Anyone but Amazon: The rise of Kubernetes

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Kubernetes is becoming the cloud container orchestration program of choice. According to a recent 451 Research report, 71 percent of surveyed container users were using Kubernetes. Why? Well there are two reasons: The technical and the competitive.

On the technical side, Jay Lyman, 451 Research’s Principal Analyst, said, “Organizations are looking for ways to create a consistent developer deployment model across on-premises and hybrid clouds.”

As Alex Poivi, CoreOS‘s CEO, said in his CoreOS Fest keynote, Kubernetes enables you to manage containers over multiple-cloud architectures. Thus, you can deploy, manage, and run the same software-server stack on both Azure and OpenStack clouds.

Kubernetes also has many other useful features. These include self-healing, automated rollouts and rollbacks and storage orchestration. It’s only real lack is load balancing. Kubernetes Ingress will simplify running an external load balancer, but that’s not ready for prime-time yet.

The DevOps program also excels at automatically fixing failures. This serverless computing mode makes any Kubernetes-enabled cloud equal to AWS Lambda or Iron.io.

So much for the technical reasons why Kubernetes is so popular. Here’s the business reason:

Anyone but Amazon.

James Governor, the co-founder of the developer analysis firm RedMonk, explained that just as Linux, Java and open source all gained popularity back in their early days in part because rival vendors could all agree on “Anyone but Microsoft,” so today’s leading cloud companies, even if they’re rivals, can all agree on one thing: “Anyone but Amazon.”

So it is, Governor explained, that “Microsoft, Red Hat and Google Cloud Platform are all now aligned around Kubernetes.” They’re far from the only ones. Smaller players such as CoreOS and Mirantis have also joined their fortunes to Kubernetes.

At the same time, just as Microsoft finally embraced open source and even supports Java at a strategic cloud level, Amazon and its rivals are coming to some understandings about Kubernetes. CoreOS has introduced a way to deploy a fully-functional Kubernetes cluster to AWS using AWS CloudFormation.

Of course, AWS would prefer for you to use Lambda and other native AWS programs. And, after all, AWS is still the main rival to all the other cloud players. But, in today’s “blink-twice and you’ll miss an innovation” technical world, rivals don’t fight for years the way they used to.

That said, I expect Kubernetes and its supporters will use the program as a business differentiator for quite some time to come. AWS, after all, still rules the public cloud, and the others all want to increase their share.

RELATED LINKS

CoreOS moves in on cloud DevOps with Kubernetes

Gartner shows us a world of public cloud haves –  and have-nots

Cloud-based security services set to soar

 

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