Mirantis has added a managed Kubernetes service to its portfolio specifically designed for on-premises IT environments with a slight twist. The goal is to provide those managed services with an eye toward training the internal IT staff to take over the management of Kubernetes once they are trained by Mirantis.
Boris Renski, chief marketing officer for Mirantis, says it is already apparent IT organizations will be deploying Kubernetes both in the cloud and in an on-premises IT environment. Most of the instances of Kubernetes running in the cloud will be managed by the cloud service providers hosting an instance of Kubernetes that they curate. But in on-premises IT environments most IT organizations don’t have the skills required to provision and manage Kubernetes clusters.
Kubernetes is now being integrated into the Mirantis Cloud Platform (MCP), which is a managed service encompassing the Queens edition of OpenStack, Kubernetes 1.11 and the OpenContrail 4.0 software-defined networking (SDN) software. MCP also includes upgrades and updates to the DriveTrain component upgrade pipeline, granular OpenStack Ocata to Pike Upgrade pipeline and Kubernetes Upgrade Pipeline, as well as security enhancements and improved documentation.
Mirantis provisions and manages MCP in on-premises environments using IT professionals employed by Mirantis. In most instances, IT organizations will deploy Kubernetes on top of virtual machines. But over time, Mirantis expects to see many more instances of Kubernetes deployed on bare-metal servers as the core Kubernetes platform continues to evolve.
Regardless of whether Kubernetes is deployed on virtual machines or bare-metal servers, Renski says frameworks such as OpenStack will play a critical role alongside Kubernetes in terms of both managing Kubernetes and providing access to external storage and networking resources.
Much like the rest of the IT world, the OpenStack community is still coming to terms with the relationship between OpenStack and Kubernetes. In many cases, Kubernetes is being deployed on top of open source virtual machines in much the same way it is deployed in a VMware environment. But some members of the OpenStack community have also been deploying OpenStack components as containers that can be deployed on Kubernetes. Others contend it’s only a matter of time before Kubernetes is extended to include most of the relevant functions provided by OpenStack.
In the meantime, telecommunications carriers have been pouring resources into hardening OpenStack as the foundational layer for managing a broad range of 4G and 5G services. Renski contends that as enterprise IT organizations begin to embrace Kubernetes, many of them will take a another look at an OpenStack framework that now is much more robust than it was just a few years ago.
It may take a while for the relationship between OpenStack and Kubernetes to be made clear to all. Kubernetes is a comparatively immature platform that is still evolving. IT organizations may have to decide what functionality they want to consume from the OpenStack or Kubernetes community at various points in time. Mirantis is betting there will lots of demand for a managed service provider that is fluent in the languages, ideas and concept being pioneered in both communities.