Meet Tobi Knaup, CEO at Enterprise Kubernetes Platform: D2iQ

I think of D2iQ as an unblocker for Fortune 500s and Global 2000s. Early in our careers, my co-founders and I helped build the cloud infrastructure at Twitter and Airbnb, and then formed D2iQ to help the biggest global enterprises and national organisations create the world’s most innovative next-gen digital products.

We empower organisations through our D2iQ Kubernetes Platform. It supports cloud-native development so organisations can build and update apps faster and cheaper with better quality and less risk. The apps become more responsive, scalable, able to run anywhere, whether in public, private, or hybrid clouds, or even a developer’s personal laptop.

Kubernetes is kind of like an orchestra conductor deciding how many violins should play, which part they’ll play, and how loudly. It automates decision-making for applications, ensuring the right network, storage, and configuration. You can deploy live software updates to millions of users globally without breaking the app.

As an independent vendor, we’re showing Kubernetes can simplify workload deployment, portability, and ways of working for time-pressed developers. It’s the doorway to modernising traditional applications and enabling rapid hybrid- and multi-cloud development of new cloud-native applications. These run behind the scenes in the cloud, powering every digital experience from apps on our phones to eventually every product or service we use.

D2iQ (@D2iQ) / Twitter

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

We recognised a decade ago that eventually every company would have to become a software company and learn to operate online services in the cloud. But few had the tools or knowledge to do it.

My fellow co-founders, Flo Leibert and Ben Hindman, were working at Twitter while I was one of the first employees at Airbnb, and we architected the cloud infrastructure of those companies. They needed a cloud platform to ship software faster than competitors. As both companies became more popular, they needed infrastructure to be reliable and resilient to failure for a smooth customer experience. Once they reached a certain scale, they had to keep costs down and operate efficiently.

Both Twitter and Airbnb were using a traditional IT architecture at the time, so achieving these goals seemed elusive. Developers often had to wait months on IT to ship new product improvements, and we were being paged at obscene hours when something failed in production that could have been fixed automatically by software.

We wanted to change the dynamic and realised early that containers and orchestration platforms like Kubernetes could deliver the agility, reliability, and efficiency we needed. So we rebuilt Twitter and Airbnb’s infrastructure using our own open source container orchestration software. After learning many organisations faced similar challenges, we founded D2iQ to make cloud-native innovation accessible to everyone.

How has the company evolved over the last couple of years?

We have assembled a really strong team of experts who have architected some of the most sophisticated Kubernetes deployments in the world, working with our customers to ensure their deployments succeed. We also continue to enhance the platform to keep pace with technology advances in the open source community. Meanwhile, we’ve forged cloud-native alliances with AWS, Microsoft, Nvidia, Kong, GitLab, Nutanix, Aqua, and more.

We’re even making it easier for data scientists to succeed with AI and machine learning initiatives without worrying about configuring the underlying Kubernetes platform.

What can we hope to see from D2iQ in the future?

We believe the future is a combination of cloud native and AI, which we call “smart cloud native.” Organisations building cloud-native applications today must evolve to manage AI workloads because the next generation of cloud-native applications will have AI at their core.

Organisations keeping pace with innovation and adopting cloud-native and AI will build highly differentiated and smarter next-gen products much faster than their competition.

We’re specialising in creating a Kubernetes platform designed to support smart cloud-native applications and reduce the complexity of harnessing cloud native and AI to obtain actionable business results.


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