Mirantis, at its online Launchpad 2020 conference, announced that its managed Kubernetes service will be available free of charge without any limitations in functionality for up to three Kubernetes clusters totaling 15 nodes.
Previewed last fall, the service enables organizations to deploy Kubernetes clusters on any combination of on-premises and cloud computing environment they see fit.
The service has also been rechristened to Docker Enterprise Container Cloud, to reflect the acquisition of the Docker Enterprise platform.
Docker Enterprise Container Cloud provides a service through which organizations can deploy and co-manage Kubernetes clusters. Mirantis CEO Adrian Ionel says IT teams can specify different levels of service depending on the degree to which they want Mirantis to manage their Kubernetes environments. That approach enables organizations to make Kubernetes clusters available on-demand to application development teams, he notes.
Ionel says more organizations are opting to focus their limited resources on application development and deployment rather than the management of the underlying infrastructure on which those applications are deployed. The rise of Kubernetes presents a unique opportunity to centralize the management of distributed IT infrastructure at scale, he notes.
The challenge IT organizations face is they don’t have the internal expertise required to master a platform as complex as Kubernetes. As such, Ionel says there is an increasing need to rely on an external service provider to manage Kubernetes on behalf of an application development team. In the wake of the downturn brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Ionel says the need to rely on external expertise will only become more pronounced because the ability of IT organizations to increase headcount is further constrained.
In effect, Mirantis is taking responsibility for the operations side of the DevOps equation. At the same time, Mirantis also just moved to expand its influence over developers by acquiring the open source Lens tool for building containerized applications.
Rather than extending Kubernetes in a way that requires IT organizations to acquire additional commercial platforms to run it, he says, the Mirantis approach to Kubernetes is based on the core distribution made available by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). The goal is to ensure the portability of applications across fabric made up of multiple distributions of Kubernetes, Ionel says.
It’s not clear to what degree organizations will outsource the management of Kubernetes. Most organizations will likely rely on a mix of internal and external expertise. The challenge will be striking the right balance across a well-defined DevOps workflow. Depending on the criticality of the workload and the expertise of the IT staff, the need for external services providers is likely to wax and wane.
In the meantime, the number of options for managed Kubernetes services will only continue to grow. There soon will be no shortage of options. The issue will be determining which of those service providers most closely aligns with the strategic goals of the organization as a whole.