November 23, 2017

As part of a previously announced hybrid cloud computing strategy based on Kubernetes, CoreOS announced this week it is adding support for deploying its curated Tectonic instance of Kubernetes on the Microsoft Azure cloud. In addition, CoreOS announced it is now formally adding support for version 1.7 of Kubernetes along with providing preconfigured alerts delivered via integration with the open-source Prometheus monitoring software for containers.

As part of the Prometheus integration effort, CoreOS is also adding alerts for rolling updates for deployments and DaemonSets tools to provide more visibility into deployment progress and the overall scale-out environment.

Finally, CoreOS is including alpha support for Project Calico, which provides a layer of network virtualization software that also serves to make possible to better security and control of inbound traffic to an Kubernetes pod.

In both the case of Project Prometheus and Project Calico, Core OS is opting to support container native technologies that are a natural extension to Kubernetes, says Rob Szumski, product manager for Tectonic at CoreOS.

Szumski says CoreOS worked closely Microsoft to create a version of Tectonic that could be deployed on top of the virtual machines Microsoft employs on Azure. Microsoft already offers its own version of Kubernetes on Azure. But the CoreOS approach to deploying Kubernetes on Azure will make it possible to take advantage of a single console to manage instances of Kubernetes running on-premises and in the public cloud such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), in addition to Azure. He notes that approach reduces the possibility that IT organizations might get locked into a specific cloud service.

CoreOS, he adds, has invested considerable resources in being able to automatically update lots of Kubernetes clusters without requiring IT organizations to take down any of them during that process.

In general, Szumski says the decision concerning whether to deploy Kubernetes on top of a virtual machine or on a bare-metal server comes down to the nature of the application workload involved. Over time, Szumski says IT organizations will manage instances of Kubernetes deployed on both types of platform for years to come, says Szumski.

Regardless of where Kubernetes is deployed, CoreOS has made it clear that its overall strategy is to make the infrastructure on which Google runs available to the average enterprise, known as Google Infrastructure for Everyone Else (GIFEE). The challenge CoreOS now faces is that the number of competitors large and small incorporating Kubernetes into their platform continues to expand, and as the evolution occurs, many IT organizations are being provided with a management tool that abstracts away the complexity of managing Kubernetes directly.

In fact, many IT organizations may discover their first contact with Kubernetes will come in the form of some higher-level platform employing Kubernetes as an underlay to connect various services. There’s no doubt there will be plenty of DevOps organizations that will need to deploy Kubernetes to support custom container applications. But as things stand currently, many organizations soon may find themselves running an instance of Kubernetes without ever initially realizing it.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.