Google Opens Kubernetes App Store

Google today announced it is making available applications that run on top of Kubernetes available via the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) Marketplace, formerly known as Cloud Launcher.

Jennifer Lin, engineering director at Google, says because those applications run on Kubernetes, organizations have the option of deploying those applications on GCP, the Google Kubernetes Engine, on-premises or even other public clouds capable of running Kubernetes.

Google’s announcement comes at a time when the number of software vendors that are leveraging Kubernetes as a distribution mechanism for applications is increasing considerably. Application vendors that are making applications available on GCP Marketplace include Aqua Security, Aerospike, Couchbase, Datastax, Neo4j, GitLab and IO Kasten, CloudBees, Elastifile and Seldon. Open source code available on GCP Marketplace include WordPress, Cassandra, MongoDB, Elasticsearch, InfluxDB, Memcached, RabbitMQ, NGINX, Prometheus, Elasticsearch and Apache Spark.

All Kubernetes applications listed on GCP Marketplace are tested and vetted by Google, including vulnerability scanning and author verification. To facilitate that process, Google has embedded a billing capability into GCP Marketplace that eliminates the need for application developers to create their own billing system, says Lin.

One of the challenges that application providers face is that billing will become more complex in the age of microservices. Instead of consuming entire monolithic applications, organizations will only consume the modules of software they require on top of a base set of application code. Tracking consumption of those microservices represents a major challenge that Google is attempting to alleviate by making a billing engine that is optimized for applications based on a microservices architecture, Lin says.

The GCP Marketplace, she says, is a critical element of Google’s overall approach to hybrid cloud computing because Kubernetes enables organizations to deploy applications in the cloud or on virtual and physical machines running in a local data center without being dependent on a single vendor. That capability will lead to a new era of hybrid cloud computing that has exists in theory but been too difficult to implement.

In fact, Google is betting that as organizations start to embrace microservices based on containers, many will re-evaluate which cloud computing platform they will standardize on, says Lin. Today, many organizations are employing multiple clouds that are managed in isolation, which both increases operational costs and limits IT agility. Kubernetes creates the opportunity to one day centralize the management of multiple clouds regardless of what the underlying platform is. Key to that effort will be an alliance that Google has created with Cisco Systems that will lead to the development of such platforms, with both promising to demonstrate the first fruits of that effort later this year, she says.

It remains to be seen the degree to which Kubernetes will force rival cloud service providers to rethink their approach to hybrid cloud computing. Google contends its experience managing a Kubernetes platform will attract more organizations to consume the managed services it provides on its public cloud. Of course, it will be up to each DevOps team to decide what they want to rely on Google to manage versus continuing to manage themselves.

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.

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