Cycle.io is tacking its newly developed, bare-metal focused container orchestration platform to Packet’s bare metal compute, network, and storage resources. The combination targets organizations that want all the benefits of containers without having to wade into the growing morass of Kubernetes.
Unlike more traditional container orchestrators Kubernetes or Docker Swarm, Cycle’s approach is to handle all of the management of provisioning and security of the container orchestration platform. Company CEO Jake Warner explained that the platform allows organizations to provision the container orchestrator in a private cloud environment in as little as 10 minutes. This can be performed without writing a line of code, logging into a server, or knowing really anything about the Cycle platform.
That platform is built on a thin, Linux-based operating system that Warner claimed was just 80 megabytes in size. The operating system is focused only on managing containers and their networks, and starts in a read-only mode to enhance security.
“You don’t have to worry about someone diving in and making tweaks that might impact security,” Warner explained. “You just click the button and it works every time.”
Warner said the company’s focus is on organizations that want to glean efficiencies of using containers but don’t want to deal with the process of learning how to deploy containers or the growing ecosystem around Kubernetes. Instead, these organizations are looking for something that is easy to deploy and does not need a lot of customization.
“We wanted to be OCI compliant to make it easy,” Warner said, referring to the Open Container Initiative. “But, we wanted to build everything up from scratch. We knew that meant it wouldn’t be super customizable, but the niche we are trying to solve is the 80 percent of use cases where a customer won’t need something customized.”
The Kubernetes community has quickly solidified as the go-to in terms of container orchestration because of the various ways in which the open source project can be used for different use cases. However, Warner cited how the OpenStack community fragmented due to being pulled in too many directions, and sees the same thing happening to an extent to the Kubernetes community.
“Kubernetes is great for what it does, but we think there are a lot of organizations that don’t want to have to learn that model,” Warner said. “We are more focused on just allowing companies to get the benefits of containers in a secure and easy way.”
Cycle does not yet have the ability to plug into external networks to reach outside of a private, on-premises deployment. Warner said that was something it planned to incorporate at some point.
Cycle launched in February with $675,000 in initial seed funding from Core Networks and Reno Angels Investor Group. (Cycle is based in Reno, Nevada.)
The Cycle product is initially tied to deployment across bare metal from Packet. Warner said the collaboration helps because there is tighter control over the process and that it can allow for better automation.
Packet’s bare metal server technology automates physical servers and networks and provides on-demand compute and connectivity. The company received a $9.4 million investment from SoftBank in 2016.
Jacob Smith, SVP of engagement and co-founder of Packet, said Kubernetes and OpenStack offer too much customization that leads to them needing to be deployed in a managed environment. He noted this leaves many organizations out of the loop due to cost or technical issues.
“There is an Amazon velocity happening, but for most looking to adopt they just want the benefits,” Smith said.
Beyond different levels of hardware support provided by Packet, customers can also select the level of support from Cycle. This varies from a no-charge option that allows access to support through a Slack channel, to $1,500 per month for a more intensive support package.
Warner did note that Cycle was looking to expand hardware support to any infrastructure beginning next year.