Google Offers Enhancements to Container Engine and Registry

by Ostatic Staff - Nov. 11, 2015

A few months ago, I covered the news that Google had released Kubernetes under an open-source license, which is essentially a version of Borg, designed to harness computing power from data centers into a powerful virtual machine. Then, earlier this month, we covered the news that Google had transformed Kubernetes into a full-fledged part of Google Cloud Platform with Google Container Engine.

Now, Google has launched many enhancements to its container-focused cloud offerings designed to leverage new open source developments and boost the performance of its products in a hard fought cloud market.  As of this week, Google Container Engine, which is based on the Kubernetes open source project that manages clusters and orchestrates Docker containers in Google's cloud, now has the newest updates to Kubernetes.

DevOps teams are adopting containers to make their development and deployment simpler. Google Cloud Platform is designed as a complete suite of container offerings including Google Container Engine and Google Container Registry.

The new enhancements this week include:

Docker Registry V2 API support. You can now push and pull Docker images to Container Registry using the V2 API. This allows you to have content addressable references, parallel layer downloads and digest-based pulls. Docker versions 1.6 and above support the v2 API, it’s recommended to upgrade to the latest version. If you’re using a mix of Docker client versions, see the newest Docker documentation to check compatibility.

Performance enhancements. Based on internal performance testing, this update pulls images 40% faster than the previous version.

Advanced Authentication. If you use a continuous delivery system (and we hope you do), it’s even easier to make it work with Container Registry, see the auth documentation page for details and setup. Learn how it works with popular CI/CD systems including Circle, Codeship,, Jenkins, Shippable and Wercker.

TwistLock Integration. TwistLock provides rule violation detection and policy enforcement for containers in a registry or at runtime. They recently completed a Beta with 15 customers with positive results. Using TwistLock with GCR and GKE is really simple. See their blog for more details.

On the heels of the Kubernetes 1.1 release, Google is bringing the latest from Kubernetes to Container Engine users. The performance improvements in this release ensure you can run Google Container Engine in high-scale environments. Additional highlights of this release include:

Horizontal pod autoscaling helps resolve the uneven experiences users see when workloads go through spiky periods of utilization, meaning your pods can scale up and down based on CPU usage.

HTTP load balancer that enables routing traffic to different Kubernetes services based on HTTP traffic, such as using different services for sub-URLs.

A re-architected networking system that allows native iptables and reduces tail latency by up to 80%, virtually eliminating CPU overhead and improving reliability.

These and other updates in the 1.1 release will be rolled out to all Container Engine users over the next week. If you’re new to the Google Cloud Platform, you can also sign up for a free trial here.