​CoreOS shows OpenStack can be run as a container with Kubernetes

OpenStack is a complicated and enormous open-source cloud program, but CoreOS showed that it too can be run inside a container.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

AUSTIN, Texas --At the OpenStack Summit, CoreOS CEO Alex Polvi took the risk of running a live demo of OpenStack in a container managed by Kubernetes, Google's container management system. He won his bet. It ran flawlessly before the audience of approximately 7,000 developers.

CoreOS OpenStack Demo

CoreOS demonstrated that you can run an entire OpenStack cloud within a container.


Besides simply running OpenStack, Polvi showed he could kill OpenStack instances and the system would automatically restart them. In addition, he was able to update OpenStack setups in real time. Try that with your usual cloud software stack!

This new mashup of containers and cloud is called Stackanetes. CoreOS showed off that you to deploy and manage OpenStack as a containered application. As a container under Kubernetes, Stackanetes can be used to deliver dynamic management, self-healing deployments, and painless upgrades.

While it sounds amazing--a major project like OpenStack running in a container--as Polvi said several times during his keynote, "it's important to remember that OpenStack is just software." It took the CoreOS team only three weeks to build it. The Stackanetes code will be released shortly on GitHub.

Looking ahead, CoreOS will work with the OpenStack community to integrate Stackanetes into upstream OpenStack. Today a prototype is available for Kubernetes-managed OpenStack on CoreOS's Tectonic.

While the demo was very cool, this wasn't just a "Gee-Whiz" demo. Tectonic, CoreOS' technology stack for deploying containers in production, is built on CoreOS Linux and the Kubernetes cluster management platform, which packages an array of tools for deploying, monitoring and managing applications and infrastructure. With "Stackanetes" on Tectonic, enterprises benefit from:

  • Simplified lifecycle management of OpenStack services from deployments to upgrades
  • Single platform for consistently managing both IaaS and container workloads
  • Ability to easily scale, operate and ensure resilience of OpenStack IaaS within their data center environments

With Stackanetes on Tectonic, CoreOS stated that this is its first major move to bring Google's Infrastructure for Everyone Else (GIFEE) -- a hyperscale, application-focused style of managing infrastructure that focuses on distributed systems, security and availability -- to private-cloud developers and administrators.

"Stackanetes is our first big stride in bringing GIFEE to the OpenStack community," said Polvi. "With this next step of development for OpenStack on Kubernetes via Tectonic, enterprises can begin to evaluate and bring their OpenStack environments along their journey to GIFEE."

Craig McLuckie, Cloud Native Computing Foundation Chair, and Google Group Product Manager, agreed: "Cloud native apps are more efficient, more scalable and easier to operate. By bringing a first class cloud native management framework to OpenStack, Stackanetes brings this power to the Enterprise Hybrid Cloud and to all classes of applications."

"We've seen the power of Kubernetes firsthand in the OpenStack community," said Mark Collier, the OpenStack Foundation COO in his keynote. "Our recent OpenStack User Survey showed that Kubernetes is the most popular method of managing apps on OpenStack clouds." Thus, I suspect many OpenStack users will be giving Stackanetes a try.

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