As part of a previously announced alliance with Intel and Google that will result in the OpenStack cloud computing framework being deployed on top of Kubernetes, Mirantis today revealed that the open-source Fuel tool for deploying and managing OpenStack also will be rewritten to run on top of Kubernetes.
Boris Renski, chief marketing officer for Mirantis, says in time all of OpenStack will become a series of Docker containers that can all be managed using the Kubernetes container orchestration engine originally developed by Google. While he acknowledges there may be other container orchestration engine options, Renski says Mirantis is betting that Kubernetes soon will prove to be the dominant engine for managing containers. OpenStack then will be the only framework capable of natively supporting containers, virtual machines and bare metal servers.
For Google, the alliance with Mirantis and Intel is quickly becoming core element of a hybrid cloud computing strategy that will be based on microservices enabled by Kubernetes. With Google making extensive use of Kubernetes on the Google Compute Engine cloud, the partnership with Mirantis will make it possible to extend Google’s management reach to OpenStack environments that have deployed Kubernetes. That moves comes at a time when Microsoft has been forced to admit that its own Azure hybrid cloud computing ambitions have been delayed until 2017. Amazon Web Services (AWS), for the moment at least, continues to insist that all application workloads should move to the public cloud.
By putting OpenStack on top of Kubernetes, IT organizations will gain more fine grain control over the placement of services used for the OpenStack control plane, the ability to do rolling updates of OpenStack, make the OpenStack control plane self-healing and more resilient, and make it simpler to build and deploy microservices-based applications on OpenStack, according to Mirantis.
The company also is committing to becoming an active contributor to the Kubernetes project, with a goal of becoming a top contributor over the next year. Mirantis also has joined the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, a Linux Foundation project and organization dedicated to advancing the development of cloud-native applications and services, as a Silver member.
In addition, Mirantis has created a Docker and Kubernetes boot camp to help educate developers and IT operations team on best practices around running containers at scale. The initial class will be given to select students for free at the OpenStack Silicon Valley conference next month in Mountain View, California. That class will include basic Linux container concepts; installing, integrating and running Docker; and orchestrating containers using Kubernetes.
While Mirantis is clearly putting all its weight behind Kubernetes, it’s not clear just yet how all the other vendors that distribute OpenStack are going to view this effort to tie OpenStack to Kubernetes. With other container orchestration engines such as Docker Swarm and Mesos gaining some level of traction, there may be multiple container orchestration engines deployed inside the same enterprise. But even if there are, it’s still not quite clear to what degree any one of them might be able to rise above all others to dominate the enterprise IT container landscape.