by Swapnil Bhartiya

Apprenda acquires Kismatic, releases a new Kubernetes distribution

May 20, 2016
Cloud ComputingData CenterLinux

The platform as a service provider gains container smarts

Apprenda, a provider of cloud software, has acquired Kismatic, a company that offers Kubernetes support to enterprise customers. With this acquisition, Apprenda has also launched a new Kubernetes distribution, along with new enterprise support subscriptions available to any company using the Kubernetes container management system.

Despite being a relatively new technology, “people are running Kubernetes to power microservices, highly trafficked Web properties, and as a foundation for appliances focused on cloud infrastructure build outs. It’s being used in both medium-sized and large enterprises alike, including many Fortune 500 companies,” said Sinclair Schuller, CEO, and co-founder of Apprenda in an email.

Companies like Apprenda help those companies in running Kubernetes. Schuller goes on to say that there is tremendous confidence in Kubernetes. “We aren’t at liberty to name deployments, but we can confirm that we’ve worked directly with Fortune 500 companies in a number of segments on Kubernetes-oriented strategies.”

And with the Kismatic acquisition Apprenda has strengthened its position as a cloud player. Schuller said, “Our Kismatic acquisition strengthens our cloud portfolio by giving us an offering to address the specific pain points experienced at an application project level rather than at the scope of a company’s broader developer community and application portfolio. The real strength in our cloud portfolio is how the Apprenda Cloud Platform and Apprenda Kismatic offerings complement each other. Developers who use Kismatic are using a technology stack compatible with the Cloud Platform, allowing those developers to easily leverage the Cloud Platform with no friction once their organization decides to use it enterprise-wide.”

Post-acquisition Patrick Reilly, CEO and founder of Kismatic and governing board member of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, will become Apprenda’s corporate CTO and lead its Kubernetes strategy.

Kismatic’s existing customers don’t have to worry as Apprenda said they will continue to:

  • Support subscriptions that provide Kubernetes users with guaranteed SLAs for production and non-production Kubernetes instances
  • Offer professional services that help customers define and extend cloud strategies related to containers and Kubernetes
  • Provide tooling related to Kubernetes and its intersection with the Apprenda platform including Kubernetes enterprise plugins for identity management (LDAP/Active Directory), Kerberos authentication, and rich auditing for heavily regulated industries.

However, being a relatively new technology there are some challenges facing Kubernetes. The two major challenges, according to Schuller are: lack of Windows support and providing even better enterprise readiness. Windows support makes Kubernetes more adoptable and enterprise readiness makes it more compatible.

“With Windows, we’re actively working on support with other members of the community and with the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. Our Windows DNA in our Cloud Platform is unparalleled. We feel we can bring our learnings to the Kubernetes community by building out strong Windows Support,” said Schuller.

In terms of general enterprise readiness, the Kubernetes community is working closely with customers to understand their needs. “In the future, we’ll be working on a wide range of features to help with this, ranging from authentication and trusted computing implementations to policy based container management. The key though is that we’ll be doing this while remaining true to the mainline Kubernetes open-source branch and supporting standard OSes like Red Hat and Ubuntu. This ensures that our work is compatible with how enterprises view the world,” said Schuller.

Kubernetes is influenced by Google’s Borg, the technology Google uses internally to automate the deployment, scaling and operations container applications across clusters. In 2014 Google released Kubernetes as open source and donated it to The Linux Foundation’s Cloud Native Computing Foundation. The first stable release of Kubernetes was made in 2015.