The initial beta support is set to begin on Sept. 11. At that point, Mesosphere’s DC/OS container platform will allow users to install, scale, and upgrade multiple production-grade Kubernetes clusters.
Once enabled, users will be able to connect into containers running on Kubernetes. Infrastructure owners will also be able to offer Kubernetes for Docker container orchestration through an “as-a-service” model via the shared DC/OS infrastructure.
The Kubernetes support is part of an updated DC/OS platform, which will be dubbed 1.10. Those updates include improved security features, additional upgrade capabilities, load balancer performance, and updated services software development kit (SDK).
Mesosphere CTO Tobi Knaup said the move to add Kubernetes support was about offering its customers more choices in terms of their container orchestration needs.
“It’s important for us to understand our target customers are usually the operations teams,” Knaup said. “These folks offer platforms for all the developers at a company, sometimes serving up to 10,000 developers. They use a variety of software and can’t be limited to one option. Choice is very important.”
Knaup said customers already familiar with the DC/OS platform would have embedded familiarity if they decided to go with Kubernetes.
Knaup also explained that by running Kubernetes on top of Mesos using the DC/OS platform, it would nearly match Google’s own architecture. This includes running Kubernetes within virtual machines (VMs) that are managed by Google’s Borg platform.
Mesosphere plans to offer a pure version of Kubernetes, with updates expected to closely follow the current three-month Kubernetes update cycle. The last update was in late June, with Mesosphere set to launch Kubernetes support running the latest 1.7 version.
Mesosphere updates to the Kubernetes beta will be released as the platform works its way toward general availability.
Edwin Yuen, analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, said the move further bolsters Kubernetes’ position in the ecosystem, tying the Mesosphere announcement to other recent news.
“I think this is continued strong momentum for [Kubernetes], as a vendor with a container management system in Marathon is now listening to customers asking for [Kubernetes] support also,” explained Yuen, an analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. “We are seeing not only the strengthening of [Kubernetes’] position within the container community, but a realization from vendors and users that [Kubernetes] itself needs additional levels of management and support. Thus, we see Mesosphere and VMware/Pivotal with Pivotal Container Service entering the [Kubernetes] management segment.”
Container Orchestration Market
Knaup said Mesosphere will continue to offer its Marathon container orchestration platform alongside Kubernetes. He explained all of its more than 100 current enterprise customers are already using Marathon and are very comfortable with its performance.
According to a survey conducted as part of a recent SDxCentral report on container and cloud orchestration, 64 percent of respondents said they were using Kubernetes, 36 percent said they were using Swarm, and 18 percent said they were using Mesosphere’s Marathon. The survey included the option for multiple answers.
However, analysts have noted that Marathon does over-index towards larger container deployments. Knaup said some of Mesosphere’s customers are running several clusters with up to 30,000 nodes in each cluster.
Mesosphere plans to continue regular updates to Marathon, with Knaup indicating the two orchestration engines are likely to appeal to different users.
Knaup did note that while Mesosphere was not ready to announce anything at this time, it would be open to eventually adding support for Swarm.
“We want to offer our customers a choice,” Knaup said. “We wouldn’t be opposed to it.”
Yuen noted that the Mesosphere move does leave Docker exposed.
“I still see them being the workload with containers, but its position in container management and potentially leadership for the direction of containers may be in question,” Yuen said.