerter (19:02):
Most people don’t,

Josh Lupresto (19:04):
I think, come out with a great product early on that opened our eyes, you know, from the elastic engineering side. I think that just was huge. And so, you know, walk me through, you mentioned how you’ve segmented the business from the private cloud side to the other side. What is their in, in the portfolio of Rackspace offerings to help do something like a Kubernetes implementation? Do you support, do you take over, do you have tools? What does that look like?

Jeff DeVerter (19:31):
Sure. So great question. So any sort of, of major effort always starts with our advisory services capabilities and advisory services. It’s a fancy term for our conversation a long protracted conversation. But it’s us understanding the business climate, the business drivers, the challenges what the goals are, and then aligning the right technology in and around what those those might be. And I love the fact that you call out, there may be some, in some technical technology investments that already exist. You gotta sweat some of those, that infrastructure out, that’s absolutely acceptable, and you gotta make smart right decisions there. But our, our process starts with that advisory services. And then in any major project that’s gonna happen in and around technology, there are really two types of services we’ll talk about. And the first is a professional services engagement, because we’re going from a, a was state to an, to a new state.

Jeff DeVerter (20:26):
What, what is the as is to the, to the future state? And that is the, that type of work is, is usually time-bound. We’re gonna be done by, you know, the 1st of August, whatever the, I don’t know, I’m making dates up now mm-hmm. like a good consultant . So so it’s gonna be time bound. It’s usually gonna be fixed price type of a stuff. So it’s a time and materials based contract that you’d engage with because we can define what the difference looks like at the end. And then, and then off we go. And so that work is gonna look like taking monolithic applications, recoding those, repackaging them into a container based environment. Now, I’m, I I, I sort of waxed a little poetic in, in talking about, hey, these shouldn just be, we’re, we’re, we’re taking these, this big application, we’re breaking down into its component parts.

Jeff DeVerter (21:13):
We’re gonna put those like parts into their own containers, which is great, but we still have to think about a lot of other elements in inside of these, these containerized environments. And it’s gonna include things like, how do I handle monitoring across all of the containers? How do I, how do I handle replication fault tolerance? How do I handle security? How do I handle logging across all of these? In some cases, thousands of containers could very easily become thousands of containers. How do I and those, those sort of questions go on and on. And every company who’s going to gonna adopt containers as a technology they’re gonna use has to answer those, those questions and, and solve those things. Well, what we’ve done at Rackspace is we’ve answered them all. We’ve gone and found best of breed for all of those those different decisions so that when our developers go and start to work on breaking an application down, or re or writing an, an application to be container centric we know we’re built, we know we’re building on a known platform one that we use to manage hundreds, thousands of different containerized customers.

Jeff DeVerter (22:19):
So it’s the same technology that across all of that stuff, we’ve taken it to scale and we’ve got one key partner who helps us with all of that even helps us for those workloads that need to move around from from environment to environment. And that’s a company called Platform nine. And and they really are an amazing company to be able to help with that stuff in a very graphic and API driven way. So there’s a whole host of, of sundry work that you’ve gotta figure out when breaking this stuff down. And that’s the stuff that’s built into our container containerization services. And then I already mentioned the, the professional services piece. But once we do that work, a move into any environment like this is adopting a mindset that there is going to be pretty much exponential technology transformation that’s gonna happen, whether you’re in public cloud or not.

Jeff DeVerter (23:11):
I mean, the container technology continues to evolve as well. And so we don’t look for just standard, you know, managed hosting care and feeding. I’ll patch, I’ll do these, these sorts of things, but really that you mentioned the product before, elastic engineering. So our elastic engineering services that have con container container specialties inside of it, you know, are doing all of the things that containers need to be healthy. And and also reading the tea leaves of what’s happening to make sure that we are looking around the corner to make sure we’re evolving that environment in a way that the application needs to, to remain healthy and performant.

Josh Lupresto (23:49):
Alright, good stuff. I love that offering. I love the modularity that it gives. And I think you painted a really good picture that no matter what scenario, there’s a way that you guys can come in and help. So, awesome stuff there. Let’s talk about for a second. I wanna get, get people understanding sometimes the customers don’t know that they need help mm-hmm. , and, you know, yes. Things come to us very very black and white, very binary sometimes of, I need a provider that has this O e m or I need know it isn’t people come to us and say, help, help my customer design a solution, right? It’s usually somebody’s coming with some, some version of pain or some business initiative. And so sometimes our job in this is to get the customer to realize that they need help, right? We see where they’re at, we see that how we could help their business modernize, become better than their competitors, turn it into a profit center, generate revenue, that kind of stuff. But I’m just curious, when you think about the move to Kubernetes, the move to containers, how do you help people really quantify or just realize that they need help? Because so many people are just going, no, I’ve been doing it this way, and it’s fine. Right?

