Universal Control Planes: “The Holy Grail” of Platform Standardization

Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Film. 1975.

As a new Dad, I’ve been reflecting more on the days of my childhood spent with my father. One memory, in particular, was our weekly trip to Blockbuster, where my Dad picked out movies to watch with my younger brother and me, even those he knew my Mom would disapprove of.

One such movie was Monty Python and The Holy Grail, which, over decades, would become the source of quotes and laughter in usually less than appropriate settings. And recently, during an aimless scroll through Netflix, I stumbled upon this classic and decided to treat myself. During one famous scene, I immediately drew a parallel to a prevalent pain I’ve heard from enterprise leaders since joining Upbound.

None Shall Pass

Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Film. 1975.

Over the past year, it’s been incredible to participate in high-level discussions with some of the most recognizable brands in their respective industries.

And still, despite their innovation and leadership, these companies are facing constant challenges and experiencing varying degrees of pain regarding their technology stacks.

The most common I’ve heard is rooted in the developer experience, or DevEx. Specifically, the technology stack an organization uses for infrastructure orchestration and management; a market segment often referred to as Infrastructure as Code (IaC) and Configuration as Code (CaC).

What has become increasingly clear is that IaC and CaC tooling has sufficiently imposed their will within Fortune 500 DevOps and have maintained a prevalent, vice-like grip on technology stacks that suddenly large organizations and their leaders are second-guessing — leaving many of these leaders in a vulnerable position.

Hence, the analogy to Monty Python’s famously doomed character, The Black Knight, who, similar to the traditional IaC/CaC market segment, will not go away without a fight…

‘Tis But a Scratch

Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Film. 1975.

As leaders determine their modernization strategy, most are now questioning the role traditional IaC and CaC will play moving forward. With an enterprise average of 5:1 Dev:Ops ratio, and more realistically 15:1 or 20:1 in the Fortune 500, they’re asking themselves: ‘Why does a proportionately smaller group of our staff dictate the solutions used by the broader majority (developers, builders, architects)? Our developers don’t like interacting with IaC and CaC tooling – they say it’s complex, proprietary, and has a steep learning curve – so what are their ideal requirements?

In reflecting on these questions, to one degree or another, we’ve heard most leaders conclude: Infrastructure Doesn’t Make Us Money. Our Applications Do! And who builds our applications?

Just a Flesh Wound

Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Film. 1975.

As a potential solution, many large enterprises have attempted to build in-house alternatives to orchestrate and manage their cloud and on-prem resources. Sometimes, even relying on various proprietary solutions with the cloud providers themselves.

Could the roles of traditional IaC and CaC vendors be dwindling?  

Perhaps. But one thing is for sure. While large enterprises may have tried to build their orchestration and management solutions, many have been unsuccessful, most often because their attempts became too expensive, too time-consuming, and required significant specialization from their most highly paid staff.

So are IaC/CaC Invincible?

Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Film. 1975.

No, they’re not. But they’re most certainly entrenched.  

What’s worse, Fortune 500 leaders are expressing their frustration because while they embraced IaC/CaC technology to avoid vendor lock-in, they’re now back where they started, needing to determine how best to move forward with re-platforming efforts while also carrying significant tech debt.

So, Arthur, “King of the Britons”, what … is your quest?

The Holy Grail

Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Film. 1975.

May I introduce the Universal Control Plane, the underlying reason we're sitting down with many Fortune 500 and Global 2,000 leaders.

Upbound, a top 50 startup in the US and 2022 Gartner Cool Vendor in Cloud Computing, is the founder of both Crossplane and the enterprise-grade distribution, Universal Crossplane. Together, these solutions enable those global leaders a phased migration away from IaC and CaC with "The Holy Grail" of Platform Standardization –  universal control planes.

When adopted, they become the single point of control…for everything:

  • Your Kubernetes resources
  • Your cloud resources
  • And, your on-prem or hybrid resources

So while infrastructure may not directly make you money, with Upbound's universal control planes, you'll save (or not lose) your money.

That's because our technology's critical functionality is assembling multiple cloud resources into a single XRM definition, what we refer to as a composition. It abstracts the underlying provider resources (cloud or on-prem), leaving only a universal API for your developers to "claim" and use — delivering revolutionary efficiency!

The revolutionary efficiency is where Upbound's path deviates from that of the proprietary clouds and all other IaC/CaC tooling on the market.

The inherent reusability of compositions and their built-in reconciliation loops support the required guardrail configurations that your Infra/Ops teams desire — universally gatekeeping their work within a single console UI. Instead of using complex and proprietary languages, they’re orchestrating resources using industry-wide standards and globally known practices such as kubectl, GitOps, or any tool that can talk with the Kubernetes API. Your DevOps will love it; your SecOps will love it; and your business will love the faster time to market and reduced tech debt and toil.

This model is far exceeding the expectations of our customers, and it better aligns with their objectives when faced with such lopsided ratios among application builders and infrastructure operators

The March To Victory

Upbound is challenging the traditional way of thinking. And like King Arthur and his knights of the round table [“in war, they’re tough and able”], Upbound and our Universal Control Plane architecture will defeat The Black Knight, and successfully capture “Castle Aarrghh.”

Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Film. 1975.

If you are interested in leveraging the power of universal control planes without needing to worry about operational concerns, or managing the underlying infrastructure, please join Upbound’s private preview waitlist and learn more by filling out this form.

Or, if you are only interested in the Monty Python YouTube clip:

Monty Python - The Black Knight - Tis But A Scratch

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