​Mesosphere launches its Mesos-based datacenter OS plus a free version on AWS

As well as general availability for the enterprise version of its Datacenter Operating System, Mesosphere has also taken the wraps off a free community edition.
Written by Toby Wolpe, Contributor

Six months after unveiling ambitious plans to build a platform that pools resources across a datacenter as if it were a single machine, Mesosphere today announced the software's general availability.

The San Francisco-based firm, which also has engineering staff in Hamburg, said as well as launching the Enterprise Edition of its Datacenter Operating System, or DCOS, it is making available a free Community Edition on Amazon Web Services.

Mesosphere has been running a closed beta scheme with 3,800 enterprise users for its DCOS software, which is based on the Apache Mesos open-source distributed systems kernel. Major web firms already using Mesos or the Mesosphere software include Airbnb, HubSpot, Netflix, Twitter and Yelp.

DCOS is designed to bring together datacenter and compute resources, simplifying administration and improving the speed of software development through tools and APIs for writing distributed systems.

Benjamin Hindman, who co-created Mesos at UC Berkeley's AMPLab and joined Mesosphere as chief architect from Twitter in September, said the general availability of DCOS in its community and enterprise forms is an important milestone.

"For organisations that have been interested in using Mesos, Marathon and any of the other components that make up your standard Mesos stack, we've made that significantly easier," he said.

"The analogy I always give is if you want you can download the Linux kernel, download Bash, download an init system, and maybe a graphical user interface - KDE or whatever - and put all those things together. But that would take a ton of work.

"What we really had before was just Mesos. So that was the core thing. You could download Mesos, you could set it up. You could download Marathon, you could set it up. We've just automated all of that."

Hindman said today's availability of the DCOS software will allow users to employ, for example, the Community Edition and Amazon's tools to spin up open-source message broker Kafka, NoSQL distributed database Cassandra, service scheduler Marathon with a few clicks or a few command-line tools.

"For the folks who put a lot of time and energy into bringing something like Kafka up in a datacenter in the past, it really is very significant," he said.

Mesosphere expects the DCOS Community Edition to be used by startups and enterprise developers in pilot deployments.

"Folks can start up with the Community Edition. They can get a feel for this and understand how it works. As they decide to move into production, a lot of organisations need support. There are other considerations that they have and when they want those features, they migrate to the Enterprise Edition," Hindman said.

Although the Community Edition is free on AWS, under Amazon's standard infrastructure charges, Mesosphere is also inviting users to sign up for early access to beta DCOS versions for Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure, due later this summer.

The company said the Enterprise Edition of DCOS is available for all recent versions of Linux, including CentOS, CoreOS, Red Hat and Ubuntu, for the major clouds, and for use on premise and in hybrid cloud deployments. It also supports Docker container technology as a primary app deployment model.

Available on a subscription licence, the Enterprise Edition includes production-grade Kerberos security, round-the-clock support and single-click installation of DCOS services such as HDFS, according to Mesosphere.

As well as standard Mesosphere components, such as Mesos, Marathon and Cronos, command-line and graphical interfaces, the Community Edition includes a DNS service and routing and firewall services.

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