Containers May Work With, Or In Place Of, Private Cloud

Analyst report sees an the uneasy alliance between OpenStack and container software.

Charles Babcock

February 21, 2017

2 Min Read
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Some investors in private cloud say OpenStack is attractive to them because it can serve as a platform on which to manage containers. Jonathan Bryce, executive director of the Openstack Foundation, made that argument recently and PayPal, Comcast, and other major OpenStack implementers have suggested the same thing.

In support of his position, Bryce referred to the 451 Research report of Jan. 10, OpenStack and Containers: Confusion, Complement and Competition, which cited the efforts within the OpenStack project to accommodate containers and manage them at a large scale. These include the Zun, Magnum and Heat projects within OpenStack for managing containers. OpenStack and Containers is only available behind a 451 Research paywall.

It also said container software, such as Docker, CoreOS' Rocket or rkt, and LXC or Linux C Groups "is mostly complementary to OpenStack, with a high number of enterprise OpenStack users also leveraging containers."

But at the same time the report acknowledged OpenStack and container software form an uneasy alliance. While OpenStack is generally viewed as a good environment in which to manage containers, there's a minority but growing point of view that OpenStack should serve more as a developer team hosting and software generation part of IT -- as a platform as a service -- and let the new container management software that is emerging serve as a de facto infrastructure as a service.

"We are also seeing a trend toward OpenStack on top of containers, with container management and orchestration software, which is more competitive to OpenStack, serving as the management layer," the 451 Research report stated. The form of that competition might take the shape of a container management and orchestration software, such as Docker Swarm, Kubernetes, Mesosphere's DC/OS and Rancher Labs, open source Mesos, and CoreOS' Tectonic, among others.

Amazon's EC2 Container Service and Google Container Service can be viewed as cloud services that would do the same thing, substitute container management in the cloud for private cloud infrastructure.

Read the rest of this article on InformationWeek.

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