Google throws its hat into the OpenStack cloud ring

Google didn’t invest much cash when it joined the OpenStack Foundation, but the size of the partnership shouldn’t be measured in dollars. It should be measured in container mindshare and in Google’s steps towards the hybrid cloud.

Everyone knows that Google has its own cloud services. Far fewer know that all of Google — your search page, your Gmail mail, your Google+ account and all the rest — run inside Kubernetes containers. This open-source project is Google’s homegrown container management and deployment program. With this partnership, Google wants to bring Kubernetes to OpenStack and, needless to say, OpenStack partners and customers to Kubernetes.

OpenStack Foundation COO Mark Collier made no bones about where this new marriage is going: “I expect big things as Google developers contribute to OpenStack projects like Magnum. Openstack’s Magnum project directly integrates with Kubernetes, the open source project Google introduced in June, 2014, enabling new cloud native apps to run alongside traditional enterprise workloads on a single platform.”

As Serdar Yegulalp, a journalist at InfoWorld, opined, while Google already has the experience of running Kubernetes at scale on Google Cloud Platform, “getting more feedback from OpenStack customers — and being able to make specific recommendations to the project about how best to implement Kubernetes — ought to be useful. Customers running OpenStack on their own are likely to have experiences Google won’t and vice versa.”

Exactly so. Google knows for certain that Kubernetes scales in its monstrous data centers, but what about in even a Fortune 500 company’s smaller data center?

In addition, as 451 Research‘s research vice president William Fellows told ZDNet’s Toby Wolpe, “Whereas Amazon has a very self-centred view of the world. ‘You can do everything on Amazon’, Google’s approach is absolutely 180 degrees opposite. It fully anticipates and is planning and building and developing for a multi-cloud world. That really is going to be one of the differentiators that it’s going to hang its hat on in terms of going up against AWS.”

A related reason for Google partnering with OpenStack, as Craig McLuckie, Google Kubernetes Product Manager, blogged, “Few enterprises can move their entire infrastructure to the public cloud. For most, hybrid deployments will be the norm and OpenStack is emerging as a standard for the on-premises component of these deployments.”

As I mentioned the other week, the illusion that public cloud pricing can only change in one way, down, is being dispelled. A hybrid cloud, with high-end container support, may prove to be a perfect partnership match for both Google and OpenStack, with its many partners including Cisco, Dell, HP, IBM, Intel, Oracle, Red Hat, and VMware.


  1. […] joined the OpenStack Foundation in large part to bring Kubernetes to OpenStack projects via Magnum. This program integrates Kubernetes and […]


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