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Catching up with Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy Officer at Cloud Native Computing Foundation, Apcera

Following this years Container World event in Santa Clara, California, we spoke with Mark Thiele, the Chief Strategy Officer at Cloud Native Computing Foundation, Apcera, about his views, thoughts and predictions for the future of the space.

Mark Thiele Container World Photo

Can I have a little bit of personal history? How did you come to be a thought leader for Container technology?

I’ve been chasing the idea of a true utility compute model since 1999. I see containers as the evolution that followed virtualization that followed blades and they are getting us ever closer to a full and efficient abstraction from underlying infrastructure.

Since that time I’ve been involved in industry activities like the Cloud Native Compute Foundation and I’ve articulated the opportunity associated with container technology in numerous blogs and speaking engagements around the world at leading industry events. For the past 10 months I’ve been working for Apcera, the first Enterprise capable container management platform.


What most interests you about containers in production?

- The ability to further distance yourself from the hardware.

- The reduced overhead, allowing me to run far more on far less.

- The portability which provides me greater flexibility on where my containers run and when.

- Speed! I love the startup/shutdown speed.

- Speed? I can appreciate the efficiency improvements for the developer.


How long have you been working with containers, and how have containers changed the way you work?

Directly and indirectly I’ve been working with containers for over 5 years. Mostly for me containers have changed my assumptions about how I can deploy applications and how I can leverage infrastructure platforms (clouds, bare metal, etc).


What is the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, and why should people be interested in it?

The CNCF is an organization formed to help the IT industry and end users build applications and supporting infrastructure to enable building, running and operating cloud native (built for the cloud) applications.


You’re taking a seat on the CNCF panel, what are you going to discuss about node first development vs. the new world of cloud native computing?

I’m not a developer, so I’ll be approaching the question from the strategic opportunity perspective more than the development or tactical side.


Broadly, what impact do you expect cloud native to have in the next 5 years?

- Many new applications defined for use cases/business models that couldn’t have been supported in legacy models. As the threshold for adoption is reduced adoption and new use cases opportunities increase.

- Greater sharing of application functions across your company’s suite of applications.

- Much better distribution of applications across clouds.

- A dramatically improved ability to leverage the infrastructure you want/need when you want to from who you want to buy it from, internal cloud, public cloud or any combination of clouds.


What other technologies/developments are you most looking forward to in 2017?

A greater focus on using platforms to help speed the deployment of applications while increasing security and resiliency of applications by avoiding snowflake development and testing efforts.


What does your role at the CNCF entail?

- Helping guide its development, management, and projects

- Where do you see containers developing in the future?

- Containers will continue to develop over the next few years. The focus on containers will likely shift in 3-4 years more towards the adoption and use of Serverless.


What are you most looking forward to discussing at Container World?

-  Whatever is of interest to the audience.

- Meeting like-minded business improvement enthusiasts.


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