Mirantis And CoreOS Developing First Commercial OpenStack-Kubernetes Integration

Two open-source technologies that are reshaping enterprise IT -- OpenStack and Linux containers -- cozied up closer to each other Thursday through a partnership between Mirantis and CoreOS.

The two developers are working on an enterprise-grade integration of the OpenStack cloud operating system with Kubernetes, a container management platform developed by Google, Kamesh Pemmaraju, director of partner marketing at Mirantis, told CRN.

Mirantis, the largest pure-play OpenStack vendor, has been working with Google for almost a year to get Kubernetes humming on OpenStack and demonstrate the power of the combined technologies.

[Related: Mirantis And Pivotal: An IaaS-PaaS Relationship Born Of Joint Engagements]

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Google launched the first production version of Kubernetes only a couple of weeks ago at the OSCON open-source technology conference. Until the 1.0 launch, the platform was still in beta.

But months before, in April, CoreOS had already released Tectonic, the first commercial distribution of Kubernetes 1.0.

The unified technologies make possible Web-scale container use that's easily managed and orchestrated, Pemmaraju said.

CoreOS, a San Francisco developer that established itself with its lightweight Linux distribution, an operating system tailored for hosting the phenomenally popular Docker container standard, has branched out over the past year.

In the process, CoreOS has veered from its once-close relationship with Docker. With backing from Google Ventures, the company introduced a rival container standard called Rocket last December.

Through the partnership between Mirantis and CoreOS, large organizations can get "all the benefits of OpenStack and containers," Pemmaraju told CRN, with enterprise-grade support from both developers.

Mirantis and CoreOS started building the integration about a month ago and the final product should be released in the coming months on Murano, the OpenStack application catalog.

And since Kubernetes is agnostic to the actual style of containers it orchestrates, Docker and Rocket both work with the technology Google developed and then open-sourced, "one of the beauties of orchestration at that level," according to Pemmaraju.

Running the Kubernetes platform on OpenStack expands the number of use cases for large Linux container deployments, Pemmaraju said. OpenStack's APIs provide the flexibility to run containers in different kinds of environments, including both cloud and bare-metal.

"If you want to experiment with new technologies like Kubernetes, it's very easy to put it on OpenStack and launch it and deploy it through Murano and see if that fits your use case," Pemmaraju told CRN.

OpenStack also provides a mature set of software-defined networking and storage capabilities.

"There are gaps in containers today in networking and storage. Some of those gaps you can fill with OpenStack," Pemmaraju said.

Mirantis partnered with CoreOS because the Linux operating system and container developer was first to market with Kubernetes. But as the transition to large-scale Linux container deployments progresses, partnerships with other vendors working with the technology will likely follow, he said.