News & Insights for the AI Journey|Friday, April 19, 2019
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CoreOS Platform Looks to Scale Containers 

CoreOS Inc., the hyperscale Linux operating system specialist, has been steadily rolling out application container and distributed system components over the last few months. Now, the San Francisco-based company is launching a new software stack designed to bring container infrastructure to the enterprise.

The company also announced on Monday (April 6) a $12 million funding round led by Google Ventures.

The new container product, Tectonic, combines the existing CoreOs software stack with Kubernetes, Google's software container management system released to all by the search engine giant in mid-2014. Tectonic is intended to stabilize infrastructure to get application containers into production and running on enterprise platforms, CoreOS CEO Alex Polvi stressed in an interview.

Tectonic essentially allows enterprises to run containers in distributed, production environments the way hyperscalers like Google run their infrastructure. CoreOS is "filling in the white spaces," Polvi said.

CoreOS said it is offering Tectonic to unidentified beta customers in a package that includes an integrated Linux platform and a deployment automation tool. Along with Kubernetes, the container platform includes a server operating system, container networking and runtime along with a cluster management console with a browser-based user interface. The console is intended to manage workflows and dashboard, the company said.

Funding round leader Google Ventures added in a statement: "We see a broader industry trend where enterprise computing is shifting to mirror the infrastructure of large-scale software companies." The CoreOS platform focused on easing container deployments along with security promises to accelerate the transition of container technology to production "to deliver services at scale," added Dave Munichiello of Google Ventures.

Meanwhile, Craig McLuckie, Google's product chief for Kubernetes, said the Tectonic platform would help support an "enterprise grade version of Kubernetes that runs everywhere."

Joining Google Ventures in the current funding round were Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, Fuel Capital and Accel Parters. CoreOS said it has so far raised $20 in venture funding. The latest round will be used for "lots of product development" aimed at filling gaps in application container infrastructure needed to handle production workloads, CoreOS CEO Polvi said.

"We still need a full suite of tools to get containers to a production environment," he added. "There's going to be a lot of these types of tools" in the pipeline as developers focus on defining and stabilizing container components like Kubernetes, Tectonic and the CoreOS container alternative called Rocket.

The latest version of Rocket application container software released in February included new user features aimed at improving application security and system design. "Rocket is a component in the [Tectonic] stack," Polvi explained.

The company said this week Tectonic is available immediately and runs either on-premises or in public clouds.

A CoreOS event in early May tailored to developers and DevOps specialists will drill down into Tectonic and the company's other open-source container offerings.

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).

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