The ability to run Kubernetes anywhere, whether in the cloud or on-premises, has been a high priority for Azure customers looking to rapidly innovate, with increasing customer focus on the benefits of container-optimized workloads and operating systems, lean application modernization, easier operations, and platform resiliency.
To support this rapid evolution, we’re announcing that Microsoft has acquired Kinvolk GmbH.
Kinvolk’s founding mission statement is “to build and promote an enterprise-grade open cloud-native stack”—we think this fits perfectly with our growing customer needs and our ongoing investments in open source and Kubernetes.
Kinvolk has a rich, innovative history in open source cloud-native distributed computing, including Kubernetes, eBPF, community building, and container-optimized Linux, as well as critical early work with CoreOS (the company) on the rkt container runtime. Kinvolk ultimately went on to create Flatcar Container Linux, a popular alternative to CoreOS Container Linux, as well as the Lokomotive and Inspektor Gadget projects.
Microsoft is excited to bring the expertise of the Kinvolk team to Azure, where they will be key contributors to the engineering development of Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), Azure Arc, and future projects that will expand Azure’s hybrid container platform capabilities and increase Microsoft’s upstream open source contributions in the Kubernetes and container space. Stay tuned for more technical details soon.
Building with open source communities
In addition, Microsoft respects and wants to learn from the Kinvolk team’s great track record in starting, building, and nurturing open source community projects, and Microsoft is committed to maintaining and building upon Kinvolk’s open source culture. The Kinvolk team will remain active in their existing open source projects and will be essential to driving further collaboration between Azure engineering teams and the larger open source container community.
Flatcar Container Linux has a sizeable community of users on Azure, as well as other clouds, and on-premises. We know the CoreOS community has been on a winding journey over the years—we want to assure the Flatcar community that Microsoft and the Kinvolk team will continue to collaborate with the larger Flatcar community on the evolution of Flatcar Container Linux. Microsoft is committed to Flatcar Container Linux community development and will invest in working with the Flatcar community to create a growth path forward together. We’ll have our first meeting with the community within the coming weeks and invite anyone interested to attend and join the conversation.
We’re excited to bring the Kinvolk team and their technologies to Microsoft and look forward to the contributions they bring to Azure, our customers, and the open source community.