Jeff DeVerter (25:01):
Well, the way that I see that is, is I will see that a company will see that companies, you know, have opportunity for modernization. And sometimes it goes back to what you mentioned before, and that is, you know, hey, they’ve got some infrastructure and they need to sweat that out for a couple of years, but they really have an itch and they really have a need to modernize what they’re doing. And most companies, if, if we were to say, Hey, let’s, let’s pull the rip cord right now and move you to the cloud. Well, depending on how much they have, we could be talking about a year long project. I mean, we’ve had, now these, we’ve had some extraordinarily long, large customers that we’ve, we’ve had to, I mean, it’s taken a year to get ’em moved. And that move is very much a lift and shift type of a move, and they really didn’t get an opportunity to, to modernize much along the way.

Jeff DeVerter (25:44):
And then it becomes this whole other, other conversation. But most companies look at this, they’re, they’re transformation of, I’m not transforming unless I go to the cloud. And that is so not true. The contain con a move to containers not only allows you to move technically into a more modern environment that allows your infrastructure to be so much more efficient and performant so you can get more longevity out of it. But it also allows you to take, if you’ve got your own development staff, your own system staff, you actually start to give them a path towards a more interesting technology career. Meaning, hey, we don’t need you to just be a star Windows or Linux tech anymore. We need you to become a tech a a containers expert. This is a new thing. This is gonna keep them engaged, ideally in, in their role.

Jeff DeVerter (26:34):
You know, Josh, we do these, these surveys every quarter, and we go out and we ask over 1400 different IT executives in 10 different countries all sorts of different questions, but I ask him a consistent one almost every time. And that is, what are the biggest challenges you and your organization are facing? And either one, or in, in position one or position two every quarter for the past year has been the, the challenge of, of attracting and retaining the right staff. And unless you’re giving folks compelling work to do, they’re gonna get bored. They’re gonna go walk away. So give ’em something interesting to do, teach ’em, get ’em into interested in, in what it means to be part of this container job. But even more than that, especially if you’ve got your own development staff the move to containers is a move into an environment that can be much more DevOpsy.

Jeff DeVerter (27:18):
In other words, we, you can still be agile in a VM based world, but if you can now get into a true DevOps world, and remember when we broke that, that breaking those applications down into those component parts, that means we can now start to update those individual component parts individually. And a testing cycle doesn’t have to take 90 days. We can now test the one module that we’re updating. And and so consequently not only are you upgrading your infras getting more longevity out of your infrastructure, you can ride it out a little bit longer. You can give your your folks more interesting work to to be a part of. And you can upskill your environment your, your working staff to be more DevOps centric. And this is absolutely what they’re gonna need once you get truly into a, a cloud first world, should that be a place where that application eventually moves.

Josh Lupresto (28:10):
Love it. Good, good one. I think that brings us in reason number three. So, okay. So good stuff. And I think that was really reason number three one of the great ways to help him modernize. So you know, as we get towards the end here, I, I wanna hear an example. You know, we talked about, you’ve seen monolithic, you’ve seen prem, you’ve seen some people maybe in cloud a little bit already, but walk me through a little bit of an example. You know, what did you walk into? What were you told the problem was, or the thing they were trying to solve for? And, and, and, you know, what, what services did Rackspace bring to the table to help put them in a better spot, modernize them, whatever it is, right? Walk us through an example of that.

Jeff DeVerter (28:49):
Sure. can’t give a can’t give the customer name out, but let’s talk healthcare for a second. So we were working with a large healthcare system in the Southeast, and, and their challenge was not unlike a lot of companies, and that was, they really started to look at is, is our value really in, especially in healthcare, I mean, the margins are just, they’re, they’re razor thin to start with, and they’re just going down. And so they’re looking at all the costs. And so, and so finally, you know, we’d had conversations with folks like this in the past, and, and it always went down to you wanna charge how much for a server, and, and the brain would always go, you wanna charge how much for a server? As opposed to thinking, when I sell you that server in a Rackspace data center, it’s coming with power, it’s coming with in a room, it’s coming with all the internet that it needs.

Jeff DeVerter (29:36):
It’s coming with cooling, it’s coming with smart people to manage it with backups, with security, all of those things. So once you get into an honest conversation about that, and they say, look, we need to cut a cost. Here’s what, and you say, now, truly bring me the cost. I wanna know personnel, I wanna know electrical, I wanna know all the things. And when they come to you, honestly, with that stuff, and we can really put something on the table that puts them in an environment that allows them to one, save some money. That was, this was this company’s really primary goal. But they also had the desire to start to modernize, like what we’re talking about here. And so what we built for them was what we call a modern private cloud. One that brings automation, one that brings a control plane in front of it.

Jeff DeVerter (30:19):
So, so the, the systems people that they do have still have a web interface where they can manage some of the things that they need to. They don’t always have to rely on a Rackspace tech or putting a ticket in somewhere. We’re certainly available for all of that stuff, but they do have an element of self-service available to them. But we also put in the framework for the container environment so that they would be able to start to modernize those applications. In fact, we took a few of them for them and started with that through a professional services engagement as well. So we put in everything that was needed on the storage side, everything that was needed on the compute side, all of the networking gear, as well as all the security to ensure that all of that stayed safe and sound. I remember we’re talking healthcare that really matters and and put ’em in an environment where they didn’t have to care and feed all of that stuff where we were able to help modernize some of their applications and really set them up for future growth.

