Google's Kubernetes Project May Have One Giant Beneficiary: Google

by Ostatic Staff - Nov. 19, 2014

Recently, I covered the news that Google has released Kubernetes under an open-source license, which is essentially a version of Borg, which harnesses computing power from data centers into a powerful virtual machine. It can make a difference for many cloud computing deployments, and optimizes usage of container technology. You can find the source code for Kubernetes on GitHub.

News also recently emerged that some very big contributors are committed to the Kubernetes project, including IBM, Microsoft, Red Hat, Docker, CoreOS, Mesosphere, and SaltStack. They are working in tandem on open source tools and container technologies that can run on multiple computers and networks. And, we're also seeing that Google may have plans to integrate Kubernetes much more deeply with its own cloud platform.

According to The Register:

"Kubernetes is a tool Google developed and used to make containerisation more useful by making it possible to manage containerised applications. As explained by Craig McLuckie, Google's point man for all things cloud, Docker is very good at helping developers to create apps running in containers. Kubernetes tries to take things further by getting code in containers to work together to deliver an application, and to help manage those containers and their joint and interlinked operations once an app goes into production."

"Google Cloud Platform also supports Kubernetes. But as Google developed Kubernetes out of code it needed for its own operations, it's in a position to make the software work especially well on its own cloud."

Google officials also told The Register that Kubernetes would lead to "differentiated experiences" on Google's own cloud platform.

Let's face it, the history of open source is rife with examples of companies that contribute open source code reaping the biggest benefits from the contribution. 

On Google's Cloud Platform Blog, more information has appeared about the company's own implementations of Kubernetes:

"Last Tuesday, we announced the availability of the Google Container Engine Alpha, our new service offering based on Kubernetes, the open source project we announced in June. One of the advantages of using Kubernetes and Docker containers as the underpinnings of Google Container Engine is the level of portability they offer our customers, as both are designed to run in multiple clouds."

"Kubernetes and Container Engine were designed from the ground up to meet the needs of those looking to benefit from application mobility...We have relied on CoreOS technologies in Kubernetes for some time, such as using etcd for distributed state management. Looking forward, they are working to deliver new technology to achieve high levels of portability for Kubernetes and have also started developing new capabilities for the platform, most prominently Flannel."

Kubernetes is going to benefit from many big partners collaborating on it, but Google may benefit most from the collaboration, as container-based technology continues to emerge as one of the biggest open source stories of this year.