Advanced Computing in the Age of AI|Monday, September 21, 2020
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Mirantis, Google Collaborate on Container Automation 

An initiative integrating Google Kubernetes containers with OpenStack automation features aims to help speed enterprise deployment and management of applications containers.

Pure-play OpenStack developer Mirantis said Tuesday (Feb. 24) it is collaborating with Google to integrate Kubernetes with OpenStack. The initiative would eliminate the need to build an infrastructure from scratch by giving developers access to Kubernetes clusters with Docker application containers, according to Marantis, which is based in Mountain View, California.

The company further claimed the initiative would allow developers to move their production environments between OpenStack private clouds and public clouds that support Kubernetes, including Google Cloud Platform.

The initiative would make it easier for developers to "manage Docker containers at scale," Marantis CEO Adrian Lonel stressed in a statement.

Kubernetes is used to automate the management of Docker containers. Google is believed to be the one of the world's largest users of application containers, with billions being managed on a daily basis. Google is sponsoring Kubernetes as an open-source framework to run containers at scale.

Marantis touted OpenStack's ability to automate configuration and deployment of infrastructure on which containers run. The automation of container operations would free developers to focus on building and running applications, Ionel asserted. OpenStack's "automation engine" is designed to handle compute, storage and networking while allowing technologies like applications containers to be plugged in.

The partners said the integration of Kubernetes with OpenStack relies on the open-source project's Murano application catalog. Murano is designed to automatically configure compute, storage and networking resources for Kubernetes clusters. It also provides load balancing, firewalls and other OpenStack infrastructure.

As developers use Docker and other applications container technologies, the goal is to run them on any infrastructure. However, a Google Cloud Platform manager noted in a blog post, "It’s still too hard to run containers on a private cloud." Google's Kit Merker added that integrating OpenStack through its collaboration with Mirantis would "make it easier to run your apps on a private cloud while enabling new 'hybrid' cloud possibilities."

Google insists that integration with OpenStack would make it easier to move workloads between on-premise and public cloud infrastructures. For example, users "might run a primary instance of your application in a private cloud, and then replicate other instances to Google Container Engine in geographies where you don’t have on-premises infrastructure," Merker said.

Meanwhile, Mirantis argues that the collaboration addresses the misperception that OpenStack and applications containers like Docker compete with each other. "They both solve similar problems, but on different layers of the stack, so combining the two can give users more scalability and automation," Mirantis' Nick Chase argued in a separate blog post.

The collaboration with Google means, Chase continued, that users would be able to "click a few buttons and end up with a working, scalable Kubernetes application within minutes."

The partners will demonstrate the integration of Kubernetes and Murano at a Google event this week. Meanwhile, the package will be publicly available to the OpenStack and Kubernetes communities for technical preview in April, Mirantis said.

Other open source specialists like Red Hat are also in discussions with Google on how to collaborate more closely on Kubernetes as a way to leverage container technology in open source platform-as-a-service offerings.

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