If the cloud world really does settle on Kubernetes as the de facto standard for managing containerized workloads, Amazon Web Services is thinking about how to navigate those waters.
In what might be a trial balloon, the Information reported Thursday that AWS is thinking about developing its own container-orchestration product based on Kubernetes. That would be a sizable change in strategy; not only does AWS already have its own container-orchestration product, but Kubernetes development is still heavily driven by Google, where it was originally conceived.
Kubernetes is an attempt to mimic Google’s famous “Borg” system for managing its incredible array of computing resources. It allows developers to manage and deploy clusters of containerized applications, and it has grown in popularity since Google donated the project to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation in 2015.
While it’s an open-source project managed by the CNCF, Google engineers contribute more code to the project than any other company, and by a sizable margin according to estimates from Stackalytics. In and of itself, that’s not a huge deal; according to the report, AWS is considering building a product on top of the open-source project, which lots of companies are doing.
But Kubernetes has long worked best with Google’s cloud service, as noted in the report. It can be very difficult to get up and running with Kubernetes, and Google Cloud Platform makes that initial experience much easier for developers. You can run Kubernetes on AWS, but it requires a fair amount of work on the developer’s part to get going.
It sounds like this is all very much still a thought exercise: The Information reported that AWS hasn’t even decided if it’s better off building a new product around Kubernetes or making its current product, EC2 Container Service, more Kubernetes-friendly, which is a pretty fundamental product development decision to make. It does, however, underscore how important Kubernetes has become to cloud customers.