Dan's Take

CoreOS Tectonic Wants To Shake Up the Kubernetes World

It's another example of the growth of DevOps.

CoreOS, which has taken on the mission "to improve the security and reliability of the Internet," just announced that it's extended the capabilities of its Kubernetes solution, CoreOS Tectonic, to include more computing environments.

This release is designed to support bare metal, Amazon Web Services and preview support for both Microsoft Azure and OpenStack. The company has also extended its container image registry, Quay, so that it can manage and store complete Kubernetes applications. The goal of both announcements is to help enterprises automate container-based application environments.

CoreOS points out the following features of the extended Tectonic Installer:

  • Environment flexibility: An improved, scriptable installer makes it easy to deploy highly available, secure Kubernetes clusters by default. Repeatable across environments, users can try out customizations for their environments. Includes increased customization of networking and VPC options (including deploying into an existing VPC and subnet) and custom tagging for AWS resources.
  • HA deployment options: Users can now deploy a cluster with multi-worker, multi-controller and multi-node etcd (Kubernetes' distributed data store) on AWS and bare metal.
  • Simplified deployment: With the preview installer released in open source, users now have options to deploy Kubernetes on a multitude of cloud providers.
  • Automated: With the need for dev clusters, test clusters, QA clusters, and more, the installer allows users to save time and automate the install of their clusters.

The company also says that the new release of Tectonic includes Kubernetes version 1.5.5., which provides the following capabilities:

  • More self-driving capabilities: Addition of Dex, Flannel and the Tectonic Console in this release as components controlled by CoreOS's experimental Operators.
  • Tectonic Console: Now v1.0.0, with improvements to the navigation, menus and labels. The console displays node selectors and provides an editing modal, and has improvements in the Kubernetes and Tectonic channel statuses and error messages.
Dan's Take: Kubernetes Becoming a Mainstream Tool
If we consider CoreOS' announcement in the context of recent announcements coming from other suppliers, such as Red Hat, SUSE, IBM, HPE and others, the following things have become clear:

  • Containers is a technology now on the radar screen of enterprise developers. This trend can be attributed to the fact that virtual machine (VM) software doesn't always offer an acceptable mix of capabilities and machine overhead suitable for all workloads. VMs are an approach that works well in a multi-OS computing environment. If the workload is going to be hosted on a single operating environment, the use of VM technology as the foundation for encapsulating applications and application components may be too costly in terms of processing power, system memory, storage and networking requiremetns.
  • Multiple machine configurations based on system clustering, which has long been the foundation of commercial computing workloads, is now becoming a standard practice when containers are the application encapsulation and delivery tool.
  • This announcement obliquely supports the trend toward the use of rapid development and deployment approaches typically used under the banner of "DevOps". Developing services or microservices quickly and hosting them in containers that can execute in a clustered -- e.g., Kubernetes -- environment is on the rise as well.

Enterprises have an increasing number of options when it comes to the use of containers and Kubernetes. Is CoreOS the best choice? That isn't really clear. What is clear is that containers as a technology and the trend toward rapid development and deployment environments got a boost by the company's product launch.

About the Author

Daniel Kusnetzky, a reformed software engineer and product manager, founded Kusnetzky Group LLC in 2006. He's literally written the book on virtualization and often comments on cloud computing, mobility and systems software. He has been a business unit manager at a hardware company and head of corporate marketing and strategy at a software company.

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