LAS VEGAS — With the cloud computing industry gathered in Las Vegas for Amazon Web Services’ big re:Invent conference, Google decided to get out ahead of the big news expected tomorrow with its own announcement that it is dropping all fees for managing Kubernetes clusters on its cloud service.
Google used to charge customers using its managed Kubernetes product — Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) — to run six or more Kubernetes clusters a flat $0.15-an-hour fee, but that fee is gone, the company announced in a blog post Tuesday. That might not sound like a lot, but it could add up for companies using GKE at scale.
What this really is about, however, is an attempt by Google to convince customers that its cloud is still the best home for Kubernetes users. Originally developed at Google and released as an open-source project in 2015, Kubernetes allows companies that are using containers in their software development process to manage large clusters of those containers, and cloud companies have been falling over themselves to support it this year.
Except for one notable cloud company, that is. There certainly are lots of people running Kubernetes on AWS, but they’re mostly on their own; AWS does not have a managed Kubernetes product, which is expected to change as early as tomorrow when AWS CEO Andy Jassy takes the stage at The Venetian.
AWS joined the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, which hosts the open-source project, in August. AWS does offer a container-management product called Amazon Elastic Container Service, but now that other container-orchestration vendors Docker and Mesosphere have agreed to support the technology, it’s pretty clear that the market has spoken in favor of Kubernetes.
It’s worth noting that Microsoft was the first of the major cloud vendors to eliminate managed Kubernetes fees in October, and if Jassy does roll out managed Kubernetes this week at re:Invent, it’s hard to see how they’ll be able to justify charging anythingl.