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Containers & Kubernetes

Knative: bringing serverless to Kubernetes everywhere

December 10, 2018
Oren Teich

Director of Product Management, Google Cloud

Aparna Sinha

Director of Product Management

Knative, the open-source framework that provides serverless building blocks for Kubernetes, is on a roll, and GKE serverless add-on, the first commercial Knative offering that we announced this summer, is enjoying strong uptake with our customers. Today, we are announcing that we’ve updated GKE serverless add-on to support Knative 0.2. In addition, today at KubeCon, RedHat, IBM, and SAP announced their own commercial offerings based on Knative. We are excited for this growing ecosystem of products based on Knative.

Knative allows developers to easily leverage the power of Kubernetes, the de-facto cross-cloud container orchestrator. Although Kubernetes provides a rich toolkit for empowering the application operator, it offers less built-in convenience for application developers. Knative solves this by integrating automated container build, fast serving, autoscaling and eventing capabilities on top of Kubernetes so you get the benefits of serverless, all on the extensible Kubernetes platform. In addition, Knative applications are fully portable, enabling hybrid applications that can run both on-prem and in the public cloud.

Knative plus Kubernetes together form a general purpose platform with the unique ability to run serveless, stateful, batch, and machine learning (ML) workloads alongside one another. That means developers can use existing Kubernetes capabilities for monitoring, logging, authentication, identity, security and more, across all their modern applications. This consistency saves time and effort, reduces errors and fragmentation and improves your time to market. As a user you get the ease of use of Knative where you want it, with the power of Kubernetes when you need it.

Knative rising

In the four months since we announced Knative, an active and diverse community of companies has contributed to the project. Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) users have been actively using the GKE serverless add-on since its launch in July and have provided valuable feedback leading to many of the improvements in Knative 0.2.

In addition to Google, multiple partners are now delivering commercial offerings based on Knative. Red Hat announced that you can now start trying Knative as part of its OpenShift container application platform. IBM has committed to supporting Knative on its IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service. SAP is using Knative as part of its SAP Cloud Platform and open-source Kyma project.

A consistent experience, with the flexibility to run where you want, resonates with many enterprises and startups. We are pleased that Red Hat, IBM, and SAP are embracing Knative as a powerful open industry-wide approach to serverless. Here’s what Knative brings to each of the new commercial offerings:

"The serverless paradigm has already demonstrated that it can accelerate developer productivity and significantly optimize compute resources utilization. However, serverless offerings have also historically come with deep vendor lock-in. Red Hat believes that Knative, with its availability on Red Hat OpenShift, and collaboration within the open source community behind the project, will enable enterprises to benefit from the advantages of serverless while also minimizing lock-in, both from a perspective of application portability, as well as that of day-2 operations management." - Reza Shafii, VP of product, platform services, at Red Hat

“IBM believes open standards are key to success as enterprises are shifting to the era of hybrid multi-cloud, where portability and no vendor lock-in are crucial. We think Knative is a key technology that enables the community to unify containers, apps, and functions deployment on Kubernetes.” - Jason McGee, IBM Fellow, VP and CTO, Cloud Platform.

“SAP’s focus has always been centered around simplifying and facilitating end-to-end business processes. SAP Cloud Platform Extension Factory is addressing the need to integrate and extend business solutions by providing a central point of control, allowing developers to react on business events and orchestrate complex workflows across all connected systems. Under the hood, we are leveraging cloud-native technologies such as Knative, Kubernetes, Istio and Kyma. Knative tremendously simplifies the overall architecture of SAP Cloud Platform Extension Factory and we will continue to collaborate and actively contribute to the Knative codebase together with Google and other industry leaders.” - Michael Wintergerst, SVP, SAP Cloud Platform

We’re excited to deliver enterprise-grade Knative functionality as part of Google Kubernetes Engine, and by its momentum in the industry. To get started, take part in ther GKE serverless add-on alpha. To learn more about the Knative ecosystem, check out our post on the Google Open Source blog.

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