Platform9 tackles Kubernetes on VMware with new managed service

Software as a service provider Platform9 has introduced VMware to its managed Kubernetes service, bringing containers to one of the most widely used infrastructure technologies.

Since setting up Kubernetes on cloud instances can still be quite tricky and specialist know-how tends to be rare, managed offerings are quite sought after and are available from a variety of providers for different needs. Popular products include Google Kubernetes Engine, Amazon Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes, OpenShift Dedicated, and IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service.

Offerings to use Kubernetes on VMware however tend to be a bit harder to find, since it wasn’t actually designed to run containerised workloads. The only prominent representative is – unsurprisingly – VMware Cloud PKS, which is maintained by Pivotal (hence the use of PKS, Pivotal Container Service). Platform9’s new service wants to change that.

While discussing the release, company co-founder Madhura Maskasky made sure to point out that those wanting to use Platform9’s managed service wouldn’t have to invest in additional networking software the way they would with Pivotal, however. Instead it should work with existing infrastructure just like “consuming any other cloud service”.

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To utilise an existing VMware endpoint, users will have to select VMware as their cloud provider type in the infrastructure section of the managed Kubernetes web interface some might already know. Once the credentials for the to be used VMware environment are handed over, a wizard will help configure and deploy Kubernetes clusters which can then be used to run a variety of workloads.

After the initial setup, Platform9 more or less offers the usual with round-the-clock support, user intervention-free upgrades, high availability, autoscaling capabilities, self-service provisioning options and health monitoring tailored to the the customers needs. On top of that, a catalogue with pre-packaged Kubernetes applications should help ease in anyone new to the tool.

Platform9 Managed Kubernetes will make use of the storage policy management VMware provides, meaning it will support the same storage classes. Multiple user-scenarios can be managed with group and role definitions, since services such as Active Directory should work as well.

As with most other managed anything offerings, although it will be “100 per cent upstream Kubernetes” the version provided by the managed service tends to be a bit behind the actual latest release – according to Maskasky one to two releases maximum. That way, the team at Platform9 has enough time to make sure a new version is safe before rolling it out to their customers. And if that’s too fast, there’s always the roll-back option.

Platform9’s Managed Kubernetes Service on VMware can be used now, with pricing information available upon request.

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