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VMware, Pivotal and Google team up on containers

VMware, Pivotal and Google have developed a service to ease deployment of containers on VMware vSphere and Google Cloud Platform

With more enterprises running applications in lightweight containers that can be developed and deployed quickly without the performance overheads of virtual machines, VMware has rallied Pivotal and Google to make it easier to deploy container-based applications in a multi-cloud environment.

At VMworld 2017, the three companies talked up the Pivotal Container Service (PKS) that makes use of the Kubernetes container orchestration platform to deploy and manage Kubernetes clusters on any cloud. The service was jointly developed by Google and Pivotal in the open-source Kubo project that started in October 2016.

VMware said PKS, when available in the fourth quarter of 2017, will help “operations teams deliver a hardened, maintainable container platform, while giving developers on-demand access to a production-ready environment featuring high availability, security, and multi-tenancy across private and public clouds”.

Besides giving mid-sized and large enterprises the ability to deploy containers in VMware vSphere, PKS is also preconfigured for the Google Cloud Platform (GCP), making it easy for developers to take advantage of GCP services such as BigQuery, Spanner, and machine learning.

Cross-cloud security and network connectivity, including container network services, will be powered by VMware NSX.

Gary Chen, research manager for software-defined compute research at IDC, said given the strong interest in Kubernetes for container orchestration, PKS offers IT shops plenty to consider.

“IDC research shows that most enterprises are seeking a commercially supported Kubernetes solution and PKS has VMware, Pivotal and Google lined up to support it,” he said.

Sam Ramji, vice-president for product management at Google Cloud, said with an open hybrid cloud ecosystem forming around Kubernetes, PKS “is a great way to run containers and Kubernetes on-premise”.

“It gives you native access to Google Cloud services, and it’s on the same release cadence as Google Container Engine. With Pivotal Container Service plus Google Container Engine, you get constant compatibility, and your services and workloads are deployed the same way, anywhere you need them,” he said.

Read more about container technology

VMware and Pivotal, which are both part of Dell Technologies, are not the only ones wooing developers by teaming up with public cloud providers in a multi-cloud world.

Earlier in May 2017, Red Hat deepened its ties with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to enable enterprises to use public cloud services on OpenShift, a container platform that competes with Pivotal’s Cloud Foundry.

Through the Red Hat-AWS partnership, enterprises will be able to build and extend container-based applications with OpenShift, using a range of Amazon Web Services (AWS) compute, database, analytics, machine learning, networking, mobile and other application services.

“Container adoption is taking off in the enterprise, and this alliance is designed to accelerate that by giving customers access to AWS services directly in Red Hat OpenShift container platform,” said Red Hat CEO and president Jim Whitehurst.

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