container serviceShapeblue, The CloudStack Company, and Skippbox today announced the first release of the CloudStack Container Service: software that gives Cloud Service Providers a Container as a Service (CaaS) offering within their existing IaaS environments.

The software gives end-users the ability to use multiple container engines such as Docker and rkt, and hosted container registries like Docker hub, Quay or Google Container Registry (GCE) as well as their own private registries.  It allows this whilst overcoming  the  biggest challenge for existing IaaS providers: how do they quickly offer their users a robust CaaS offering and, at the same time, do so with a seamless user experience and no disruption of  their existing IaaS  business processes  and commercial models.

main cluster view

Giles Sirett, CEO of ShapeBlue  explained the drivers behind the product: “for some time, many of our customers have been experimenting with different tools and platforms in order to be able to offer Containers as a Service. There are many competing offerings  in the containers space but none of them have overcome  the main  challenges faced by existing IaaS providers. These challenges are, first, giving a seamless user experience alongside  their traditional  virtual machine offerings and, second, providing  a service  that allows the service provider to fit these new offerings into their existing commercial models.  Most of the new products being developed to manage container environments assume a green field environment and require a completely separate overlay of functionality, with a different user experience and extensive integration required around business processes”.

Sirett continued “CloudStack Container Service can be installed in hours and the service provider can immediately offer container and cluster management services to their users with zero changes to their  existing user experience or business processes. End users can be immediately deploying cloud native applications in their own container clusters.”

new dialog

CloudStack Container Service is developed  as a plug-in to Apache CloudStack, the cloud orchestration platform in widespread use by many large service providers. It gives users the ability to create container clusters within an existing multi-tenant environment provided by CloudStack. The user experience is seamless: users can now create container clusters and  deploy &  manage cloud native applications  all  in the same user-interface that they use to manage their existing  compute, network and storage. For service providers running dedicated or bespoke UI’s, a number of simple API calls have been added to the CloudStack API to allow simple integration.

In a similar fashion to Amazon’s EC2 Container Service and Google’s Container Engine, users simply pay for the resources that they consume to underpin their container clusters.  This gives the advantage of requiring no changes to business or commercial models by the service provider.

CloudStack k8s daashboardcontainer service exploits Kubernetes, the open source container orchestration platform developed by Google. Kubernetes provides the underlying platform for automating deployment, scaling, and operations of cloud native applications across clusters of hosts in the service provider environment. It  defines a set of building blocks (“primitives”) which collectively provide mechanisms for deploying, maintaining, and scaling applications.

On the choice of this technology to underpin CloudStack Container Service, Sebastien Goasguen, founder of Skippbox commented “Kubernetes is emerging as the standard for container orchestration. Enterprises are demanding platforms such as Kubernetes in order to be able to deploy  cloud native applications into production environments.   We see Kubernetes becoming the dominant technology across the enterprise and the service provider space.”

The CloudStack container service is a collaboration between Shapeblue and Skippbox, a company specialising in bringing software development tooling and application lifecycle solutions for the cloud native era.

CloudStack Container Service is available for immediate preview to service providers. An open source version of the software is due to be released shortly. A series of webinars are available for organisations interested in the technology.

About ShapeBlue

ShapeBlue are the largest independent integrator of CloudStack technologies  globally and are specialists in the design and implementation of IaaS cloud infrastructures for both private and public cloud implementations. Services include IaaS Cloud Design, Software Engineering,  CloudStack Consulting & training.

The company has a global customer base with offices in London (UK), Mountain View (CA) and Bangalore (India), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and Cape Town (South Africa). For further information, visit: www.shapeblue.com

About Skippbox

SkippBox is company that specialises in bringing software development tooling and application lifecycle solutions for the cloud native era. For further information, visit: www.skippbox.com