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Platform9 Managed Kubernetes Simplifies Docker Container Deployment

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

In 2013, some early VMware engineers left the company and founded Platform9. Their idea was to make private clouds easy to deploy for enterprise customers, at any scale. At VMware, these engineers realized that when adopting vCloud Director, a cloud management portfolio, enterprises struggled. Their goal at Platform9 was to help enterprise customers get a private Amazon-like cloud running on premises. The traditional method of deploying software leads to a high level of operational complexity, especially when one considers maintaining a high service level. The competition for private clouds, as any IT security director concerned with shadow IT knows, is Amazon, which has a very high SLA.

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MORE: Platform9: Cloud Management For KVM, Docker And vSphere

Most enterprises have little or no expertise in deploying large, highly available private clouds, as operational challenges are immense. Platform9's solution introduces OpenStack as a service, which helps enterprises deploy private clouds without giving up control or management using their own infrastructure. This shifts the burden for overworked IT engineers, who can consume OpenStack, as a managed service. Shifting the operational burden generates cost savings, and offers SLAs comparable to those of public cloud entities.

OpenStack support has been available since early 2015 for Linux KVM and VMware vSphere, the two most popular enterprise hypervisors. This offering is targeted at mid to large sized enterprises, and includes such customers as Box and PubMatic. The offering resonates particularly with customers who for reasons of privacy or security are required to or wish to keep data in house, such as financial or healthcare firms. 

Many organizations, especially those following a DevOps model, are switching to or adding containers for their apps. Platform9 is adding support for containers via a management platform for Kubernetes, in addition to Linux KVM and vSphere. Offering a single pane of glass experience in an integrated dashboard allows for control of both containers and virtual machines. There are three popular open source frameworks that help with application orchestration: Kubernetes, Mesos and Docker Swarm, a toolset from Docker.

Platform9 chose to support Kubernetes as a managed service because it has a good feature set that satisfies many use cases and it was built and used internally at Google. Additionally, Kubernetes has a strong user community and has demonstrated timely patch fixes and a good cadence of upgrades.

We spoke with Madhura Makasay, Platform9's co-founder and VP of product management, who shared Platform9's three key differentiators for DevOps environments:

  • It's a fully managed platform with a high SLA that offers 24x7 monitoring and troubleshooting, fully automated initial deployment, and zero touch upgrades.
  • Platform9 addresses enterprise readiness requirements. Persistent storage integrates with containers and existing enterprise storage offerings also may integrate with SSO or SAML. Other requirements may include multi-tenancy support for policy and/or governance, RBAC, or network isolation, all supported by Platform9.
  • Platform9 is the first management platform for both containers and virtual machines, letting them run side by side, with native support for both.

"For forward-looking organizations that are taking a containerized approach to applications for greater agility and efficiency, Kubernetes provides a powerful orchestration framework for DevOps workflows,” said Maskasky. "Platform9 Managed Kubernetes simplifies and supercharges orchestration with operational capabilities and service-level guarantees that make it quick, easy and affordable for enterprises to deploy and run containers at scale in production."

As data centers become more hybrid in terms of public and private cloud parts, enterprises need a consistent set of APIs to manage all of the moving parts. Platform9 has impressive competition, but they address different segments. Platform9 only requires that an agent be deployed to the container or server, and is fully automated. And now Kubernetes can be managed by Platform9 on any Linux server within minutes.

Kubernetes management from Platform9 is currently in beta for existing customers. The product is also being showcased this week at DockerCon 2016 taking place in Seattle, Washington.