VMware and Pivotal rolled out updates to Pivotal Container Service (PKS), the container orchestration technology the two companies co-developed with Google. PKS is intended to make it easier for enterprises to deploy and manage Kubernetes on premises. The move comes as Pivotal kicks off its SpringOne Platform conference — and as the competitive landscape for managed, on-prem Kubernetes services becomes increasingly crowded with the likes of Cisco and even Google jumping in.
The PKS 1.2 updates add support for Amazon Web Services Elastic Compute Cloud (AWS EC2). This gives customers more options for where to deploy PKS. When VMware and Pivotal launched PKS it was initially available on vSphere-based clouds and Google Cloud Platform. “We made it clear that it was a multi-cloud architecture, and now AWS is available on 1.2,” said Paul Dul, VP product management, cloud native applications at VMware. “We expect to have Azure follow that, and we’re considering other clouds as well like OpenStack and VMC,” he added, referring to VMware Cloud on AWS.
“It gives customers choice of IaaS,” added Richard Seroter, director of product at Pivotal. “For us, it’s that consistency [that customers want.]”
PKS 1.2 will include Kubernetes 1.11, the latest Kubernetes release that is also Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) compatible, and it’s Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) certified for Kubernetes conformance, assuring workload and application portability across other certified Kubernetes distributions. It also integrates with VMware vRealize Automation for cluster creation, management, and deployment of workloads to the cluster.
“Whether you have one cluster or 150, when you get PKS 1.2 you roll that out through automation with no downtime,” Seroter said.
PKS was one of the earlier enterprise-ready Kubernetes services, but several other vendors have since launched similar products.
Cisco has been steadily adding Kubernetes support into its other products like its CloudCenter management tool and AppDynamics monitoring platform. Earlier this month Cisco Hybrid Cloud Platform for Google Cloud became generally available. It’s based on Kubernetes and Istio and allows enterprises to deploy Kubernetes-based containers on premises and in Google Cloud Platform.
IBM’s private cloud, launched in November 2017, is built on Kubernetes.
Both VMware and Pivotal executives have said they’ve seen good PKS adoption from existing customers, but they don’t provide specific customer counts or revenue figures.
Plus, most enterprises are still in the early stages of container adoption, and that translates to ample opportunity for any of these vendors selling a Kubernetes-based hybrid cloud.
Dul says PKS’ multi-cloud integration gives it a competitive edge. “GKE On-Prem clearly validates something we’ve been talking about for some time now since we announced PKS 1.0: this need for a consistent platform that has consistent operations both on prem and in the public cloud,” he said. “We view it as market validation. But it’s very early. We’ll see how things progress.”
Initially GKE On-Prem will support vSphere, Dul said. By comparison PKS supports vSphere, Google Cloud Platform, and AWS. “And we’ll have support for Azure and VMC,” he added. “Given the number of clouds we’re targeting and the way our customers value tight integration with vSphere as one of their primary clouds, we feel confident that we’re very well positioned in this hybrid cloud market.”
PCF, PAS Updates
Pivotal also announced other product updates today at SpringOne Platform. These include new Pivotal Cloud Foundry (PCF) capabilities. PCF software allows companies to deploy applications to multiple public and private cloud platforms with no changes to the application.
PCF 2.3 updates the operating system and adds features to the user interface to help operators understand the operational health of their platform across a variety of sources. It also allows operators to extend a single PCF deployment across multiple data center locations. This helps enterprises increase redundancy at the availability zone level for on-prem deployments with VMware vSphere and now OpenStack.
Additionally, Pivotal Application Service (PAS) — this is an abstraction for applications — adds more support for .NET Framework applications. This provides a way for .NET developers to more easily consume app dependencies, like database drivers, Microsoft-provided frameworks, and partner integrations. It also simplifies how development teams share data across microservices, and includes greater encryption of data in transit using direct network encryption via Transport Layer Security (TLS).