Google’s recent announcement to become a sponsor of the OpenStack foundation was a virtual coup for the open source community. With the likes of traditional technology vendors like IBM, HP, Cisco, EMC, Red Hat and others already onboard the OpenStack bandwagon, adding Google to this prestigious mix nicely rounds out the foundation’s “Who’s Who” of technology luminaries.
While on the surface this may seem like an act of open source altruism by Google, this was clearly a carefully calculated decision on the part of this public cloud behemoth to insert their cloud religion into enterprise data center users and the hipster freeware masses alike. A prelude to joining the OpenStack alliance was Google’s open sourcing of their Kubernetes orchestration and management platform for containers. Perhaps not coincidentally, the definition of Kubernetes, according to Wikipedia, is Latin for “helmsman” or “the art of steering” or metaphorically, “ruler.” One ring to rule them all? We shall see.
If Kubernetes does indeed become the ubiquitous cloud container management system, it could serve as the ultimate data center Trojan Horse to advance Google’s public cloud ambitions and be a brilliant masterstroke to counter AWS’ supremacy in the public cloud marketplace. Interestingly, in a sense, AWS is now isolated in the cloud community by conspicuously not being a part of the foundation.
In any case, Kubernetes is likely to enjoy widespread adoption as various vendors start offering packaged distributions that provide the maintenance and support options that enterprise data center customers demand. And this is where it could become interesting. What Kubernetes feature/functionality tricks may Google have withheld from the release that they so graciously dispensed into the open source community?
Are we really to believe that Google would leave themselves with no differentiation on their own home grown container management platform? What sort of unique Kubernetes capabilities might be made available exclusively to those users managing on-premises containerized application workloads in conjunction with container instances in the Google compute engine? Perhaps my conspiratorial brain is in hyper drive and this is all blog blather.
Speaking of conspiracies, I am strangely reminded by the words of Don Barzini in “The Godfather” when he utters the words:
If Don Corleone had all the judges, and the politicians in New York, then he must share them, or let us others use them. He must let us draw the water from the well. Certainly he can present a bill for such services; after all... we are not Communists.
By letting the OpenSource community draw water from the Kubernetes well, Google may very well be in line for future cloud “collections”.