With Rancher announcing their next major version will be designed on top of Kubernetes, I think it is fair to say, Kubernetes has become the ubiquitous orchestration API. Most major PaaS players have announced they will at least support it as first-class citizen or move entirely to its API. Indeed, Mesosphere announced they would integrate with Kubernetes to orchestrate resources. Weave announced features targetting Kubernetes users in the weave cloud product a few months ago. VMWare integrates Kubernetes in its Photon controller. OpenShift was built on top of Kubernetes early on. More broadly, Pivotal also recently announced its PKS solution, adding Kubernetes to its product offering, in sync with the Google Container Engine API.
Docker has not thrown the towel yet of course and it’s good to hear they deliver new features continuously. However, the fact most players gradually adopt the Kubernetes API isolates them a bit. Whether they’ll decide to integrate with the Kubernetes API down the line remains to be seen.
Is it good news to have a single dominating player though? I prefer avoiding monopoly situations leading to lock-in. But I don’t think that way towards Kubernetes for two reasons. First, Kubernetes has had a consistent history of openness. Second, the project is part of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, which I believe is strong on an open ecosystem. I doubt the CNCF would tolerate a rogue project.
The fight for containers orchestration is mostly over, competition will continue but I think the container ecosystem is now moving on to building on top of the Kubernetes API. This means we should start seeing a fight at a higher level, the one about running your microservices for instance.
One aspect we should all look forward to is that the Kubernetes is engaged in breaking down its API monolith and that is for the best .
Where does this leave you as a user? Well, I’d say, do not worry too much about managing your orchestrator anymore, Kubernetes as a service is here now, you can safely fully focus on your application! That’s a good news.