With Google Backing And Technology, CoreOS Unveils Enterprise Platform

Linux developer CoreOS, fresh off a $12 million funding round led by Google's investment arm, released Monday a new platform for implementing Google-like infrastructure across enterprise data centers.

The platform, Tectonic, brings together CoreOS' extremely lightweight Linux distribution engineered for hosting Linux containers with the Kubernetes container management platform initially developed by Google.

Released under its own brand name to impose some separation from the developer's open-source offerings, Tectonic is intended to be a complete solution for businesses looking to deploy container-centric infrastructure across their server clusters, said Michael Huang, vice president of product strategy at CoreOS.

[Related: CoreOS Introduces Enterprise Registry]

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Tectonic represents "a big strategic shift for us as a company," Huang told CRN.

"In essence, it will be the most complete platform out there for Linux containers, and there are interesting things we can do with that," he said.

CoreOS has contributed to a number of open-source projects since its inception a couple years ago. A list of those projects, Huang said, would start to look like a portfolio of tools, "almost like a platform, in a sense."

Tectonic offers many of those open-source technologies, including tools for integrated deployments and updates. Tectonic also integrates Rocket, CoreOS' own container implementation that is viewed as a challenger to the popular Docker standard.

Customers, frustrated with the challenges of selecting and configuring the best tools, are "looking for a fully curated, integrated set of tools," Huang said.

"It's representative of the broader marketplace, which is inundated with different tools with varying degrees of maturity," he told CRN.

Tectonic also yields security benefits by providing visibility and insight into all parts of the stack, from the operating system to orchestration tools to the application layer, he said.

While CoreOS has no formal business arrangement with Google, the startup is sidling up ever closer to the computing powerhouse.

CoreOS Linux has been available over the past year on Google's Cloud Platform. Now with a major investment from Google Ventures and a product integrating Google technology in the form of Kubernetes, the relationship between the two companies is looking increasingly cozy.

By separating the Tectonic and CoreOS brands, the company believes it is providing a degree of clarity for both its open-source communities and enterprise customers. The separation is intended "so they know that CoreOS is committed to maintaining free and accessible software," Huang said.

Tectonic is available only in closed beta, with general availability expected by the second half of the year.

In addition to Google Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Fuel Capital and Accel Partners participated in the latest funding round.

The $12 million round more than doubles the startup's funding, bringing the total investment in CoreOS to $20 million.