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Google Making a Bet on Spinnaker and Ensuring Its Success

Sep 28, 2016 by DROdio

I interviewed Steven Kim, TPM at Google, at a recent EXO Cloud Conference, on why Google is making a bet on Spinnaker and putting resources into ensuring its success.

Google has been investing in Spinnaker for several years and has a team focused on it.

A great example of Google’s commitment to Spinnaker can be seen in this video, where a Spinnaker user reported a bug in the project that Lars Wander fixed in under an hour!

If you’d like to dig in deeper to see how Google is working on Spinnaker take a look at this screencast we did with Lars around Spinnaker + Kubernetes support, as a good example.

Here’s the First Transcript

DROdio: All right. Hey, it’s [DROdio – 00:01] and here with Steven Kim of Google. And we’re here at cloud conference. We’re talking about Spinnaker. So we thought we’d get Steven on and Steven could share a little bit about why Spinnaker matters to Google. Okay, we’ll just start there.

Steven Kim: I think we’ve talked a lot in the past about how Netflix and Google have a lot in common in terms of our core tenets. We believe in terms of getting better at building and releasing software. And Spinnaker just did that for us. With the expertise that Netflix had poured in, it was a great way for us to add on top of that with the things that we want to go out and put into the world based on our best practices [internally as well – 00:52]. And it’s been great so far. Everything from the people we work with, the community, and the product, we couldn’t be happier. And we have a lot of plans in the future about how we want to [unintelligible – 01:07].

DROdio: And I think when we say that Google is supporting Spinnaker, this isn’t just like a rubber stamp. You’ve actually had people at Google for… I think it’s been a couple of years. Is that right? And there’s a team that’s involved. So it looks like you’re pretty committed to making Spinnaker successful.

Steven Kim: Yeah, we’ve certainly invested a lot of manpower and time and strategy [unintelligible – 01:35]. And just [unintelligible – 01:38] this is what we believe in. It works for us. We have a team behind it. We’ll keep the team behind it. We’ll continue to build and invest in this.

DROdio: So it’s you, Google. I’ve seen Netflix is supporting it for AWS. And then Microsoft is supporting for Azure. Pivotal is supporting for Cloud Foundry. I think Veritas and Target are supporting it for [unintelligible – 02:06]. Who else in the community is involved? Is that a pretty good, accurate…?

Steven Kim: Yeah, it’s a pretty big number. That’s one of the fortunate things and a measure of success for us. [unintelligible – 02:17] a number of [unintelligible – 02:21] for their own specific need. We have numerous examples where something that worked for them really worked for the larger community. I won’t go into detail about the specific features. There’s a lot of stuff that was not done by Google or by Netflix or by Microsoft. So we’re really fortunate to have that kind of participation [unintelligible – 02:42] from the community as well.

DROdio: I think we calculated it. There were over 34 [client – 02:47] people working on Spinnaker for all these different companies.

Steven Kim: Yeah. And on top of that, our regulars on the slack channel that we interact with, they know us by name, and we know them. We have engineers who are working [unintelligible – 03:01] closely and have relationship that is awesome as well. It’s almost like we’re waiting for it to get sour because it’s so good. But I think we’re just getting started.

DROdio: And I guess that’s a good thing to mention. If anyone is interested in getting involved, there’s a Spinnaker Slack team. That’s probably a good way to dive in. Obviously, is where you can go and see the documentation and try it.

Steven Kim: Yeah. You can [go and work – 03:28] on the channel. On the website is documentation. But getting engagement with Slack channel is by far the best. We’re watching every message that comes by. We’ll respond. And that’s just not us, Google. It’s also Netflix guys and [unintelligible – 03:45].

DROdio: Awesome. I appreciate your support.

Steven Kim: We appreciate your support.

DROdio: Yeah. We’re making a big bet on Spinnaker [unintelligible – 03:54].

Steven Kim: [unintelligible – 03:56]. We think it’s a good bet.

DROdio: Yeah, awesome, thanks.

Here’s the Second Transcript:

DROdio: All right, so this is a video for Lars and the Google team. We’re here. Steven is hanging out.

Male 2: Is this for Lars?

Daniel: Yeah, it’s just for Lars. And Slav, you were saying something about Lars that we [unintelligible – 00:11] hear.

Lars: Well, first let’s rewind a little bit. A week ago, we introduced him to Spinnaker. He was working on it to deploy to Kubernetes. And I said, “Oh, it works perfectly with Kubernetes. And you’ll be able to deploy something in minutes. But that didn’t actually happen.

Slav: Yeah, I had an issue when [unintelligible – 00:33] deployment [unintelligible] still [unintelligible] successful in pipeline. So [unintelligible] didn’t work on [unintelligible] side and [unintelligible]. And then when I asked Isaac, “How can I fix it?” So we’ll try [unintelligible – 00:46].

Lars: I didn’t know what I was talking about.

Slav: Yeah, so then [eventually – 00:51] reached out to Lars on Slack channel. And he figured out the problem in like 50 minutes. He said, “I know exactly what it is. Can you send a couple of screenshots to clarify?” So I sent. And then in 20 minutes, he sent me a [unintelligible – 01:09] request is going to fix it. And [unintelligible – 01:13]. And my first reaction was like I’m not going to wait for a couple of [unintelligible – 01:19]. So I will build my own image and will try it in my environment. So I will let you know.

Lars: [unintelligible – 01:26] image?

Slav: No. Then we went for lunch and then I checked my Slack channel during the lunch. And he was like, “Well, you do’t need to build your own image because this image is already built. And then I checked the status of [unintelligible – 01:37]. It was already merged.

Lars: [Laughs]

Slav: Then [unintelligible – 01:42] open-source project that [unintelligible] support. You reached out to the problem. It was fixed in less than an hour. So I [unintelligible – 01:53].

Daniel: [unintelligible – 01:54] an hour? [Laughs]

Steve: It’s actually [unintelligible – 01:59] Spinnaker [unintelligible] the amazing support that Google is giving [unintelligible].

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