An update on container support on Google Cloud Platform

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Cross posted from the Google Cloud Platform Blog

Everything at Google, from Search to Gmail, is packaged and run in a Linux container. Each week we launch more than 2 billion container instances across our global data centers, and the power of containers has enabled both more reliable services and higher, more-efficient scalability. Now we’re taking another step toward making those capabilities available to developers everywhere.

Support for Docker images in Google App Engine
Last month we released improved Docker image support in Compute Engine. Today, we’re building on that work and adding a set of extensions that allow App Engine developers to build and deploy Docker images in Managed VMs. Developers can use these extensions to easily access the large and growing library of Docker images, and the Docker community can easily deploy containers into a completely managed environment with access to services such as Cloud Datastore. If you want to try it, sign up via this form.

Kubernetes—an open source container manager
Based on our experience running Linux containers within Google, we know how important it is to be able to efficiently schedule containers at Internet scale. We use Omega within Google, but many developers have more modest needs. To that end, we’re announcing Kubernetes, a lean yet powerful open-source container manager that deploys containers into a fleet of machines, provides health management and replication capabilities, and makes it easy for containers to connect to one another and the outside world. (For the curious, Kubernetes (koo-ber-nay'-tace) is Greek for “helmsman” of a ship.) Kubernetes was developed from the outset to be an extensible, community-supported project. Take a look at the source and documentation on GitHub and let us know what you think via our mailing list. We’ll continue to build out the feature set, while collaborating with the Docker community to incorporate the best ideas from Kubernetes into Docker.

Container stack improvements
We’ve released an open-source tool called cAdvisor that enables fine-grain statistics on resource usage for containers. It tracks both instantaneous and historical stats for a wide variety of resources, handles nested containers, and supports both LMCTFY and Docker’s libcontainer. It’s written in Go with the hope that we can move some of these tools into libcontainer directly if people find them useful (as we have).

A commitment to open container standards
Finally, I'm happy that I've been nominated to Docker's Governance Committee to continue working with the Docker community toward better open container standards. Containers have been a great building block for Google and by working together we can make them the key building block for “cloud native” applications.

-Posted by Eric Brewer, VP of Infrastructure