Mirantis today announced it has acquired the assets of Kontena, a provider of a distribution of Kubernetes based on Finland.
David Van Everen, senior vice president of marketing for Mirantis, says Mirantis acquired the assets of the company for its Kubernetes expertise as well as a set of open source lifecycle management tools for Kubernetes. Mirantis plans to leverage the intellectual property it gains via this deal within the Docker Enterprise platform it acquired from Docker Inc. late last year. Specifically, Kontena role-based access control (RBAC) and multi-cluster management tools will find their way into Docker Kubernetes Service (DKS) and Universal Control Plane (UCP).
Van Everen describes the Kontena deal as opportunistic. There is a chronic shortage of Kubernetes expertise, so Mirantis will always evaluate any opportunity to add expertise via an acquisition of assets, he says.
Kontena does have hundreds of customers that Mirantis will seek to migrate to its distribution of Kubernetes now that the company and its distribution of Kubernetes, dubbed Pharos, will be phased out, he adds.
Mirantis makes available a distribution of Kubernetes in two forms. The first is one that internal IT environments can deploy on virtual machines or bare metal servers deployed on-premises or in a public cloud. Alternatively, organizations can rely on Mirantis to manage Kubernetes on their behalf either in a public cloud or on-premises environment. Given the general shortage of Kubernetes skills, Van Everen says the managed Kubernetes service provided by Mirantis is gaining traction, including among some organizations that previously stood up an instance of Docker Enterprise on their own.
However, unlike many other managed services providers (MSPs), Mirantis will also train an IT team to take over the management of their Kubernetes cluster whenever the IT team determines it has gained enough expertise to operate on its own.
It’s hard to say to what degree the current Kubernetes skills shortage is holding back the adoption of Kubernetes. While many organizations have adopted one or two instances of Kubernetes, the number of organizations that have been able to operationalize Kubernetes at scale has been more limited. However, as more tools make Kubernetes more accessible to the average IT administrator, the adoption of Kubernetes in production environments should begin to accelerate.
In the meantime, there’s a high correlation between organizations that adopt Kubernetes and those that have embraced best DevOps practices. The challenge many organizations have taken on is attempting to change their internal IT culture to embrace DevOps principles at the same time they are trying to master Kubernetes. Naturally, many organizations are trying to accelerate that process by relying on some form of Kubernetes that is accessed as a managed service provided by, for example, Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft. Less clear, however, is how much those organizations will continue to rely on managed services as the number of Kubernetes clusters that need to be deployed beyond a public cloud continues to expand.