Categories: CloudCloud Management

Google’s Made Its Biggest Move Yet For OpenStack Users

Google wants to win public cloud. But to do this, it knows it must win over potential customers who choose to work on private clouds.

For many of these customers, the open source cloud computing platform OpenStack is becoming a viable choice.

This development means Google is now working with one of OpenStack’s most influential members, Mirantis, to persuade OpenStack users to come around to Google’s way of thinking about cloud.

Google OpenStack

Google has said that it wants more companies to adopt its Kubernetes open source container manager. While Kubernetes was made available to anyone in 2015, there were still problems in using it with OpenStack deployments.

To fix this, Google has collaborated with Mirantis and OpenStack-backer Intel to make Fuel, Mirantis’ own OpenStack management software, capable of using Kubernetes as its underlying orchestration engine. If OpenStack users ever wanted an easy on-ramp to working in cloud the Google way, they just got it.

“This is an important development for the open source community,” Gina Longoria, analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, tells TechWeekEurope. “OpenStack is becoming the defacto standard for the deployment of open source private clouds and Google’s partnership with this community is a way to increase their relevance in the private cloud.”


OpenStack six years old, and this year it had one helluva birthday. With users like Volkswagen, AT&T and Walmart already buying the platform from OpenStack vendors, the number of OpenStack deployments in production hit 65 percent in April, all while the OpenStack Foundation pivots to try and tempt customers who want cloud deployments for the incoming boom of Internet of Things scalability demands.

But to continue its success, OpenStack Foundation members know they have to work together.

“Collaborate or die,” said the OpenStack Foundation’s chief operating officer Mark Collier during the Foundation’s annual conference this year in Austin.

“We should really make sure we haven’t got our blinders on and think that OpenStack is the only thing that matters. The fact is, it’s going to be OpenStack and a number of other technologies. This is our opportunity to collaborate going forward with all these other communities.”

Well, here’s some of that exact collaboration Collier was talking about.

While OpenStack users already had support for containers, they couldn’t run OpenStack on top of containers. OpenStack member CoreOS’s Stackanetes project is also working on this, running on the Tectonic platform, but currently just allows for running OpenStack in containers.

“OpenStack will now run in containers on Google’s Cloud or other cloud services that support Kubernetes which provides an avenue for OpenStack adoption in public cloud environments,” says Longoria. “A critical next step for this integration will be to show specific examples of how end users can benefit from using these technologies together.”

Bridge the gap

Google Cloud product manager Craig McLuckie, obviously, wholeheartedly agrees. With this announcement, he claims that using Kubernetes in Fuel will turn OpenStack into a true microservice applications that can bridge the gap between legacy infrastructure software and the next generation of application development.

“Many enterprises will benefit from using containers and sophisticated cluster management as the foundation for resilient, highly scalable infrastructure,” he says.
Jay Lyman, analyst at 451 Research, also sees closer interoperability between Google and OpenStack.

“I think it shows that there is more interest and traction for using containers to manage OpenStack than using OpenStack to manage containers,” he says, noting that the latter is more in the realm of CoreOS Tectonic.

“It also means OpenStack is being positioned as PaaS as well as IaaS, which is a convergence that’s been occurring based on user demand to have IaaS-like experience, provider offerings that combine IaaS and PaaS capabilities and M&A.

“This is also indicative of growing focus on hybrid clouds and the collaboration centered on Kubernetes and OpenStack integration puts us on the road toward tighter integration between Google Compute Engine and OpenStack.”

In a blog post from Google Kubernetes product manager Martin Buhr, he explains how the news is a great step forward for both the OpenStack and Kubernetes communities.

“With Kubernetes under the hood, OpenStack users will benefit from the tremendous efficiency, manageability and resiliency that Kubernetes brings to the table, while positioning their applications to use more cloud-native patterns,” he says.

“The Kubernetes community, meanwhile, can feel confident in their choice of orchestration framework, while gaining the ability to manage both container- and VM-based applications from a single platform.”

But in a world where many, many customers are using more than one cloud, one line from Buhr stood out.

“We expect that adoption of cloud-native principles will drive the same benefits within the OpenStack community, as well as smoothing the path between OpenStack and the public cloud providers that embrace them.”

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Main image: Inside a Google data centre

Ben Sullivan

Ben covers web and technology giants such as Google, Amazon, and Microsoft and their impact on the cloud computing industry, whilst also writing about data centre players and their increasing importance in Europe. He also covers future technologies such as drones, aerospace, science, and the effect of technology on the environment.

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