October 26, 2023

KubeCon + CloudNativeCon 2023 Q&A: CAST AI Will Showcase Its Advanced Autoscaler, Improving Resource Utilization and Cutting Costs in a Kubernetes Deployment

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Ready for KubeCon + CloudNativeCon 2023?  Attending the show?  Make sure to visit with CAST AI.

KubeCon + CloudNativeCon takes place November 6 - 9, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois.

Read this exclusive interview between VMblog and co-founder and CPO Laurent Gil of CAST AI, an all-in-one Kubernetes cost optimization and automation platform.


Cast AI logo 

VMblog:  If you were giving a KubeCon attendee a quick overview of the company, what would you say?  How would you describe the company?

Laurent Gil:  CAST AI is an all-in-one Kubernetes automation platform that analyzes your cluster and applies changes in real-time to keep your configuration optimal. The idea behind CAST AI is to deliver FinOps automation features to teams looking to control their cloud costs and simplify Kubernetes management across AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. Our approach to Kubernetes automation was born out of frustration with the lack of solutions to help us control and reduce cloud costs in our previous companies.

VMblog:  You are a co-founder, how did you decide to start your company?

Gil:  We built CAST AI out of the frustration around Kubernetes cost management we experienced in our previous companies. Traditional cloud cost management tools simply weren't up to the task in dynamic Kubernetes environments. We believe that automation is the ultimate answer to helping companies looking to cut their cloud costs without putting a large engineering workload on their teams, delivering results while conserving resources - which companies can invest in building new products and driving innovation in their sectors. 

VMblog:  Your company is sponsoring this year's KubeCon + CloudNativeCon event.  Can you talk about what that sponsorship looks like?

Gil:  We are silver Kubecon sponsors this year and we have a booth number B25 where our team will be waiting to share cost cutting measures with you. Needless to say, we also have some really cool swag and a raffle game. Drop by to say hi!

VMblog:  How can attendees of the event find you?  What do you have planned at your booth this year?  What type of things will attendees be able to do at your booth? 

Gil:  We have a booth - it's number B25, drop by and say hi to our awesome team! We invite everyone to come by, get some of our awesome swag, talk to our sales team, and see a demo of our platform. That last point is definitely worth dropping by since we'll have a raffle - every demo booked gets a chance to win a $1000 Lego set, we give away one per every 10 attended demos.

VMblog:  Have you sponsored KubeCon + CloudNativeCon in the past?  If so, what is it about this show that keeps you coming back as a sponsor?

Gil:  We were already sponsors in the past editions of KubeCon, but we keep coming back because it's such a unique event for Kubernetes professionals. It gives us a chance to connect with the community and learn about the most pressing challenges around cost management and optimization. We will be happy to show the participants how we are helping our customers save millions of dollars to inspire them and help them push the boundaries of innovation.

VMblog:  What do you attribute to the success and growth of this industry?

Gil:  In today's economic climate, all companies are looking to cut their expenses, and industry reports showing the sheer scale of overprovisioning make cloud deployments a prime target for cost-cutting initiatives. However, teams using cloud-native technologies need tools that match their dynamic and transient nature. The industry is responding to this need with the emergence of automated solutions for cloud cost optimization. That's why we believe automation has a bright future in this field, and we're proud to be at the forefront of this innovation.

VMblog:  What are you personally most interested in seeing or learning at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon?

Gil:  KubeCon is THE conference for cloud-native innovation and ground-breaking ideas - and we have always felt that's where CAST AI belongs. We're always curious to see the latest approaches in the cloud-native space, especially in the area of cost control and optimization. Naturally, we look forward to sharing our vision for automated optimization with the entire cloud ecosystem and discussing cost optimization with fellow KubeCon participants.

VMblog:  What kind of message will an attendee hear from you this year?  What will they take back to help sell their management team and decision makers?

Gil:  CAST AI has the most advanced autoscaler on the market, so if improving resource utilization and cutting costs are relevant to your business, you need it for every Kubernetes deployment.

VMblog:  Can you double click on your company's technologies?  And talk about the types of problems you solve for a KubeCon + CloudNativeCon attendee.

Gil:  Using CAST AI's automation platform, companies can automatically:

  • find the most cost-efficient compute instances,
  • provision instances automatically,
  • optimize their resource utilization with autoscaling:
    • scale resources up and down in line with real-time demand,
    • and smoothly decommission them once they are no longer needed.

The platform also provides real-time cost monitoring that shows which aspects of the application generate costs and a number of automation features for cloud cost optimization and scaling.

With CAST AI, you know how much you spend on the cloud - and then optimize that spend automatically, dramatically reducing cloud waste without any added engineer effort.

