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Google Container Engine Generally Available

| by Guillermo Beltri Follow 0 Followers on Oct 23, 2015. Estimated reading time: 1 minute |

Google Cloud has recently announced in its blog that Google Container Engine (GKE) is Generally Available. Google considers it ready for production use and backs it with a 99.5 percent uptime SLA.

GKE is a cluster management and orchestration system for running Docker containers. It is built on the open source Kubernetes and runs on the Google Cloud Platform, managed by Google engineers. GKE schedules containers into the cluster and manages them automatically based on the requirements declaratively defined in a JSON config file.

Craig McLuckie, Product Manager at Google, claims the flexibility that the Kubernetes project can give to deployments and stresses out the easiness of moving workloads to other cloud providers in case of need.

With Red Hat, Microsoft, IBM, Mirantis OpenStack, and VMWare (and the list keeps growing) working to integrate Kubernetes into their platforms, you will be able to move workloads, or take advantage of multiple cloud providers, more easily.

GKE relies on underlying Kubernetes code, and we have K8s support for most public clouds, so moving an application hosted on GKE to another location is trivial.  That was the overarching goal of the project.  People should choose our infrastructure based solely on the merits of the infrastructure, not because they are artificially locked in.

Google did not start out using Docker containers, having come up with its own approach to Linux containers 10 years before Docker became popular. But McLuckie has previously been clear that Docker represents a de facto standard formatting engine for the rest of the industry, and Google will standardize on how it works. InfoQ asked McLuckie about the competitors and the GKE core values:

I would prefer not to comment on the specific features of competitive stacks, but I can say that Kubernetes is an open source project that was built for the multi-cloud world.  It was written by the same engineers that built Borg and Omega. It is intended to translate over a decade of production containers experience into a platform that anyone can use. Unlike alternatives it has been adopted as an underlying platform for modern PaaS technologies, and is being adopted as a standard part of some Linux distributions.  It is also a technology that Google is donating to Linux foundation to ensure that it is truly owned and directed by a broad and non-partisan engineering community.

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