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Joe Duffy, CEO of Pulumi. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota)

Seattle cloud startup Pulumi plans to release a software-development kit Wednesday that advances the company’s mission to make the Kubernetes container-orchestration manager easier to use for multicloud app deployments.

The idea behind Pulumi, a year-old startup founded by former Microsoft engineers that secured $5 million in seed funding earlier this year from Madrona Venture Group and Tola Capital, is to allow software developers to create applications for Kubernetes using the languages they already know and love (or at least tolerate). To that end, the 13-person company released new software libraries and tools called the Cloud Native SDK that will allow developers to write applications in Javascript, Typescript, Python, and Go that work across Kubernetes deployments spanning multiple clouds or private data centers.

Kubernetes is a powerful tool that has emerged as a de facto standard for managing clusters of containers, but it requires users to learn how to write code in a language called YAML (YAML Ain’t Markup Language), and YAML is a four-letter word in many cloud-native computing circles. It’s easy to make errors rewriting YAML over and over again, and the entire process takes more time than it should, said Joe Duffy, co-founder and CEO of Pulumi.

That’s especially true if you want to use Kubernetes to deploy applications across multiple public clouds, all of which have slightly different ways of doing things. Pulumi wants to offer the abstraction layer that lets developers write applications as they normally would, taking care of the deployment configurations and avoiding the YAML hamster wheel.

“There’s nothing today that allows you to do all of it with one language dialect, one set of tools, one set of services,” Duffy said. Should they catch on, Pulumi’s tools could make it much easier to move workloads around public clouds without having to learn a specialized language like YAML. However, they will still support existing Kubernetes configurations using YAML.

Pulumi also announced that it is joining the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, the group overseeing the development of Kubernetes and several other cloud-native open-source projects.

“Kubernetes is the kernel OS for the cloud,” Duffy said, underscoring its importance to the future of the cloud-native world. He declined to elaborate on whether Pulumi — the open source project — might be submitted as a CNCF project one day, which would allow it to drawn upon a larger developer community and enjoy marketing support from CNCF member dues.

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