Hypernetes unites Kubernetes, OpenStack for multitenant container management

Hypernetes project aims to deliver container orchestration with VM-level isolation

Hypernetes unites Kubernetes, OpenStack for multitenant container management

Hyper, creator of a VM isolated container engine that's compatible with Docker, has debuted a project for running multitenant containers at scale.

The Hypernetes project fuses the Hyper container engine with Kubernetes and uses several pieces from OpenStack to create what it describes as "a secure, multitenant Kubernetes distro."

At the bottom of the Hypernetes stack is bare metal, outfitted with Hyper's HyperD custom container engine to provision and run containers with VM-level isolation. Kubernetes manages the containers through HyperD's API set. Other functions are controlled by components taken from OpenStack, including Keystone, for identity management and authentication; Neutron, for network management; and Cinder/Ceph, for storage volume management.

HyperD is one of many recent products that deliberately blurs the line between a small, lightweight, fast container engine and a hypervisor with strong isolation and a full roster of emulated system resources. Canonical's LXD, the experimental Novm project, and Joyent's Triton Elastic Container Host all experiment with implementing different kinds of isolation in a runtime.

The line will likely remain blurred, as companies experiment with combining the best of both worlds to provide products (and projects) that appeal to a range of needs.

Hypernetes' blend of pieces from profoundly different parts of the container/VM ecosystem is intriguing -- not only in terms of what it means for Hypernetes, but for OpenStack as well. Most discussion about OpenStack's future involves the evolution of the stack as a whole or different distributions simplifying tasks such as deployment or maintenance. But with Hypernetes, OpenStack is treated not as a framework but as a source for technologies to be used in a new context, unburdened by OpenStack's notorious complexity issues.

The Apache-licensed Hypernetes is still new, so there's little documentation for the project. Most of what's available is a fork of the docs for Kubernetes. This implies that anyone familiar with Kubernetes should be able to pick up Hypernetes and run it or fashion a new product or service around it -- in much the same way that Google used Kubernetes as the core for its Google Container Engine.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.