EKS-ellent news for the Kubernetes community

By now, you’ve probably already heard — at AWS re:invent this morning, AWS CEO Andy Jassy announced Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes (EKS). While some may dismiss this as Amazon being the last to the party, by dint of their dominance in the public cloud space this is important news. This is particularly exciting for Tigera as we have been working with the AWS folks over the past few months to enable secure application connectivity for EKS workloads. Given that perspective, I would also like to share some thoughts on what lies ahead.

For many in the open source community around Kubernetes, the introduction of EKS, while much-anticipated, will be a source of trepidation. Amazon’s reputation (perhaps well earned in the past) is for aggressively monetizing open source projects without giving back to the community. However, there are signs that EKS might be different.

For starters, Amazon stepped up to the plate as Platinum members of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). This followed the hiring of industry luminary Adrian Cockroft (one of the founders of the ‘cloud native’ movement at Netflix) who has been highly vocal in setting a more open direction within AWS.

We have also seen that one of the primary drivers for organizations adopting Kubernetes is the ability to design multi-cloud application architectures. We have been collaborating in the field with AWS and some large customers on such use cases, where there is a hard requirement for Kubernetes-in-AWS to operate identically to their on-premise deployment. Of course they will always want to make services available that differentiate AWS — but they are committing to EKS being a 100% upstream Kubernetes experience.

It is also encouraging how AWS is approaching the development of EKS with partners in the community. For example, working with Heptio on identity integration and with Tigera on container network interface (CNI) and network policy — with the resultant code being open sourced and upstreamed wherever possible.

The bottom line is that this marks a watershed moment in the evolution of cloud and the maturity of Kubernetes. The container wars are over, the community is the winner, and Tigera is excited to be partnering with AWS to help realize their vision for Kubernetes as part of a truly open ecosystem.

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