When Google Cloud Platform changed its name in recent days, it became the latest among the world’s leading providers of hosted cloud infrastructures to offer the developers that work on them a place to hawk their software.
Re-branded as a Marketplace, the Alphabet subsidiary’s hosted cloud offering comes replete with deployment-ready applications. It also remunerates developers when their software is employed by other users.
Built in the open-source containers called Kubernetes, originally developed by Google for internal use, the cloud-native applications are touted as a lever for enterprise IT as companies migrate from on-premises computing infrastructures.
Smart Container Environments
Unlike the virtual machines they replace and in some cases incorporate, container environments that bolt onto computer networks require less processing power to execute tasks. And because they aren’t reliant on operating systems to run, container applications can be jettisoned when they break down or reach end-of-life.
Using Kubernetes, companies can shift more operations from on-premises network servers to public and hybrid structures operated solely by (or in conjunction with) third-party providers. Developers can also cash in via a palette of services to facilitate transactions with licence holders and metered users.
The launch of the Google Cloud Platform Marketplace is the latest in a succession of initiatives from providers using Kubernetes deployments for competitive advantage.
Engineers at the search engine giant created the technology a decade prior to the release in 2014 of containers to the open-source community, including those for use by other vendors. The development trajectory judiciously permitted rigorous de-bugging, which is reflected in the technology’s rapid adoption across the industry.
Last month, IBM augmented its IBM Cloud Private applications platform, a feature of its managed cloud services package that debuted in 2017. The use of Kubernetes gives teams of developers and operations specialists production-ready applications that make development, testing and implementation a continuous process.
This follows a March announcement by Big Blue that it has devised a method for customers to run container applications on so-called bare-metal cloud infrastructures: the vendor servers and data centers made available to individual subscribers for processing of sensitive datasets. The same month, Oracle brought to market a suite of services for Kubernetes containers for use with the open-source Linux operating system.
Not to be outdone, Microsoft told partners at its Inspire conference in Las Vegas last week that it is launching a marketplace, including Internet of Things applications from third-party providers. The move comes on the heels of its June purchase of the GitHub development platform driving the Redmond, Washington, operating-systems giant’s open source strategy.
Portable Production Capability
Along with Google’s formal launch, the container focus among vendors gives purchase to the server-free computing trend, in which enterprise users deploy applications from a networked clusters of machines that they don’t themselves manage. With competition among rivals keen to cut into AWS’s 40% market share keeping prices low, enterprise users can reduce their spend for hardware and upkeep by migrating to the cloud.
Production-ready applications in Kubernetes containers simplify cloud deployments, offering improved security and cross-plaform portability. Containers also let developers tailor so-called â€œmicroserviceâ€ applications (the granular code that underpins specific business processes) and scale them as needed.
Using artificial intelligence and machine learning, applications can monitor, repair and reboot themselves. If the individual node on which the container is housed fails, orchestration tools enable the applications to rebuild themselves elsewhere in a networked computer cluster.
Content management, network operations, database management and big data analytics are among the apps available in Google’s marketplace offeringOpens a new window . In the decade before releasing Kubernetes for open-source development, the company created some eight billion microservice apps in-house using the technology.
As a result, not every application offered on the platforms of the major cloud providers promises to be a money-spinner for third-party developers. What is certain, though, is that running cloud-native software applications will help companies cut IT costs.