Google Debuts Cloud Foundation and New Container Standard

Google simultaneously launched the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, with other technology companies, and its first version of Kubernetes, a method of dynamically scheduling a massive amount of application containers on a large scale. Together, the Foundation and Google’s Kubernetes would service large-scale enterprises, putting the Silicon Valley company and its foundation partners in direct competition with Amazon Web Services and Facebook. Last year, AWS released its own container management services.

Before the release, Google product manager Craig McLuckie told Fortune that, “we don’t want a solution that only works with public cloud, we want no sense of lock-in.” That signals Google’s intention to establish itself in hybrid cloud environments favored by big financial services and pharmaceutical companies.

With a hybrid cloud, companies use the public cloud infrastructure, but keep some data and applications on private resources. Google has a public cloud that competes with AWS, but offering a hybrid cloud solution would make it even more appealing to the big enterprise clients sought by all cloud providers.

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Kubernetes is an open-source standard for container management, which is regarded as a more efficient method than virtual machines, especially for time-sensitive compute-intensive tasks. Container technology provides a virtual machine without boot-up time, allowing multiple apps with different requirements to become available in seconds, a speed that is particularly important for big financial enterprises. Critics say that it’s too early to tell if most applications will choose the container direction.

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation also includes AT&T, Box, Cisco, the Cloud Foundry Foundation, CoreOS, Docker, eBay, Goldman Sachs, IBM, Intel, Joyent, Mesosphere, Red Hat, Twitter and VMWare.

A week prior to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation announcement, Google joined the OpenStack Foundation.