Google to Help Bring Linux Containers (and Cash) to OpenStack
Mark Collier, OpenStack Foundation COO, delivering a keynote at the OpenStack summit in Paris

Google to Help Bring Linux Containers (and Cash) to OpenStack

Web giant sees intersection between OpenStack and containers as key to enabling enterprise hybrid cloud

Google has become an official sponsor of the governance organization for OpenStack, the family of open-source cloud-infrastructure software projects.

Google engineers will make contributions primarily around integrating OpenStack with Linux containers, a way to package and deploy applications that’s quickly becoming popular thanks to a startup named Docker, which has created developer tools that make it easy to launch containers and become very popular with developers and DevOps professionals. Google has used Linux containers for years, and the expectation is that OpenStack container efforts will benefit greatly from its expertise.

“Few companies understand cloud-native apps at scale like Google, so I expect big things as Google developers contribute to OpenStack projects like Magnum,” Mark Collier, chief operating officer of the OpenStack Foundation, wrote in a blog post.

Magnum a project within the OpenStack family that focuses specifically on enabling OpenStack to spin up and manage Docker or other types of containers. Magnum already integrates with Kubernetes, which is an open source version of the container-orchestration engine Google built for its own use.

Hybrid infrastructure deployments that mix private cloud infrastructure and public cloud services is on the rise among data centers, and OpenStack is emerging as “a standard for the on-premises component of these deployments,” Craig McLuckie, a product manager at Google, wrote in a blog post Thursday.

A recent survey commissioned by Canonical, the company behind the popular Linux distribution Ubuntu that has also made OpenStack an important play in its strategy, found that about half of private clouds deployed in enterprise data centers were powered by OpenStack.

One example is PayPal, which recently replaced a VMware-powered private cloud in a data center with an OpenStack cloud.

The intersection of hybrid-cloud and Linux container trends “is important to businesses everywhere,” McLuckie said.

Google hopes to give enterprise developers “container-native patterns” by joining with OpenStack. The main goal is to improve interoperability between private and public clouds.

Google will be an important ally in the quest to make OpenStack the centralized hub for managing VM-based cloud infrastructure and Linux containers. The open-source cloud software has gained in popularity, but there is still a lot of skepticism about it in the industry, and Google, which has written the book on operating data center infrastructure at massive scale, should add a lot of credibility to the project.

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