Building and deploying software to run in the cloud is a challenge, particularly when customers want to run their applications in multiple clouds. It’s also clear that a multi-cloud world is where the industry is headed, with Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy telling a University of Washington audience earlier this year that “there are going to be multiple successful players” in the word of the public cloud.
Seattle-based cloud infrastructure automation provider Distelli CEO and founder Rahul Singh has been watching that trend, and has launched a new open-source container registry called Europa to allow customers to more easily use Docker images stored in a container registry on both on-premises data centers and cloud environments from multiple providers.
The popular Docker container technology is now vital in developing software optimized for the cloud. Docker allows developers to bundle together pieces of an application to run smoothly across different platforms and devices. Singh, who worked at Amazon for nine years and was one of the earliest to join the AWS team before founding Distelli, says he understands the customer need for running in multiple clouds. With Europa, Distelli wants to provide the tools and technology to make that easier.
“Many customers use AWS but want the flexibility and freedom of using multiple cloud providers depending on their use case, business and needs,” he said in an interview with GeekWire. “The consequence of using multiple clouds is that your code and data may be isolated in one cloud and inaccessible in another.”
He said that Distelli wants to provide an effective bridge between these clouds as customers increasingly use Docker images as the primary way to package and deploy their work.
“Docker images are stored in a container registry and all the major cloud providers have one. Our enterprise customers want to use images stored in one cloud provider’s container registry across multiple clouds,” said Singh. “They want this flexibility without losing key capabilities like fine-grained access control, audit trails and approvals. That is why we built Europa.”
Singh said Europa allows enterprises to store their Docker images in a container registry in one cloud, but easily push images from that registry to multiple clouds and keep them in sync.
“This makes it easy to build a docker image and then easily deploy it to ECS (Amazon EC2 Container Service) from ECR (Amazon EC2 Container Registry) but also deploy it to Google Container Engine (GCE) via the Google Container Registry (GCR),” he added. “This freedom and flexibility of being able to use multiple clouds is good for the customers and good for the cloud providers because it opens up so many possibilities that ultimately drive innovation and better software faster.”
Distelli, which raised $2.8 million in a round of funding from Andreessen Horowitz in 2015, is also making Europa open source.
“Open source drives adoption which eventually leads to evangelism (if the product is good) which in turn leads to sales,” he explained, suggesting that he believes open-source products are becoming mainstream and that customers are changing the way they look at open-source products. “The one myth of open source is that open source is lower cost – primarily because the licensing costs are zero. This is a myth because in a large company the licensing costs for software are dwarfed by the cost of engineering time and opportunity costs of time spent building your own solution.”
Singh said that Europa is available in three versions – a free Community edition, a $39 per user per year Premium version and an Enterprise edition at $99 per user per year. Only the Community edition is open source.
Of course, Distelli is by no means the only company driving strategies for greater and easier use of containers — or multiple clouds.
Microsoft announced in February that it was broadening its support for the open source Kubernetes container manager, while IBM made a series of announcements at its InterConnect conference in Las Vegas last month underscoring its commitment to helping customers run and manage data in multi-cloud environments.