CoreOS Raises $12M for Container Tech, Launches Tectonic

Tectonic is a commercially supported Google Kubernetes implementation for container orchestration.


CoreOS today announced a new $12 million round of funding as well as a new product called Tectonic that is based on the Google Kubernetes open-source project for container orchestration.

The new funding is to help CoreOS, which got its start in 2013 as a clustered operating system project focused on the optimized delivery of Docker containers, bring Google-like infrastructure to enterprises. The new round of funding includes the participation of Google Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), Fuel Capital and Accel Partners. Total funding for CoreOS now stands at $20 million.

"Our goal from day one was to deliver Google-like infrastructure to enterprises, and what better way to do that than use a component that was introduced by the Google team," Alex Polvi, CEO of CoreOS, told eWEEK.

It made perfect sense to partner with Google Ventures on the funding round, said Polvi, adding that although Google Ventures is a separate entity from Google, it does have close ties with the Kubernetes team.

Regarding why CoreOS didn't look to raise more than the $12 million, Polvi said his company raised the amount of money needed to execute on its plan. "Call this old fashioned, but I feel it is the right way to operate a company at our stage," he said.

CoreOS already has its own Linux distribution stack that provides clustering and management capabilities for containers. The open-source Google Kubernetes project is an effort to enable container management as well. Multiple vendors have embraced Kubernetes, including Red Hat, which is using it as part of the upcoming OpenShift 3 platform-as-a-service (PaaS) release. OpenStack vendor Mirantis is also working with Kubernetes in an effort to bring it into the OpenStack cloud ecosystem.

An area where CoreOS' fleet container management technology ends and where Kubernetes begins, according to Polvi, is resource scheduling. Resource scheduling is a more advanced capability required for a foundational infrastructure layer to deliver consistent environments across a single data center, or between data centers and public clouds, he added. The goal with the Tectonic platform is to help CoreOS' customers simplify infrastructure operations and allow them to get back to the business of building application logic.

In terms of CoreOS' relationship with Kubernetes, Polvi said his company is actively involved in the Kubernetes community and Google's Kubernetes community is actively involved with CoreOS projects.

Tectonic is being positioned by CoreOS as a commercial distribution of the combined CoreOS platform and Kubernetes project. Polvi explained that Tectonic uses many open-source components, but it also includes proprietary components.

The proprietary components in Tectonic include an enterprise-ready platform management console with workflows and dashboards, an integrated registry to build and share Linux containers, and other tools to automate deployment and customize rolling updates.

CoreOS however also has a focus on its open-source technologies and, as such, the company will be separating out product brands, Polvi said. If an organization wants to purchase supported solutions, it will eventually be able to do so via, and if someone wants to customize their own platform using open-source components, they can go to to learn more about CoreOS Linux.

"We think open source works best when it is community-supported and treated like Linux or Apache httpd, basic infrastructure that we all share with very little direct commercial motives," Polvi said. "To that end, we want to keep CoreOS focused on building open-source components."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.