The platform, which ElasticBox announced on March 11, basically takes Kubernetes — the open source container-management platform that originated with Google — and makes it easier for enterprises to use.
ElasticKube provides a Web interface for monitoring cluster activity, controlling user access, collaborating container deployment between groups and more.
The chief value of the platform for the enterprise, according to ElasticBox, is “to provide visibility into who did what and define permissions for access to the cluster with multiple containers running on them.”
ElasticKube only works with Kubernetes, which will be a downside in the eyes of some CTOs. But ElasticBox says it chose Google’s container orchestrator platform for good reason. “We’ve chosen Kubernetes, not just for the core infrastructure services, but also the agility of Kubernetes to leverage the cluster management layer across any cloud environment – GCP, AWS, Azure, vSphere, and Rackspace,” the company said. “Kubernetes also provides a huge benefit for users to run clusters for containers locally on many popular technologies such as: Docker, Vagrant (and VirtualBox), CoreOS, Mesos and more.”
ElasticKube seems like a useful tool, but its appearance probably won’t revolutionize containers just yet. Still, from the perspective of the container ecosystem, there are a couple of notable takeaways from this news.
First, it reflects a bet that the basic container orchestration platforms, like Kubernetes and Swarm, will not be enough on their own to make containers enterprise-friendly. Kubernetes, Swarm and other orchestration tools are designed to make it easy to manage your container-based data center. But ElasticKube takes things one step further by making it easier to use Kubernetes.
This is similar to what has happened in the big data space, where the core platforms — like Hadoop and Spark — are most often deployed in value-added form from vendors like Talend or Hortonworks. The basic platforms are too complex, so companies have created enterprise-friendly implementations.
Second, ElasticKube signals an endorsement of Kubernetes. That’s significant as the battle heats up between Swarm, Docker’s home-grown container orchestration tool, and Kubernetes, following Docker’s claim that its tool outperforms the competition. Clearly, not everyone agrees with Docker that Swarm is the best foundation for a containerized data center.