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Google, VMware and Pivotal team for on-premises Kubernetes

Apparently some of you want to cuddle containers

VMworld 2017 Google, VMware and Pivotal have teamed to let you run Kubernetes in the safety of your own data centre.

The joint effort has seen Pivotal create the new Pivotal Container Service (with the acronym PKS, for some reason), a commercial cut of the open source Project Kubo that Google and Pivotal developed together to manage the lifecycle of Kubernetes clusters. PKS is all about automating infrastructure deployment to support containers, and then to keep Kubernetes humming. It distills lots of what Google has learned about running containers at scale and makes it available on-premises.

PKS will integrate with Google's own cloud container service so you can do hybrid containerisation. It will always include the latest stable release of Kubernetes.

VMware adds value by linking its reporting, NSX-derived networking isolation and vSphere's policies and familiar-to-many tooling.

The joint effort has three purposes. Firstly, the three companies think that some of you want to run Kubernetes on-premises, for reasons like compliance or because you just don't fancy paying a cloud. So they've tried to make that easier.

Secondly, they're trying to make DevOps easier to do. When developers go all-in on Kubernetes, operations can be left twiddling their thumbs because cloud-native stuff in a public cloud bypasses their areas of expertise. On-premises Kubernetes with hybrid cloud extenders, overseen by on-prem tools like vSphere, deals ops back into the game and may well give some organisations the comfort they need to start doing meaningful things with containers.

The third purpose is to make all three partners more relevant. PKS can use VMware's VSAN for persistent container storage, making it more useful, as well as running it in vSphere. Which makes Virtzilla's code relevant to another important application and therefore more useful. Pivotal gets a better container story to make Cloud Foundry even more useful. Google shows that Kubernetes may be cloud-native, but is also relevant for those who aren't wholly committed to the cloud.

Google's also going to integrate PKS with some of its cloud services, so gets another chance to get you interested in lots of aspects of its platform.

This should all come to fruition in Q4, 2017. ®

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