Container management: not what it used to be

Last week, enterprise open source leader Red Hat announced it was acquiring CoreOS, an up-and-coming player in the red-hot container marketplace.

Container management: not what it used to be

Container management: not what it used to be

Superficially, the motivation for this deal is straightforward: Red Hat needs to round out its container story, and CoreOS fits the bill.

However, as with most of the enterprise infrastructure market, the vendor’s motivations are more complex – as is everything else about the world of containers.

Some might even say that complexity is the point.

Making Containers Enterprise-Ready

Since Docker, Inc. brought containers to the forefront of enterprise infrastructure software innovation back in 2014, the community of both vendors and enterprise developers have been struggling to implement containers in true enterprise scenarios.

Among the missing pieces: container orchestration and container management. Orchestration provides companies with the ability to deploy containers at scale, handling the ins and outs of the elastic scaling essential to the container value proposition.

Management complements the orchestration value proposition, providing visibility and control into orchestration environments as well as added security and other capabilities essential for running containers at the enterprise level.

Leading the container orchestration charge is Kubernetes, an open source effort largely out of Google. Docker has its own orchestration tool dubbed Swarm, but Kubernetes has the edge in terms of product maturity, and has established itself as the leader via an increasingly robust open source ecosystem.

Kubernetes, however, does not directly address the complexities of container management – and it’s this niche that CoreOS sought to fill with its Tectonic product. “Tectonic combines Kubernetes, the leading container management solution, with everything needed to run containers at scale,” explains the CoreOS Web site. “That means the best open source components, battle-tested security systems, and fully automated operations. Tectonic is enterprise Kubernetes.”

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Intellyx publishes the Agile Digital Transformation Roadmap poster, advises companies on their digital transformation initiatives, and helps vendors communicate their agility stories. As of the time of writing, IBM, Microsoft, and VMWare are Intellyx customers. None of the other organizations mentioned in this article are Intellyx customers. Image credit: Glyn Lowe Photoworks.

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