VMblog:  While thinking about your company's solutions, can you give readers a few examples of how your offerings are unique?  What are your differentiators?  What sets you apart from the competition?

Gil:  CAST AI is the only solution on the market that automates the entire range of cloud optimization tasks and combines it with full cost visibility. Many automation solutions out there focus on a single aspect, such as spot instances, reservations management, or cost visibility. But CAST AI isn't one of them - instead, it's the whole package that lets teams automate their Kubernetes deployments with cost-efficiency in mind and keeps every action transparent thanks to a real-time cost visibility reporting

VMblog:  Where does your company fit within the container, cloud, Kubernetes ecosystem?

Gil:  Kubernetes automation is at the heart of CAST AI. Our solution was built with Kubernetes in mind and addresses the unique challenges this cloud-native technology poses to users in terms of balancing cost and performance.

VMblog: KubeCon + CloudNativeCon is typically a great venue for a company to launch a new product or an update to an existing product.  Will your company be announcing anything new?  If so, can you give us a sneak preview?

Gil:  We can't share any details at the moment, but we have exciting news being announced at KubeCon North America. Stay tuned!

VMblog:  With regard to containers and Kubernetes, is there anything holding it back from a wider distribution?  If so, what is it?  And how do we overcome it?  

Gil:  One serious barrier to Kubernetes adoption is the difficulty of cost management and allocation. That's because traditional cloud cost management solutions simply aren't up to the task - they're static and based on cost viability, leaving teams to manually implement recommendations, which is challenging in the dynamic Kubernetes environment. To overcome this challenge, teams need to look beyond and find solutions that were designed with Kubernetes in mind and take advantage of industry approaches like automation and AI.

VMblog:  Are companies going all in for the cloud?  Or do you see a return back to on-premises?  Are there roadblocks in place keeping companies from going all cloud? 

Gil:  Cloud repatriation used to be a hot topic last year, but with the rise of generative AI, the industry no longer doubts the critical role of cloud infrastructures - especially in relation to model training and inference. Companies need cloud computing to stay competitive; however, they might be more careful in their assessment of applications and the need to run them in the cloud. Still, cloud technologies remain a key factor in building a competitive advantage - they offer teams benefits that no other solution can like flexibility, scalability, and ease of use.

VMblog:  The keynote stage will be covering a number of big topics, but what big changes or trends does your company see taking shape as we head into 2024?

Gil:  CAST AI is fully invested in bringing Kubernetes automation to the next level with the help of AI - helping FinOps teams to be proactive about managing their cloud costs, not just capable of reacting to cost issues quickly. 

VMblog:  Are you giving away any prizes at your booth or participating in any prize giveaways?

Gil:  It's definitely worth dropping by our booth since we'll have a raffle - for every tenth demo booked and attended, you get a chance to win a $1000 Lego set.

VMblog:  Is your company sponsoring any type of party or get-together during the event that you'd like to notify attendees about?

Gil:  Certainly! Our company, in collaboration with Edge Delta, is thrilled to invite attendees to "Ping Pong DEVlooza" on November 8th. It promises to be a fun-filled evening that strikes a balance between relaxation and friendly competition. We encourage everyone interested to register as soon as possible since spots are limited. Registration here.

VMblog:  Do you have any advice for attendees of the show?

Gil:  Take your time to visit exhibitor booths since there are some really exciting companies attending the event and sharing solutions you probably didn't know were possible. Don't pick too many presentations to attend. Have at least one meaningful conversation each day to return home with something valuable. And finally - stay hydrated, get enough sleep, and avoid getting overwhelmed by the crowds.

David Marshall

David Marshall has been involved in the technology industry for over 19 years, and he's been working with virtualization software since 1999. He was able to become an industry expert in virtualization by becoming a pioneer in that field - one of the few people in the industry allowed to work with Alpha stage server virtualization software from industry leaders: VMware (ESX Server), Connectix and Microsoft (Virtual Server).

Through the years, he has invented, marketed and helped launch a number of successful virtualization software companies and products. David holds a BS degree in Finance, an Information Technology Certification, and a number of vendor certifications from Microsoft, CompTia and others. He's also co-authored two published books: "VMware ESX Essentials in the Virtual Data Center" and "Advanced Server Virtualization: VMware and Microsoft Platforms in the Virtual Data Center" and acted as technical editor for two popular Virtualization "For Dummies" books. With his remaining spare time, David founded and operates one of the oldest independent virtualization news blogs, VMblog.com. And co-founded CloudCow.com, a publication dedicated to Cloud Computing. Starting in 2009 and continuing all the way to 2016, David has been honored with the vExpert distinction by VMware for his virtualization evangelism.

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