The OpenStack cloud platform has been given a boost with the announcement that Google has become a corporate sponsor of the OpenStack Foundation.
Google said that it will work closely with other members of the OpenStack community to bring its expertise in containers and container management to OpenStack.
Google's move was trumpeted by the OpenStack Foundation, and the organisation's chief operating officer, Mark Collier, said that it underscored Google's commitment to open source and open cloud technologies.
"Few companies understand cloud-native apps at scale like Google, so I expect big things as Google developers contribute to OpenStack projects like Magnum," he wrote on the OpenStack blog.
"OpenStack's Magnum project directly integrates with Kubernetes, the open-source project Google introduced in June 2014, enabling new cloud native apps to run alongside traditional enterprise workloads on a single platform."
Google's endorsement can thus be seen as significant, even though the company is joining the Foundation as a corporate sponsor rather than a gold or platinum member.
Platinum members include firms such as IBM, HP, Rackspace, Intel and Red Hat, which collectively provide a significant portion of the organisation's funding.
The OpenStack Foundation was formed in 2011 as an independent body to oversee development of the open source platform, removing it from the control of any one IT vendor, such as Rackspace, one of the original developers of the technology.
"We're excited to add our expertise in container-oriented computing to one of the most widely adopted private cloud stacks, while improving interoperability between private and public clouds," said Craig McLuckie, product manager at Google.
"We will be working over the coming months with the community to integrate Kubernetes, as well as complementary container technologies, to create a stronger hybrid cloud."
However, Google was already engaging with the OpenStack community before this week's announcement.
The firm's cloud solutions architect, Sandeep Parikh, demonstrated at the last OpenStack Summit in Vancouver how Google is enabling orchestration across clouds using Kubernetes, its tool for managing workloads distributed across multiple containers.
At the same summit, Rackspace showed off Magnum, a new OpenStack project designed to enable cloud operators to deliver containers as a service on OpenStack-based infrastructure.
This will not compete with standards like Docker or Kubernetes, but integrate with them to orchestrate container deployments, Rackspace said at the time.
This boosts the strength of OpenStack which, as an open-source project, is being developed by the same people who use it to meet their IT requirements. The platform integrates with third-party technologies, rather than trying to replace them, a point driven home by Collier.
"The value proposition for [users] is that OpenStack can provide a single control plane across all of their infrastructure, which will include VMware, KVM and containerised workloads," he said.
"OpenStack gives them a solid platform to explore new and compelling technologies as they emerge, and I know they'll be even more confident in that path knowing that Google has joined our mission to make OpenStack the platform for containerised workloads."
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