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Canonical Launches Commercial Support for Kubernetes

By Sean Michael Kerner (Send Email)
Posted September 28, 2016

Canonical, the lead commercial vendor behind the open-source Ubuntu Linux operating system, is getting into the Kubernetes market. Canonical now offers a freely available implementation of Kubernetes as well as commercial-support options.

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"I have no doubt that Kubernetes will be one of the major container co-ordination systems," Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu, told ServerWatch.Ubuntu

Canonical joins a crowded marketplace of vendors with Kubernetes support, including Red Hat, CoreOS, Platform9 and AppFormix, among numerous others.

Dustin Kirkland, Ubuntu Product and Strategy lead at Canonical, explained to ServerWatch that the Ubuntu distribution of Kubernetes is a "plain vanilla" implementation that literally just takes the upstream code from the open-source project and packages it for Ubuntu.

Canonical is then using its Juju deployment technology to enable users to easily get Kubernetes up and running rapidly.

"Juju is what abstracts the underlying substrate and is what allows us to deploy Kubernetes to bare metal, OpenStack, Google Compute, Amazon and Microsoft Azure," Kirkland said. "Juju is just the plumbing layer."

Canonical Active in the Container Space

Canonical has been very active in the container space, introducing multiple new technologies including the LXD container hypervisor. LXD does not however fit into the Kubernetes world, yet.

"Kubernetes today provides hosting, orchestration and scheduling of process containers," Kirkland said. "We have not yet integrated LXD into Kubernetes, but that's not necessarily off the table, and we have discussed it with a number of people and it would be interesting in the long term."

In terms of commercial support, Canonical will be providing the Ubuntu Advantage commercial support program at two levels, standard and advanced. The list pricing starts at $600 per node, per year for standard support and $1,200 for advanced. Kirkland said the minimum number of nodes to run Kubernetes is three, while the recommended number is five.

Canonical will offer further discounts for those organizations that are already Ubuntu Advantage customers for OpenStack to run Kubernetes on top of OpenStack.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at ServerWatch and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist

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