OpenStack or Kubernetes? Better together! (I)

OpenStack or Kubernetes? Better together! (I)

As communities grow rigorously in Asian countries, more and more companies are willing to make investment in cloud software and implement cloud services inside enterprises. Many large enterprises implement cloud service such as OpenStack, Kubernetes, or other environments as their new technical solutions. OpenStack stands out early among various cloud environments. The Four Opens (Open Source, Open Design, Open Development, and Open Community) were born with the OpenStack. After years, the Four Opens proved pretty resilient, consistently managing to capture the “OpenStack Way” of doing upstream open source development. They are instrumental in the success, the quality and the visibility of the OpenStack software. Now talk about Kubernetes, it was originally designed by Google and is heavily influenced by Google’s Borg system. Kubernetes works with a range of container tools. Many cloud services offer a Kubernetes-based platform or infrastructure as a service (PaaS or IaaS) on which Kubernetes can be deployed as a platform-providing service. Many vendors also provide their own branded Kubernetes distributions.

The Right Question

Following the trend, there are lots of discussions between companies, communities, and customers. The main question is “Should I choose OpenStack or Kubernetes?” Think differently, “Are OpenStack and Kubernetes incompatible solutions?” In the cloud landscape defined by Cloud Native Computing Foundation(CNCF) (Fig. 1), it is clearly shown that OpenStack and Kubernetes are not antagonistic to each other and can exist side by side. We will introduce how to merge OpenStack and Kubernetes in the following paragraphs.

Fig.1 Introducing the Cloud Native Landscape

Pushed by Community

It shows a good start that the OpenStack community has a great cooperation with the Kubernetes community. The semiannual OpenStack summit always has discussions which are related to Kubernetes. The popular case studies are how to merge these two platforms. During the summit, one Kubernetes project manager said: “ The most interesting case is how to construct an OpenStack service on Kubernetes.”(Fig. 2)

Fig. 2 (Source:

In OpenStack, apart from Kolla which is dedicated on OpenStack on Container or Kubernetes, Magnum makes an effort on predominant COE (Kubernetes, Swarm, and Mesos) has the ability to use OpenStack service directly and build multiple COE environments efficiently.

Bare metal, virtual machine and container are always three main parts in OpenStack. Therefore, the quick rise of Kubernetes can be look like a catalyst.

Fig. 3 (Source:

Pushed by Company

Many companies think that the investment to Kubernetes from large enterprises is a threat to OpenStack. However, the reason why companies move their eyes from OpenStack to Kubernetes is that they are targeting overall solutions. In other words, they are moving from IaaS, PaaS to SaaS.

Thus, for companies have experiences on investment services, they are not simply transferring their resource from OpenStack to Kubernetes. They are integrated their technologies and make two-way investment on OpenStack and Kubernetes. These companies are still developing and integrating with OpenStack even under Kubernetes environments. In fact, even like some companies which claimed that they will not use OpenStack, such as HPE, are transferring to SUSE. The companies make distribution to both OpenStack and Kubernetes include: Canonical, Red Hat, CoreOS, Intel, Platform9, Fujitsu, Huawei, IBM, and Mirantis etc.

As mentioned in Mirantis’article, the development of OpenStack has become stable. The secret of the stability OpenStack is its steady developing procedure and investment. That is to say, IaaS already has the ability to integrate or be mounted with other software. This is the necessary information for companies interested in. Google VP will be the Keynote lecturer in the incoming OpenStack summit hold in early March, Boston. It will be really exciting about the promotion and the cooperation.

(To be continued.)


Select list(s)*