CoreOS, Mirantis Join Forces to Marry OpenStack and Linux Containers
A shipping container is moved with a crane before being loaded onto a ship docked at the Port of Oakland in Oakland, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

CoreOS, Mirantis Join Forces to Marry OpenStack and Linux Containers

Companies partner to integrate container-optimized Linux with open source cloud software

In a move that heralds the coming together of OpenStack and Docker containers, CoreOS and Mirantis today unveiled an alliance under which the OpenStack distribution from Mirantis will be integrated with a Tectonic distribution of Linux from CoreOS optimized for Linux containers.

Kamesh Pemmaraju, director of partner marketing for Mirantis, said that a lot of work has recently gone into integrating OpenStack with Google’s open source container orchestration framework Kubernetes, which is now part of the Tectonic platform by CoreOS.

“There’s not a lot of knowledge about containers in the OpenStack community,” said Pemmaraju. “Since Google joined the OpenStack Foundation there’s been a lot of work done.”

Because of that integration effort, IT organizations can now make use of OpenStack to manage Linux containers, whether they are deployed on bare-metal servers, virtual machines, or in a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) environment. In the case of CoreOS, Kubernetes orchestration software comes bundled with its operating system.

Couple that with the existing ability to manage multiple types of VMs, and OpenStack is now the most flexible and comprehensive IT platform available, Pemmaraju said, because it provides a single API through which all those IT resources can be provisioned and managed.

In general, Pemmaraju said, while Linux containers, recently popularized by a startup named Docker, have not been widely deployed in production environments yet, their usage in application development and testing environments is already widespread. For the most part, however, it has been done on top of VMs, because that’s the simplest way for most organizations to provision containers.

In addition, Pemmaraju noted, networking containers across multiple servers remains challenging.

As a consequence, Mirantis expects to see the first Linux containers to be deployed in production within inward-facing non-mission-critical applications. That’s something he expects to change over time.

Most IT operations teams have little familiarity with containers, which continue to be a developer-led phenomenon in terms of adoption. But as IT operations teams gain more confidence in the approach, it’s only a matter of time before its usage increases on bare-metal servers as an alternative to the bloating VM count in enterprise IT.

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