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Google has joined the OpenStack Foundation, a big sign of support for the open source software organisation

Google has joined the OpenStack Foundation, a big sign of support for the open source software organisation

Google has officially signed up to sponsor the OpenStack Foundation, the first of the big three – Google, Microsoft and AWS – to formally throw its weight behind the open source cloud orchestration software. Analysts believe the move will improve support for Linux containers across public and private cloud environments.

Google has already set to work integrating Kubernetes with OpenStack with pure-play OpenStack software vendor Mirantis, a move the company said would help bolster its hybrid cloud capabilities.

While the company has had some engineers partnering with the Foundation on Magnum and Murano, container-focused toolsets baked into the open source platform, Google said it plans to significantly bolster the engineering resource it devotes to getting Linux containers – and particularly its open source scheduling and deployment platform Kubernetes – integrated with OpenStack.

The formal sign of support from such a big incumbent in the cloud space is a big win for OpenStack.

“We are excited about becoming active participants in the OpenStack community,” said Craig McLuckie, product manager at Google. “We look forward to sharing what we’ve learned and hearing how OpenStack users are thinking about containers and other technologies to support cloud-native apps.”

Mark Collier, chief operating officer of the OpenStack Foundation said: “OpenStack is a platform that frees users to run proven technologies like VMs as well as new technologies like containers. With Google committing unequaled container and container management engineering expertise to our community, the deployment of containers via proven orchestration engines like Kubernetes will accelerate rapidly.”

Although Google has a long history of open sourcing some of the tools it uses to stand up its own cloud and digital services like search it hasn’t always participated with many open source forums per se.

In a sense Kubernetes marked a departure from its previous trajectory, and as Ovum’s lead software analyst Laurent Lachal explained to BCN, it seems to be focusing on containers as a means of building a bridge between private and public clouds.

“Google knows that it needs to play nice with cloud platforms like OpenStack and VMware, two platforms that are primarily private cloud-centric, if it wants to get workloads onto its public cloud,” he explained.

“Joining OpenStack is exactly that – a means to building a bridge between private and public clouds, and supporting containers within the context of OpenStack may be both a means of doing that and generating consensus around how best to support containers in OpenStack, something that could also work in its favour.”

“There’s also a big need for that kind of consensus. Currently, everyone wants to join the containers initiatives in the open source project but there isn’t much backing for one particular way of delivering the container-related features users need,” he added.

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