VMware Ties Kubernetes to Integrated OpenStack

As part of a broader effort to make sure that VMware virtual machines are employed within an OpenStack environment, VMware this week at an OpenStack East conference demonstrated how an open source Kargo tool can be used to construct a Kubernetes cluster running on top of VMware Integrated OpenStack.

Possibly of even more interest, VMware executives during the event said VMware soon plans to support the Magnum tools for provisioning container orchestration engines being developed by the OpenStack community. Those Magnum tools will support Kubernetes, Docker Swarm and Mesos container orchestration engines as part of what Trevor Roberts, senior technical marketing manager for VMware, describes as overall VMware effort to take microsegmentation all the way down to the container level.

Roberts also showed how IT organizations can make use of playbooks using IT automation software based on the open source Ansible project to further automate deployments of both OpenStack and Kubernetes.

VMware makes it a point to note there is nothing being built for OpenStack that can’t also run on VMware Integrated OpenStack, which is based on the Kilo release of OpenStack. An upgrade to the Mitaka release of OpenStack is scheduled to arrive soon, says Roberts.

VMware is fighting the battle of protecting its base as OpenStack and containers continue to gain momentum. The company still dominates the enterprise, but over the course of the last two years it has become a lot more feasible to deploy traditional enterprise applications on top of OpenStack.

At the same time, the OpenStack community has been moving rapidly to embrace containers and microservices. VMware wants to make sure those advances are available to customers running VMware virtual machine. OpenStack makes use of the Kernel-based virtual machine (KVM) as its default platform.

Right now container orchestration engines are being deployed on top of OpenStack. But there’s also a movement underway to make Kubernetes the foundation on which OpenStack is built. At the same time, there’s a lot of debate over whether OpenStack will be relevant in a world full of containers, many of which in the future will be running on bare-metal servers. In that context, the debate becomes to what degree it makes sense to use a framework originally developed for virtual machines to manage containers.

Presently, however, most IT organizations are opting to deploy containers on top of virtual machines in production environments. Typically they appreciate the flexibility containers provide their developers. But they lack the tools needed to secure and manage containers on bare-metal servers. Longer term, it’s clear that containers will be running on bare-metal servers, virtual machines and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) environments for years to come. Proponents of OpenStack contend it doesn’t make much sense to create new tools for managing containers in isolation in each of those environments.

No matter how that debate turns out, it’s clear that at least to one degree or another OpenStack is going to be part of the constellation of containers for years to come.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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