Rackspace releases its own managed Kubernetes service

Currently available only on Rackspace, it's coming to managed versions of AWS, Azure and more

Rackspace has become the latest firm to offer Kubernetes as a managed service, joining the likes of Google, AWS, IBM, Microsoft and Cisco in offering the open source container to customers.

Its Kubernetes-as-a-service product aims to make it much easier for enterprises to adopt containers, which serve to isolate software and any associated dependencies in one bundle to ensure it remains identical across test and dev and production environments, creating the potential for smoother development and even deployment of applications.

Kubernetes, Google's own open-source rival to other containers like Docker and Mesos, has grown in popularity since its creation in 2015. It accounts for 69% of all container deployments, according to a survey of 764 respondents conducted by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) in late 2017.

"With this level of demand, it was apparent that a Kubernetes service was the best way to support the enterprises managing production workloads with containers," Rackspace's EMEA CTO, Lee James, told IT Pro.

While Kubernetes has grown incredibly popular with developers, Rackspace said it is responding to customer demand for a managed version due to the complexity of deploying the technology.

Security, networking and storage are the trickiest aspects of implementing Kubernetes, according to a recent CNCF survey, and James explained: "This is largely due to the difficulties that IT teams encounter when deploying a new environment on existing services."

The product's popularity was underlined when AWS launched its own managed service version of Kubernetes in late 2017 - supporting it alongside its own, less popular, ECS container.

While AWS's managed Kubernetes service automatically deploys it across multiple availability zones to eliminate any single points of failure, Rackspace said it too offers Kubernetes at enterprise scale.

The open source vendor believes its strength is in offering Kubernetes across many environments, making multi-cloud deployments easier to manage.

"Rackspace will fully operate the Kubernetes deployment, including the infrastructure, on almost all of the leading public and private cloud technologies in nearly any data centre in the world," James said. "This will offer our customers much needed flexibility in their multi-cloud operations."

However, it is only immediately available on Rackspace's own OpenStack Private Cloud, where Kubernetes accounts for 47% of all container deployments, coming to Rackspace's managed versions of AWS, Azure, Azure Stack and VMware later this year.

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