IBM launches bare metal Kubernetes

Containers are quickly becoming the standard way for deploying new applications in the cloud and that’s even true for the most traditional of enterprises. It’s no surprise then that every major cloud provider is betting on containers — and more specifically on the open source Kubernetes container orchestration service. IBM has long offered its own take on this with its Cloud Container Service and today, ahead of the company’s THINK conference next week, it’s offering an industry first: bare metal Kubernetes as a managed service.

Why does that matter? Running containers on bare metal has some performance benefits and development teams will be able to choose the kid of machine they want to run their containers on. But at the same time, knowing that you are running your containers on a machine that you don’t share with other customers also adds another layer of security and isolation that you don’t get from running on a regular container service.

As IBM’s CTO for Watson and Cloud Bryson Koehler told me, this now also opens up the ability to attach GPUs to these machines, which in turn enables the kind of machine learning and high performance computing workloads that many enterprises are now starting to experiment with. “If you look at the types of workloads that enterprises are moving to the cloud, bare metal is a huge benefactor in terms of isolation and flexibility,” Koehler told me.

Like the rest of the IBM Cloud Container Service, this is a fully managed services with the kind of automatic updates and security patches that come with that.