CoreOS Introduces Its Commercial Kubernetes Platform To Azure

CoreOS introduced on Thursday its commercial Kubernetes platform, Tectonic, to Microsoft's Azure Cloud.

Tectonic, now generally available to all Azure users, automates many processes involved with running the open source container orchestration technology.

Azure is a "new stable platform" in addition to Amazon Web Services and bare metal, offering enterprises another "clean on-ramp into containers and Kubernetes," said Rob Szumski, the product manager for Tectonic.

[Related: Pivotal, Google Cloud Take Aim At Azure With Launch Of Kubo For Deployment, Management Of Kubernetes Clusters]

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CoreOS has played a major role in the advent of container technology. The San Francisco-based lightweight Linux developer was first to release a commercial distribution of Kubernetes, and it also offers its own container standard, called Rocket, as an alternative to the almost universally adopted Docker runtime.

Microsoft has been investing heavily of late in Kubernetes, the open source container orchestration technology first developed for internal use at cloud rival Google. Azure already offers a native Kubernetes service.

But Tectonic differentiates itself by packaging Kubernetes into an enterprise-grade product that automates installation and upgrades to the most up-to-date Kubernetes releases, Szumski said.

Tectonic delivers a consistent platform for administering Kubernetes clusters across clouds to ensure workloads are agnostic to underlying infrastructure, he said.

Tectonic's enterprise-ready features facilitate migrating containerized workloads, managing access and governance policies, isolating clusters, and monitoring.

CoreOS is seeing a lot of customers containerizing workloads and running Tectonic as a preliminary step to migrating from on-premises data centers to the cloud, Szumski said.

The startup still goes to market directly to learn more about customer use cases and inform product development, he said, but expects at some point to pursue a channel strategy.

CoreOS worked closely with many of its early Tectonic customers and engineers on Microsoft's Developer Experience team to prepare the platform for deployment on Azure, Szumski told CRN.

It was important to integrate with Azure, he said, because many enterprise customers have reason to prefer Microsoft's cloud, from the nature of their existing data and services to organization culture.

Google parent Alphabet's venture capital firm, Google Ventures, is a CoreOS investor. But there are no immediate plans to introduce Tectonic to other clouds, including Google Cloud Platform, Szumski said.

"We're going to follow workloads to where they want to go," he said.

CoreOS CEO Alex Polvi has described Tectonic to CRN as the culmination of CoreOS's multi-year effort to deliver "Google-style infrastructure" to businesses.