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Microsoft snaps up Deis in latest container play

One thing we know for sure is that under CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft — in both action and spirit — looks very little like the Windows Or Else empire from the days of Steve Ballmer. The latest move is Microsoft’s acquisition this week of Deis, a little-known San Francisco developer of open-source software that makes Kubernetes easier to use.

Deis, in its own words, “helps developers and operators build, deploy, manage, and scale their applications on top of Kubernetes.” We all want to do that.

Writing in an April 10, 2017 blog post, Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Microsoft’s cloud and enterprise group, wrote “we’ve seen explosive growth in both interest and deployment of containerized workloads on Azure, and we’re committed to ensuring Azure is the best place to run them.” The post goes on to say, “Deis gives developers the means to vastly improve application agility, efficiency and reliability through their Kubernetes container management technologies.” Guthrie We expects the technology to make it easier for customers to work with existing Microsoft container technologies, including Linux and Windows Server Containers, Hyper-V Containers, and Azure Container Service, “no matter what tools they choose to use.”

Deis CTO Gabriel Monroy, perhaps put it best, saying “robust and open container orchestration, paired with new application architectures are giving organizations unprecedented flexibility and choice.” That could be a covert comment on the current Kubernetes vs. Docker Swarm competition.

Monroy goes on to issue something of a minor mea culpa, noting that the union with Microsoft  continues Deis’s mission “to make container technology easier to use.”

And there’s the rub. It’s not always easy to use. We’ve got a zillion cloud services and providers giving us an overabundance of tools, languages, technologies, platforms, and techniques. For all the problems legacy monolithic architecture presented, programmers (we didn’t call them developers back then) and SysOps staffers had few components to manage.

Today, here we are with lots and lots of pieces that need to be assembled, like a mosaic, into something that runs flawlessly, performs perfectly, provides unfettered access, supports instant change, and provides a business advantage. What do you do with all these little shards? You put them into containers and orchestrate their deployment and management so they, like a symphony orchestra, play together and become a whole that together is greater than the individual parts. After all, there’s a reason Kubernetes describes itself as “production-grade container orchestration.”

Where do you fall into line when it comes to containers and orchestration? For all the talk, it seems lots of IT operations have yet to dip their collective toes into the containerization waters? How about you? Actively using container technology in production? Working with an early proof-of-concept mini-project? Learning but haven’t taken the plunge yet? Share your experiences — and concerns — with us; we’d like to hear from you.

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