SUSE Bolsters Kubernetes-based CaaS Environment

SUSE has added a range of management capabilities to its container-as-a-service (CaaS) offering based on Kubernetes that makes it easier for IT operations teams to manage containerized applications at scale.

Andreas Jaeger, product manager at SUSE, says SUSE CaaS Platform 3 adds a multi-master capability that makes the platform more resilient in the event the server that the master Kubernetes node is deployed on crashes. SUSE is also making it possible to dynamically scale the CaaS environment up from a pilot project to a production environment without having to reboot clusters, adds Jaeger.

DevOps teams also can take advantage of improved integration between the SUSE CaaS Platform and private and public cloud storage, as well as automatic deployment of the Kubernetes software load balancer.

A SUSE toolchain module is also now available to enable DevOps teams to tune the MicroOS container operating system to support custom configurations. MicroOS is a lightweight distribution of Linux that SUSE has crafted to specifically host containers.

Finally, SUSE has included a local registry for container images, support for the lightweight CRI-O container runtime designed specifically for Kubernetes, and the Kubernetes Apps Workloads application programming interface (API) to orchestrate common types of workloads.

Jaeger says with this version of its CaaS,  SUSE is addressing many of the IT operational issues that DevOps teams encounter once they deploy Kubernetes at scale. The current version of SUSE CaaS Platform supports Kubernetes 1.9, with support for Kubernetes 1.10 to arrive shortly, he says.

The complexity associated with managing microservices-based applications running on Kubernetes, coupled with the general lack of expertise available, will push many organizations to either rely on an IT vendor to provide a curated version of production-ready Kubernetes or contract an IT services provider to manage Kubernetes on their behalf.

Most instances of Kubernetes are being deployed on virtual machines running in either a public cloud or on-premises. In time, however, Jaeger says SUSE expects to see more interest in deploying Kubernetes on a bare-metal server or on lighter-weight hypervisors that are being developed by open source organizations such as the OpenStack Foundation. SUSE is also making available a technology preview of an instance of Clear Container Engine that runs Docker containers on top of Intel Virtualization Technology (Intel VT).

SUSE is also betting that both CaaS environments will be employed alongside traditional platform-as-a-service environments (PaaS). In addition to providing a CaaS environment, SUSE makes available a distribution of the open source Cloud Foundry PaaS on Kubernetes that has been certified by The Cloud Foundry Foundation (CFF).

Most IT organizations today don’t have either a PaaS or CaaS in place. But as the need to increase the rate at which applications are being developed increases, there is a corresponding increase in the pressure to provide a layer of abstraction that makes it possible to build and deploy applications anywhere. The only difference now is that a CaaS provides a lighter-weight alternative to achieving that goal.

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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