Kubernetes / Monitoring

Canonical Releases a Commercially-Supported Kubernetes for Multi-Cloud Use

29 Sep 2016 7:05am, by

Linux distributor Canonical is jumping into the fray rushing to simplify management of the Kubernetes. The company has released its own commercially-supported distribution of the open source container orchestration software.

The news comes at the same time as the release of Kubernetes 1.4, which comes with expanded cluster and persistent data support.

This Ubuntu-based version of Kubernetes provides consistent behavior for Kubernetes APIs across multiple clouds. The distro will also focus on robust security, elasticity and compatibility across all public and private infrastructure. That includes Ubuntu-based apps running on Google Compute Engine, Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, and on-premise with OpenStack, VMware or bare metal provisioned by MAAS, the Ubuntu metal-as-a-service project, which creates a physical server clouds.

Canonical is entering a nascent, though already fiercely competitive, market to provide to the enterprise a commercially supported version of Kubernetes, which can be used to orchestrate complex container-based workload. Apprenda, CoreOS and Supergiant all have dedicated considerable resources to maintaining their own commercial versions. Red Hat also uses Kubernetes as the base for its own OpenShift services platform.

Canonical has differentiated its own offering by pairing Kubernetes with its own Juju application-and-service modeling tool, which was designed to quickly spin up cloud applications.

Juju “charms” encode best practices of cluster management, elastic scaling, and platform upgrades, independent of the underlying cloud, according to the company.

The new Kubernetes bundle includes all operational scripting and tooling needed to manage a long-lived cluster, including upgrades and elastic scaling. Features include:

  • Access to the latest stable upstream Kubernetes release
  • Access to daily ‘edge’ builds of upstream Kubernetes development branch (1.5.x) with rollback
  • The ability to scale master nodes independently of worker nodes
  • Easy portability between public clouds, private clouds and bare metal with an onramp to Google Container Engine (GKE)

Canonical’s Kubernetes comes integrated with Prometheus for monitoring, Ceph for storage and a fully integrated Elastic stack including Kibana for analysis and visualizations.

kubes_1_dot_oh_bundle

The company says it will support private and public infrastructure equally. It’s offering enterprise support as part of its Ubuntu Advantage program, but also will offer Kubernetes as a stand-alone offering as well as a fully managed service.

With the release of Kuberentes 1.4, the Kubernetes development team, spurred by user feedback, worked to make Kubernetes easier to use. New features include ‘kubeadm,’ which reduces cluster creation to two commands, with no complex scripts involved. DaemonSet for add-on deployments, such as for an overlay network, requires just one command.

There’s also added support for stateful containers, new capabilities for building applications with clusters that span regions and clouds, and added container security.

Despite with wide popularity of Docker containers, Kubernetes continues to gain its own traction in the container marketplace.

When Docker, Inc. made its own orchestration engine, Docker Swarm, a part of its Docker Engine in release 1.12 earlier this year, some users raised concern about being locked into that pairing.

Red Hat and Google developers are taking the lead on a new project, for now, called CRI-O (OCI daemon), that would favor Kubernetes rather than the Docker within the Open Container Initiative (OCI) stack of container management software.

CoreOSDocker, and Red Hat are sponsors of The New Stack.

Feature Image: “Ubuntu” by Mánel, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

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