Web applications are becoming an ever-larger part of the Internet. But Google Ventures has just put down a pretty substantial bet—part of a $12 million funding round's worth of substantial that included names like Kleiner Perkins and Accel Partners (News - Alert)—that modern Web applications could use a bit of shoring up in the way such are both built and maintained. That bet was placed behind a company called CoreOS, and it's got quite the prospect to offer.
CoreOS offers up a kind of ultra-lightweight Linux system, which helps drop the amount of hardware required to run applications in major data centers. Naturally, that's made it a very attractive tool for those who want to offer more capability with fewer hardware inputs, which may be an excellent definition for “efficiency” in data centers. CoreOS was often associated with Docker, as both had a similar mission in that each looked to take apps and move same to containers, a kind of tool that allows an app to be essentially self-contained, operating from within its own “box” of sorts on a server. Uploading the box to a cloud server like Microsoft (News - Alert)'s or Amazon's, or even Google's, thus allows the app to operate as normal.
But when Docker and CoreOS started to differ on just how to release these systems—Docker made the containers while CoreOS made the
version of Linux that went into the containers—CoreOS split off from Docker altogether, while Docker looked to offer management technology to help keep the containers running. CoreOS in turn formed Rocket, and two new options were on hand for building self-contained apps.
Interestingly, money won't be the only thing Google (News - Alert)'s putting into this operation; CoreOS is also said to use Google's recently-released Kubernetes technology, a package that allows for more efficient data center operation. CoreOS also announced a new product called Tectonic,
which takes both the CoreOS operating system and the Rocket container systems. Add that on to Kubernetes, meanwhile, and a surprisingly potent package becomes available.
Reports suggest that CoreOS has an interesting business plan: the operating system, along with the Rocket container system, are both being offered at no charge. But there are some premium options in the form of consulting and support services, as well as the Tectonic platform. This is likely at least somewhat of what drew Google to CoreOS; Kubernetes is supported by Google Cloud, and the more customers that use Tectonic, the more customers are likely to jump over to Google Cloud since there would be very little change required, if any, to make the app in question run at high scales. Granted, Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (News - Alert) both support Kubernetes, but there's always the home-field advantage, so to speak, to consider.
Considering that Google and CoreOS already work well together, and CoreOS could well mean access to some new business for Google, the two companies proceeding together would make quite a bit of sense. Some are even projecting that CoreOS could ultimately prove a prime target for Google to acquire later on. But that's strictly speculative, and in the meantime, the two companies are likely to work well together offering developers a new option when it comes to getting apps available.