This is far from the first time a container-oriented outfit has put Kubernetes to work for enterprises -- Google has done it with Container Engine, and Microsoft equipped Azure with similar functionality. Red Hat, too, has spun in Kubernetes via its container-oriented Atomic Host project. What sets CoreOS apart is its minimal design -- something Red Hat is striving for, but without the benefit of CoreOS's clean-slate approach -- and the fact that it can be run on private infrastructure, rather than requiring a commitment to a cloud vendor.
The Google connection for CoreOS doesn't stop with Kubernetes. The company is also announcing a new $12 million investment round, with Google Ventures as one of the main outfits involved. Evidently Google doesn't see a contradiction in sponsoring a company hard at work on software that competes, however indirectly, with its own cloud-architecture business. That, or Google imagines the benefits reaped by the open source work CoreOS will provide for Kubernetes (and containers generally) will more than outweigh any potential loss of customers.
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