CoreOS’s Stackanetes lets you use Kubernetes to run OpenStack in containers

CoreOS today announced Stackanetes at the OpenStack Summit in Austin. Stackanetes (and yes, that name probably isn’t ideal) brings together OpenStack, the open source cloud computing platform that allows enterprises to run their own AWS-style cloud computing services in their private and public clouds, and Kubernetes, Google’s open source container management service. The project basically gives you a Kubernetes-managed OpenStack solution that can run on both vanilla Kubernetes as well as on CoreOS’s Tectonic platform.

The OpenStack project launched before containers rose in popularity thanks to the success of the Docker project. At first, it looked like the two technologies were going for the same market, but in reality, they actually turned out to be quite complementary. CoreOS mostly focused on its lightweight container-centric Linux distribution at first, but later also launched Tectonic, a container management platform.


Now, its users will be able to use Tectonic to spin up and manage and OpenStack cloud. Because CoreOS is also making all of its work available in a GitHub repo, you don’t even need to subscribe to Tectonic to use it. Plain vanilla Kubernetes also works, though as Polvi showed me in a demo, you’ll have to go to the command line to perform some actions for now.

Because Kubernetes offers its own tools for self-healing, it can also automatically restart the OpenStack Horizon dashboard or every other OpenStack component that goes down for some reason (and you can, of course, always scale up or down your deployments as well).

As CoreOS co-founder and CEO Alex Polvi told me, it’s important to remember that OpenStack is just software. It took the team three weeks to build this service and the company plans to release its work on GitHub today. Deploying OpenStack this way, CoreOS argues, makes the lifecycle management of OpenStack services easier and provides a single platform for both deploying OpenStack and containers (and yes — you could always deploy Kubernetes on top of OpenStack inside this whole contraption, too).

At the end of the day, Polvi also noted, all of this work is in line with CoreOS’s overall mission: secure the Internet and bring Google’s infrastructure to everyone else (or GIFEE, as Polvi likes to call it).

“We’ve seen the power of Kubernetes firsthand in the OpenStack community,” said Mark Collier, the COO of the OpenStack Foundation. “Our recent OpenStack User Survey showed that Kubernetes is a popular method of managing apps on OpenStack clouds. We are excited that CoreOS is helping to bring together the Kubernetes and OpenStack communities and contributing their extensive container expertise.”

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