Microsoft Dives Deeper Into Kubernetes With Deis Acquisition

Microsoft deepened its investment in and commitment to Kubernetes on Monday with an agreement to purchase Deis, a developer of tools that make it easier to build applications using the popular container orchestration technology.

The San Francisco-based startup's acquisition by the world's largest software company is a significant endorsement for Kubernetes, the open source project originally developed by Google as it looked to gain market share against competitive projects like Docker Swarm and Mesos, partners told CRN.

Just over a month ago, Microsoft added native Kubernetes support to the Azure Cloud, and last summer the cloud giant hired Brendan Burns, formally Google's lead Kubernetes engineer.

[Related: Partners Pleased To Finally See Kubernetes Available Natively On Microsoft Azure]

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Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise Group, praised Deis as a company "that has been at the center of the container transformation."

"Deis gives developers the means to vastly improve application agility, efficiency and reliability through their Kubernetes container management technologies," Guthrie said.

Deis spearheaded three open source projects – Helm, Workflow and Steward – that look to ease adoption of Kubernetes for building cloud-native applications. The startup also offers training and services around Kubernetes.

Microsoft's acquisition of the company provides proof that Kubernetes is beating out rival technologies at the container orchestration layer, said Mike Kavis, principal architect at Cloud Technology Partners, a Boston-based solution provider.

Google, the original Kubernetes developer, and Microsoft have both chosen Kubernetes "as their de facto standard orchestration tool" for their cloud platforms, along with most on-premises container environments, Kavis said.

Depending on client requirements, the Cloud Technology Partners team often selects Kubernetes over Docker's trio of products at that layer; Swarm, Machine and Compose; because it is currently more mature and has fewer limitations, Kavis said.

"Docker dominates the runtime but has a long way to go to catch K8 [Kubernetes] on orchestration," Kavis told CRN.

Guthrie, in the blog post, said Microsoft also welcomes the open source experience the Deis team brings to the company. The Deis technologies will make it easier for customers to work with Microsoft's existing container products, he added, like Linux and Windows Server Containers, Hyper-V Containers and the Azure Container Service,

"At Microsoft, we’ve seen explosive growth in both interest and deployment of containerized workloads on Azure, and we’re committed to ensuring Azure is the best place to run them," Guthrie said.