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Google Kubernetes Lands in OpenStack via Mirantis

By Sean Michael Kerner (Send Email)
Posted February 24, 2015

The open-source OpenStack platform is all about enabling organizations to harness physical and virtual resources to enable a cloud deployment. The open-source Kubernetes project, which is managed by Google, is all about enabling clusters of Linux containers.

It makes logical sense that there would be an intersection between OpenStack and Kubernetes, and that's what's now happening.

In a new effort led by Mirantis, OpenStack - Rounded Kubernetes is coming to OpenStack – sort of. The Mirantis support for Kubernetes is coming by way of the Murano project, which is not an official part of the current OpenStack integrated release cycle. Boris Renski, co-founder of Mirantis, explained to ServerWatch that Murano is a "related OpenStack project."

"That means that it is hosted on StackForge and is developed under the general umbrella and rules of the OpenStack community," Renski said. "It doesn't currently have an official OpenStack status. "

Murano is an application catalog project for OpenStack. Renski added that as OpenStack moves to the "big tent" approach, Mirantis expects that Murano will be inside the big tent.

Enabling Kubernetes Clusters on Top of OpenStack

For developers that are using Murano with OpenStack, the new integration will enable the deployment of a Kubernetes cluster on top of OpenStack, at a click of a button, and immediately start building apps capable of running on top of Kubernetes.

"These Kubernetes-native apps can then be run on-prem or can be moved to run atop a public cloud that supports Kubernetes, such as Google Compute Engine," Renski said. "At Mirantis we see OpenStack as a platform for accelerating time-to-market for building new apps."

What that means is that most frameworks that developers are interested in using for their apps can be easily run on top of OpenStack for dev and testing purposes. That's why Mirantis is working on enabling Kubernetes / OpenStack integration.

The Kubernetes integration is not a new separate project within the OpenStack Big Tent. Rather,  Renski explained that the code for enabling the deployment of Kubernetes on OpenStack using Murano is available in the open under Apache 2.0.

"Kubernetes itself is a separate community with no direct relation to OpenStack," Renski said. "In that sense you can think of it as a 'new' feature in Murano at this point rather than a Kubernetes project in OpenStack."

Typically within an OpenStack deployment, the Nova compute project is the entry point where Docker containers would fit in. Renski explained that at this point to get the benefit of deploying Kubernetes with a single click on OpenStack, developers need to run Murano in their OpenStack environment, not just Nova.

He added that Mirantis has been shipping Murano as a standard and supported component of its OpenStack distribution since the OpenStack Havana release in October of 2013.

The effort to bring Kubernetes support to OpenStack is being led by Mirantis, though he noted that the work is a collaboration in the open source community. "We see this announcement as the first step to our collaboration and plan to work with Google further in bringing OpenStack and Kubernetes communities closer together going forward," Renski said.

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

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