Josh Lupresto (31:09):
Love it. Good stuff. All right. Kinda puts a ball on everything. All right. Final, final thought here as we get into this, pull out your crystal ball. I, I, I think you’ve laid out a good perspective of evolution mm-hmm. in this cloud space modernization and, you know, talking about what’s next right? With Kubernetes. So curious from your perspective, you know, if partners aren’t comfortable talking about this what are, just a couple quick questions that you would encourage them to go ask to drop this out. And then we’re gonna get your perspective on your crystal ball as the future of where this goes,

Jeff DeVerter (31:46):
Right? I start mentioned some of this earlier, and that was, don’t start with the technical question. Start with, you know, what are the opportunities, what are the challenges in the business this year? You know, you know, where are you looking to cut costs? Everyone’s looking to cut costs. Ask that question. Ask about what their, their cloud plans are. And by the way, this is the most important one when somebody says, oh, don’t talk to me about cloud. I’m, I’m already in cloud. If you’ve been paying attention the whole time, and if you’ve already made it to the end of this podcast with us, then you’ve already heard the fact that a move to the cloud is one that never changes in evolution. So a first step into the cloud is wonderful. Compliment them on that move to the cloud. Maybe you could ask them at that point, tell me how you’re integrating that and your on-premises stuff, because they still do have that.

Jeff DeVerter (32:27):
Maybe you could ask how they’re securing that in that information. There are a hundred questions you could ask around that, because all of that environment, have they transformed into a serverless environment? Are they considering containers? And at that point, especially if you’re rapid fire, a few of them, they’ll go I’d like to learn more about that. And then, and then say, great, we’ll set up a meeting. And then that’s when you, you, you know, you call up your, your, your partner advisor over here at Rackspace, and, and we bring the smartest people in the world to the call and do all the hard lifting and you buy lunch

Josh Lupresto (32:58):
. Love it. All right. What’s next? If you look 12 months out, is it, we get a lot of containers, we get container sprawl, we need help orchestrating, yeah, we go to serverless. What if the partners are out having some of these conversations over the next 12 months? Is there any other technologies coming down the line that you want them to prepare for to be able to understand if they hear,

Jeff DeVerter (33:19):
You know, one that we really haven’t talked about Josh much is, is data. Because and in the past, I probably wouldn’t have brought this up as much, but there has been so much press and so much attention on chat G P T, because it is pretty cool and it is pretty amazing, and it’s so much fun to play with. And maybe, or maybe not. All of my LinkedIn posts this year have been written with it . We’ll figure that out later in the year. But but it, but, but if that comes up in conversation, engage in that conversation, because one of the things that has to happen, if somebody is, I think your follow up question then is how are you thinking about how AI or ML could impact your business? Engage in that. What if a little bit, Hey, what, you know, we do this thing and wouldn’t it be better if, if it could help answer these que I’m I’m making up stuff up now.

Jeff DeVerter (34:07):
Yeah. But but you said, then you can say the question, well, you know, what has to work, right? What has to be structured well before any of that can work? And that’s data. Let’s talk a little bit about your data estate. You know, Josh, we think about the future and what it holds. Technically, I almost wish we could push pause on where technology is today because we’re just scratching the surface. And a lot of my presentations, I I say the phrase that the cloud is infinite. Josh, you and I are technology people. You know that the cloud is an infinite, it isn’t, it is not infinite in capability or capacity. There are finite limits out there. Yeah. But right now, the business world is not asking enough of it. There’s so much more that can be done. The inf the infrastructure you have in your data center could probably be considered that to some degree, but there’s so much more that can be done with what exists today.

Jeff DeVerter (35:00):
And so what I would encourage you to do, and and Rackspace loves to have these conversations with customers is say, is once you, you, you seed these questions with, with your customers and get them interested, this chat g PT stuff, maybe some data stuff, maybe some container stuff. Now you’ve got a lot of topics out there. You say, have you ever considered what the art of the possible might be in your industry, in your business with what you have today? Well, Rackspace would love to come and have that conversation with you for a whole afternoon. We’ll bring all the smart people. It won’t cost you a cent, and you’re gonna find five opportunities in that.

Josh Lupresto (35:33):
I love it. Okay. That’s it. We put a bow on it. Jeff, thanks so much for coming on and doing this, man. A lot of, lot of good stuff. I think you painted a great picture. Rackspace modernization, what’s coming? Awesome stuff, man.

Jeff DeVerter (35:44):
Awesome. Josh, thanks so much for having me on. This is a great conversation.

Josh Lupresto (35:48):
Okay, well, everybody that wraps us up, I’m your host, Josh Lupresto, SVP of sales engineering at Telarus. Jeff DeVerter chief technology evangelist at Rackspace. Until next time, this has been the Next Level BizTech podcast.