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Containers / Kubernetes

CoreOS Tightens Fit with Kubernetes, Raises $12M from Google Ventures

Apr 6th, 2015 10:03am by
Featued image for: CoreOS Tightens Fit with Kubernetes, Raises $12M from Google Ventures

CoreOS has announced a beta of a technology called Tectonic, combining its CoreOS portfolio and Kubernetes — Google’s open-source project for managing containerized applications.

At the same time, it has landed $12 million in an investment round led by Google Ventures, with additional investment from Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers (KPCB); Fuel Capital; and Accel Partners — the latest round bringing its total funding to $20 million.

Tectonic allows companies to securely run containers in a distributed environment, similar to the way Google runs its own infrastructure, according to the company. It’s a commercially supported offering for companies that just want to hit the ground running with containers, either on-prem or with cloud providers.

Tectonic combines all the moving parts for efficiently running containers, said Alex Polvi, CEO of CoreOS.

“You can think of it almost like iOS or Android. It’s the OS, but in our world it’s a distributed container deployment, but we’re building a distribution of that, that includes some pre-installed apps as well as offering that as a whole package,” he said.

“What a company would do today is take all the open source components and kind of piece it together and have to figure it all out. We just have all that ready with additional features and products built into it.”

It includes an installer, an updater, a management console as well as additional platform services pre-installed into the distribution.

All components are still in development during this beta, and with the new investment CoreOS will get the product “tightened up,” Polvi said, and bring it to market in the second half of the year.

CoreOS created a stir in December when it called the Docker process model – sending everything through a central daemon – “fundamentally flawed.”

“We cannot in good faith continue to support Docker’s broken security model without addressing these issues,” Polvi wrote in announcing its prototype alternative, Rocket.

He said Docker was becoming more of a platform, moving away from the original goal of creating lightweight and portable modules.

The criticism about CoreOS has at times been pretty harsh. But Polvi has been resolute about making the move, which has also helped align the company with different factions of the container community.

Here’s the full recording of an interview we did with Polvi earlier this year that touches on the dynamics of the container ecosystem:

Alex Polvi, CoreOS: The New Stack Interview, Part Two

CoreOS has been gaining some mainstream validation. Google, Amazon and Microsoft have announced support for CoreOS, as well as VMware for its vSphere 5.5 and vCloud Air public cloud offerings.

In January, the company released Rocket 0.2.0, adding along with features for managing and disposing of containers a signature validation mechanism, building in the ability to verify container integrity – a feature Docker originally lacked and didn’t firm up until version 1.3 was released last October.

CoreOS called the new feature an “important step towards our goal of Rocket being as secure as possible by default.”

“CoreOS is moving beyond just being a container host OS, something that every OS is driving to in some form or fashion,” said Gary Chen, research manager for cloud and virtualization system software at IDC.

With Tectonic, creating a complete solution around containers that includes things like clustering and orchestration will help CoreOS differentiate itself in the hot container market, Chen said.

Piston Cloud Computing also announced Monday plans to expand its CloudOS beyond OpenStack to include big data and container orchestration capabilities, though its support for Kubernetes, Mesos and Docker Swarm won’t be available until mid-year.

Feature image via Flickr Creative Commons.

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TNS owner Insight Partners is an investor in: Docker.
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