Microsoft Buys Kubernetes Specialist Deis for Its Container Expertise

The technology giant grows its cloud container ecosystem by snatching up the San Francisco company behind the Helm, Steward and Workflow projects.


Microsoft gave its cloud-based application container portfolio a significant boost today by acquiring Deis, a San Francisco-based software startup specializing in Kubernetes, the open-source container management and orchestration system. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Deis is known for a number of open-source projects, including the Helm package manager for Kubernetes, which enables users to install and manage complex Kubernetes apps.

Deis is also behind the Kubernetes-native service broker Steward and Workflow, a self-service app management solution for DevOps teams. In addition, the firm is an early supporter of the Kubernetes Managed Service Providers (KMSP) certification program from the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, a Linux Foundation initiative. 

In his announcement today, Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise Group, suggested that the buy will help add momentum to the Redmond, Wash., software and cloud services provider's open-source initiatives.

"In addition to their container expertise, the Deis team brings a depth of open source technology experience—furthering Microsoft's commitments to improve developer productivity and to provide choice and flexibility for our customers everywhere," wrote Guthrie in an April 10 blog post. "Members of the Deis team are strong supporters of the open source community—developing tools, contributing code and organizing developer meetups."

Microsoft expects Deis' technology to make it easier for its customers to capitalize on the container craze. The company's container technology portfolio include Windows Server Containers, Hyper-V Containers and Azure Container Service (ACS), a cloud-based application container orchestration platform. Microsoft officially launched ACS nearly a year ago and added Kubernetes support this past February.

Gabriel Monroy, CTO of Deis, reiterated his team's commitment to the open-source scene in the wake of the deal in a separate announcement.

"Over the years, we have worked hard to be open, reliable, and dependable open source maintainers. From our new home at Microsoft you should expect nothing less," Monroy stated. "We will continue our contributions to Workflow, Helm, and Steward and look forward to maintaining our deep engagement with the Kubernetes community. The future of open source infrastructure at Microsoft is very bright."

Much like the application container market itself, the market for commercial Kubernetes solutions is growing by leaps and bounds.

Since Google donated Kubernetes to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation in 2015, it has attracted the attention of several top-tier IT vendors. Google offers its own managed Kubernetes cluster solution called the Google Cloud Platform Container Engine, and Red Hat provides a commercially supported Kubernetes distribution called OpenShift. In October 2916, VMware announced support for Kubernetes on its Photon platform.

Meanwhile, the Kubernetes project has been focusing its attention on a critical aspect of any widely used IT platform: vulnerability disclosure.

During the Kubecon/CloudNative Europe conference in Berlin last month, representatives from Google and CoreOS announced improvements to the project's security disclosure process intended to minimize risks. As it now stands, a Kubernetes security response team typically responds to security bug reports within 24 hours and a fix is issued within seven days. Within 14 days of the initial report, Kubernetes completes the patch disclosure and availability process.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...