Getting to know Nate Conger: A candid conversation

Nate CongerNate brings over two decades of technology experience, first in initial roles as a developer and sales engineer, and following as a sales executive for the last fifteen years. Nate has deep domain expertise in Kubernetes, OpenStack and Open Source software with a background working at firms like SUSE, Canonical, Mirantis, Rackspace and Replicated prior to joining Platform9.

Nate is a former ski instructor and shreds at Alta/Snowbird during the winter. During the summer, he paddle boards and kicks it at the lake. He’s also a full-on alternative/indie music snob and enjoys going to small club concerts and an occasional arena show.

1. What unique and standout experiences have defined your journey at Platform9 so far?

We have incredible talent and collaboration between our cross functional teams, strong thought leadership in our space and amazing customers leveraging Platform9 to do game-changing things. We have a unique SaaS-first, Day 2 operations approach to Kubernetes, containers, virtual machine and bare-metal management whether on prem, at the edge or in public cloud. Our customers can jump in and consume cloud services rather than maintaining infrastructure.

2. What are your insights on the evolving trends within AI, edge computing, and virtualization?

I’m seeing more and more companies leveraging legacy and cloud native technologies together especially at the edge. More decisions (AI/ML) need to be made close to the edge and unified, platforms are needed that can run legacy (VMs) and cloud native workloads in a small footprint to achieve this. Another trend is what I’ll call, alternatives to “Big Virtualization” – read VMware. There are open, enterprise-grade virtualization options like KVM available in OpenStack and KubeVirt that companies can confidently move to. We’re having a lot of conversations around this recently, heightened by the impending Broadcom acquisition. We’re engaged with a number of organizations now on their KubeVirt rollouts, transitioning away from VMware.

3. What areas should customers prioritize to adapt to the paradigm shift towards cost- saving measures in the current market environment?

There’s the old adage you need to spend money to make money. You also need to spend money to save money. Customers should focus investment on agility and innovation (their core). Customers should offload non-differentiated infrastructure management and operations wherever possible to providers that can enable ongoing platform freedom and reliability.

4. What aspects of your life would you enhance or improve using AI technology if given the opportunity?

Well truthfully, I’d like to create a Nate digital twin. Maybe we ingest all my emails and chats for the last 10 years or so. I’d like to brainstorm more effectively with myself and ask myself how I’m doing (pause for laughs). Seriously if anyone knows how to do this I’m all in.

5. What’s your best digital detox?

I count console video games as detox because you don’t have a screen right in your face AND you can chill on your couch. If we want to purist detox, skiing at Alta or Snowbird.

6. Any recent incidence that you felt inspiring?

Not especially recent, but something I come back to often to pace myself. “Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly”.

Don’t let perfectionism get in the way of learning, trying new things and understand that “good” is often good enough. It’s the steppingstone to get to great!

7. How important is humor in everyday work life?

I’ve found that a dose of humor and a bit of gentle self-deprecation are crucial for persevering when I inevitably stumble in my attempts at trying new things. This mindset has not only helped me better comprehend my own experiences but also facilitated deeper connections and shared understanding with others. It’s heartening to see that I’ve already forged strong friendships at Platform9, even though it’s only been a month since I joined the company.


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