VMware and Pivotal Launch Pivotal Container Service (PKS)
August 29, 2017

VMware, in collaboration with Google Cloud, unveiled Pivotal Container Service (PKS), a new product that enables enterprises and service providers to deliver production-ready Kubernetes on VMware vSphere and Google Cloud Platform (GCP), with constant compatibility to Google Container Engine (GKE).

The new offering is expected to become available in calendar Q4 2017, and ship as a standalone product able to integrate with Pivotal Cloud Foundry (PCF) and VMware's software-defined data center (SDDC) infrastructure.

Pivotal and VMware are applying their enterprise expertise to launch PKS, a commercial release of the open source Kubo technology, to help Global 2000 companies operationalize Kubernetes. Software teams that have decided on containers as their unit of deployment need a reliable, scalable container orchestration platform like Kubernetes. PKS will help operations teams deliver a hardened, maintainable container platform, while giving developers on-demand access to a production-ready environment featuring high availability, security, and multi-tenancy across private and public clouds.

In November 2016, Pivotal and Google Cloud partnered on Kubo, a joint engineering effort to bring the multi-cloud deployment capabilities of Pivotal Cloud Foundry (via BOSH) to Kubernetes clusters -- providing a uniform way to instantiate, deploy, and manage highly-available Kubernetes clusters on any cloud. As enterprises and developers agree upon on a common standard for managing containers, VMware has teamed up with Pivotal and Google Cloud, and is committing significant R&D resources to jointly develop Kubo and build solutions on top of it that enhance the operational readiness of Kubernetes.

The initial release of PKS will feature Kubernetes via BOSH, VMware NSX, and a jointly developed version of Open Services Broker API that allows easy integration of GCP services into PKS applications. PKS will feature cross-cloud security and network connectivity including container network interface (CNI) compatible services powered by NSX. PKS will be seamlessly integrated with VMware vSphere, enabling customers to use VMware's unified SDDC infrastructure for containers and VMs.

Moreover, a critical benefit for enterprise customers will be PKS' constant compatibility to Google Container Engine (GKE), which is continuously powered by the latest Kubernetes release and features a fully managed experience backed by Google SRE (Site Reliability Engineering). As a result, PKS' constant compatibility with GKE will bring users the latest container-native innovations in a secure and consistent environment. With PKS and GKE, users will gain the workload portability, operational simplicity and agility to speed business outcomes.

PKS customers will be able take advantage of deep integrations with VMware infrastructure and management offerings for:

- Enabling persistent storage for stateful applications via the vSphere Cloud Provider, which provides access to vSphere storage powered by VMware vSAN or traditional SAN and NAS storage,

- Automation and governance for enterprises via vRealize Automation and provisioning of service provider clouds with VMware vCloud Director

- Monitoring and troubleshooting of virtual infrastructure via VMware vRealize Operations

- Metrics monitoring of containerized applications via Wavefront by VMware

PKS will include a jointly developed and maintained implementation of Open Services Broker API and will be continuously compatible with GKE. This will make it easy for PKS users to incorporate innovative GCP services like BigQuery, Spanner, and Machine Learning in their applications, and will provide fast and easy application portability between PKS and GKE.

Fully supported by Pivotal and VMware, PKS will be best suited for large- to mid-sized enterprises as well as service providers. Pivotal and VMware will both sell the product directly, via their respective channels, and via the VMware Cloud Provider partner program. PKS will also be brought to market by Dell EMC on VxRail Appliances and VxRack Systems, which offer a foundation of proven hyper-converged infrastructure and data protection.

"We see an open hybrid cloud ecosystem forming based on many technologists and providers coming together on Kubernetes, and Pivotal Container Service is a great way to run containers and Kubernetes on premises," says Sam Ramji, VP Product Management, Developer Platforms, Google Cloud. "It gives you native access to Google Cloud services, and it's on the same release cadence as Google Container Engine. With Pivotal Container Service plus Google Container Engine, you get constant compatibility, and your services, and workloads are deployed the same way, anywhere you need them."

"VMware has partnered with Pivotal and Google, industry leaders in the application development platform space, to deliver an enterprise-ready Kubernetes solution integrated with VMware's software-defined data center infrastructure," says Sanjay Poonen, Chief Operating Officer, Customer Operations, VMware. "Pivotal Container Service is purpose-built to deliver Kubernetes that is easy to deploy and operate, ready for developer consumption, while addressing the operational needs of IT. This new solution is unique in its ability to enable developers and IT to work as one."

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