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CoreOS Tectonic Platform Aims to Free the Cloud

By Jack M. Germain LinuxInsider ECT News Network
Aug 17, 2017 6:02 AM PT
coreos

CoreOS on Thursday announced the general availability of the Kubernetes container management Tectonic platform on Microsoft's Azure cloud.

The Tectonic platform enables enterprises to run Kubernetes on a single platform across various cloud and bare metal environments. Prior to this release, the Tectonic platform was available on Amazon Web Services and bare metal servers.

Tectonic 1.7 delivers on CoreOS' vision to bring freedom and portability to the cloud. The Tectonic platform enables enterprises to benefit from a single consistent platform to manage modern infrastructure in their hybrid environments.

Tectonic 1.7 is a significant release, in that it combines the best in enterprise-grade features and the newest features in Kubernetes 1.7. It includes automated operations that enable one-click updates of Kubernetes and monitoring alerts.

"Customers want the flexibility to move to or from any cloud operation. They do not want to be locked in, said Rob Szumski, product manager for Tectonic at CoreOS.

Key Growth

This major release of Tectonic and its stable availability on Microsoft Azure are important steps to deliver on the multicloud promise, making infrastructure operations more efficient and scalable, Szumski told LinuxInsider.

Tectonic on Azure saves customers time and money by building their Kubernetes infrastructure correctly from the beginning and speeding up deployment cycles, he pointed out.

It provides users with the ability to do hybrid cloud deployments with the freedom and flexibility of a platform that does not lock them into cloud compute and cloud services, Szumski said.

The goal is to make Microsoft Azure the most open and flexible cloud for enterprises and Independent Software Vendors to build and manage the applications their customers need, noted Gabriel Monroy, lead product manager for containers on Azure at Microsoft.

Tectonic on Azure enables customers to use CoreOS' enterprise-ready container management platform to manage and scale workloads easily, and to build and manage applications on Azure, he said.

Further Expansion Possible

The availability of CoreOS' Tectonic platform on Azure is significant, said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT.

"CoreOS developed Tectonic from the ground up to address critical enterprise needs and issues," he told LinuxInsider.

"That has helped to extend the company's leadership position in container management and to position Tectonic as a standard platform for enterprise IT," King said.

Most every enterprise-focused public cloud player offers its own container-focused offerings, he noted, but they support CoreOS solutions as well.

"It is really a matter of marketplace survival. With so many enterprise customers actively adopting Kubernetes, public clouds that do not support CoreOS solutions risk alienating a critical portion of their customers," said King.

Open Source Engine

Tectonic builds on 100 percent upstream open source. CoreOS does not make any modifications, noted Szumski.

"We do not hold any stacks back. We can consume new releases very quickly," he added.

Developers modified open source APIs to make Tectonic compatible with Azure. These machines operate on open source container Linux, otherwise known as "CoreOS Linux."

The APIs make it possible to integrate with non-Linux cloud systems.

"The workloads run on container Linux no matter what cloud platform is involved," Szumski said.

Building Hybrid Cloud Confidence

Enterprises have been turning into software companies with the push to cloud and the demand for Web services, according to CoreOS. They have been experiencing intense pressure to bring more applications to market to remain competitive in their industries.

Having a consistent way to run and manage applications across environments is critical to enterprise success.

Eighty-five percent of enterprises have a multicloud strategy, according to RightScale's 2017 State of the Cloud report.

CoreOS aims to meet this enterprise need with Tectonic, as enterprises already have been using Kubernetes in their hybrid strategies.

What Tectonic Does

Tectonic offers the advantage of having a single platform to run across cloud and bare metal environments. It makes it easy to run, manage, scale, and share resources across an organization to support an ever-increasing amount of application workloads.

Tectonic reduces the time enterprises need to get their products to market by streamlining the way they manage applications across the organization, promising to reduce costs and increase revenue overall by focusing on business-critical products.

Tectonic uses the latest version of Kubernetes -- customers have access to pure upstream Kubernetes 1.7 in this CoreOS release.

Tectonic is the only enterprise-ready platform enabling automated operations. This release provides a one-click upgrade of pure upstream Kubernetes. Users can upgrade Kubernetes from 1.6.7 to 1.7.1 with no downtime.

Other Features

Tectonic provides preconfigured monitoring alerts via the open source Prometheus project. This gives customers an easier way to monitor their Kubernetes clusters by configuring their preferred notification channels.

This release also introduces unique alerts around rolling updates for deployments and DaemonSets. These tools help application owners gain visibility into deployment progress.

Tectonic provides alpha support for network policy powered by Project Calico. This builds in better security and control of inbound traffic to users' pods.

Kubernetes' Impact

Kubernetes has become significant in the container orchestration space, and for good reason. The resiliency of the scheduler, adoption by service mesh frameworks, the ability to manage "network fallacy" challenges in a distributed architecture through the pod schema -- these are all things that successfully enable secure, resilient platforms that can handle change at scale, observed Nic Cheneweth, principal consultant with ThoughtWorks.

Cloud technologies are not every enterprise IT magic answer, "but for enterprises that develop their own software and are serious about competing in what the industry is now referring to as 'digital first' customer experiences," he told LinuxInsider, "if these companies are not evaluating the role that Kubernetes can play at the core of a digital platform, then they are just not paying attention."

Kubernetes seems to be the new standard when it comes to container orchestration, and the public cloud seems to be the preferred platform, said David Linthicum, senior vice president at Cloud Technology Partners.

"I view Kubernetes as systemic in the container world and needed to allow container-based systems to scale and provide resiliency. The public cloud provides an as-a-Service platform that makes container development, deployment and operations cheap enough for most businesses to afford," he told LinuxInsider.

Tectonic's value plays into the Kubernetes standard. With Tectonics, CoreOS has been providing a competitive orchestration platform built around Kubernetes since 2015, ThoughtWorks' Cheneweth noted.

"This new support for use on Azure expands the opportunities for enterprise adoption, and the timing is good coming so close to Microsoft's own recent enhanced Kubernetes options, he said.

Free Use

Tectonic is available across AWS, Azure and bare metal environments. The platform is free to use for up to 10 nodes.

The price per node after the 10 free nodes is based on a per node structure. That total amount is related to the full Tectonic footprint, CoreOS' Szumski said.


Jack M. Germain has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2003. His main areas of focus are enterprise IT, Linux and open source technologies. He has written numerous reviews of Linux distros and other open source software. Email Jack.


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