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Google Container Engine fires up Kubernetes 1.6

April 4, 2017
David Aronchick

Product Manager

Today we started to make Kubernetes 1.6 available to Google Container Engine customers. This release emphasizes significant scale improvements and additional scheduling and security options, making the running of a Kubernetes clusters on Container Engine easier than ever before.

There were over 5,000 commits in Kubernetes 1.6 with dozens of major updates that are now available to Container Engine customers. Here are just a few highlights from this release:

  • Increase in number of supported nodes by 2.5 times: We’ve made great effort to support your workload no matter how large your needs. Container Engine now supports cluster sizes of up to 5,000 nodes, up from 2,000, while still maintaining our strict SLO for cluster performance. We've already had some of the world's most popular apps hosted on Container Engine (such as Pokémon GO) and the increase in scale can handle more of the largest workloads.
  • Fully Managed Nodes: Container Engine has always helped keep your Kubernetes master in a healthy state; we're now adding the option to fully manage your Kubernetes nodes as well. With Node Auto-Upgrade and Node Auto-Repair, you can optionally have Google automatically update your cluster to the latest version, and ensure your cluster’s nodes are always operating correctly. You can read more about both features here.
  • General Availability of Container-Optimized OS: Container Engine was designed to be a secure and reliable way to run Kubernetes. By using Container-Optimized OS, a locked down operating system specifically designed for running containers on Google Cloud, we provide a default experience that's more secure, highly performant and reliable, helping ensure your containerized workloads can run great. Read more details about Container-Optimized OS in this in-depth post here.
Over the past year, Kubernetes adoption has accelerated and we could not be more proud to host so many mission critical applications on the platform for our customers. Some recent highlights include:


  • eBay uses Google Cloud technologies including Container Engine, Cloud Machine Learning and AI for its ShopBot, a personal shopping bot on Facebook Messenger.
  • Smyte participated in the Google Cloud startup program and protects millions of actions a day on websites and mobile applications. Smyte recently moved from self-hosted Kubernetes to Container Engine.
  • Poki, a game publisher startup, moved to Google Cloud Platform (GCP) for greater flexibility, empowered by the openness of Kubernetes. A theme we covered at our Google Cloud Next conference, showing that open source technology gives customers the freedom to come and go as they choose. Read more about their decision to switch here.

While Kubernetes did nudge us in the direction of GCP, we’re more cloud agnostic than ever because Kubernetes can live anywhere.

— Bas Moeys, Co-founder and Head of Technology at Poki

To help shape the future of Kubernetes — the core technology Container Engine is built on — join the open Kubernetes community and participate via the kubernetes-users-mailing list or chat with us on the kubernetes-users Slack channel.

We’re the first cloud to offer users the newest Kubernetes release, and with our generous 12 month free trial of $300 credits, it’s never been simpler to get started, try the latest release today.

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