Microsoft, HPE Back Mesosphere As It Open Sources DC/OS

As Mesosphere is opening sourcing its Data Center Operating System (DC/OS), several major tech firms, including Microsoft and HPE, are backing this alternative container standard.

Charles Babcock, Editor at Large, Cloud

April 28, 2016

3 Min Read
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Mesosphere, the container orchestration company, has issued as open source code its Data Center Operating System, or DC/OS. The move also marks the formation of an alliance behind DC/OS that includes Microsoft, HP Enterprise, and Cisco, along with 57 other companies.

Mesosphere's DC/OS is a set of functions and features built atop Mesos, the cluster orchestration system being developed as an Apache Software Foundation project.

Mesosphere is thus positioning its DC/OS as an alternative to Docker, Kubernetes, and the VMware/Pivotal cloud-native stack as a future container management system for the enterprise. With the Microsoft, HPE, and Cisco backing, it's not only a Linux container orchestration system, but potentially a Windows container orchestration system as well.

Windows containers will become more widely available later this year.

Windows Server 2016, in its technical preview, announced last Aug. 19, supports Dockerized Windows applications. No date has been set for the general availability of Windows Server 2016, but it is expected by some observers, such as the Redmond Channel Partner, in the third quarter.

DC/OS "pools compute resources into what looks like one big computer, running containers, microservices, big data systems and other components of modern applications," said Florian Leibert, CEO and cofounder of Mesosphere, in the April 19 announcement. DC/OC will serve as a focal point for a third-party ecosystem building management products and data center services around it, he predicted.

Mesosphere is off to a strong start on that front. IT consulting firm Accenture is also a member of the alliance, as are Autodesk, EMC, Citrix, Canonical, NetApp, Twitter, Yelp, and Verizon.

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Microsoft on April 19 made its general purpose container service on its Azure cloud generally available, bringing it into line with what both Google and Amazon Web Services already offer. It is based on Mesosphere's DC/OS for container orchestration.

"Microsoft selected DC/OS for the Azure Container Service so our customers can easily build, deploy and manage modern applications on…Azure, as well as in private and hybrid cloud environments," Mark Russinovich, Azure CTO, wrote in the announcement.

"By open sourcing DC/OS, we're enabling organizations of all sizes to harness the same computing infrastructure as the Twitters and Apples of the world," Benjamin Hindman, co-creator of Mesos and chief architect and co-founder at Mesosphere, wrote in the announcement.

[Want to see how Mesophere got $73 million in backing? Read Microsoft, HP Help Pump $73M Into Mesosphere's Container Management.]

In addition to Twitter and Apple, Verizon is an early adopter, along with Yelp. In addition to Microsoft, HP Enterprise, Accenture, and Equinix plan to integrate their products with DC/OS.

"Hybrid and multi-cloud deployments are the new reality," Ihab Tarazi, CTO of Equinix, wrote in the announcement. "We will be using DC/OS to form the foundation for an open source ecosystem that innovates around multi-cloud and IoT," he said.

"DC/OS is designed to manage both stateful workloads and stateless applications within the same environment," wrote Janakiram MSV in Forbes/Tech online.

That means DC/OS may provide a bridge across the gap between legacy applications and the next generation of cloud-native applications, he said.

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About the Author(s)

Charles Babcock

Editor at Large, Cloud

Charles Babcock is an editor-at-large for InformationWeek and author of Management Strategies for the Cloud Revolution, a McGraw-Hill book. He is the former editor-in-chief of Digital News, former software editor of Computerworld and former technology editor of Interactive Week. He is a graduate of Syracuse University where he obtained a bachelor's degree in journalism. He joined the publication in 2003.

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