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April 19, 2016updated 05 Sep 2016 11:08am

First 100% open source data centre-scale OS launches with backing from HPE, Cisco, Accenture and Microsoft

News: System is a containerised data centre-scale platform to run the next-generation applications at scale.

By Joao Lima

A global alliance of 60 technology companies have come together with software start-up Mesosphere to unveil the beta version of data centre OS, dubbed DC/OS.

The DC/OS is built on open source technology and is based on more than 30 component technologies, including Apache Mesos.

Mesosphere’s Mesos technology is a distributed system kernel that provides applications, such as Hadoop, Spark, Kafka and Elastic Search, with API’s for resource management and scheduling across entire data centre and cloud environments.

The DC/OS is a comprehensive platform for building, running and scaling modern enterprise applications and Marathon is the native container-orchestration engine for DC/OS, the company said.

The platform has been designed to address the need of more powerful container operations capabilities at scale and single-click, app-store-like installation of 20+ complex distributed systems (called DC/OS "services"), including HDFS, Apache Spark, Apache Kafka, Apache Cassandra and more.

Under the alliance, technology giants like Microsoft, HPE, Accenture, Cisco, Equinix, Samsung and EMC, are all involved in the project.

Members have had access to the software previous to today’s launch, and according to Mesosphere, have pledged to help grow and shape the project through technology integrations and open source software contributions.

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Mesosphere claims that the DC/OS brings the industry’s most proven approach for container operations.

Derrick Harris, senior research analyst at Mesosphere, said the DC/OS runs not only with Docker, but also with other containerised systems.

He said: "DC/OS delivers on container operations rather than mere container orchestration. The Marathon service that is included with DC/OS is the most-production-proven container orchestration engine on the planet."

Harris also said that DC/OS has a unique two-level scheduler that can run many systems, including Kubernetes and Swarm, as services.

In addition, the OS includes an app-store named Universe. The DC/OS Universe app-store is a built-in component of DC/OS with an open catalogue of services built to run on the OS.

With the store, Mesosphere said it aims to make it easier for developers and operators to install and run complex distributed systems like Spark, Cassandra, Kafka and NGINX.

Florian Leibert, CEO at Mesosphere, said: "DC/OS represents a major industry transformation, delivering today’s enterprises an open source data centre-scale operating system that pools compute resources into what looks like one big computer, running containers, microservices, big data systems and other components of modern applications with ease."

Also part of the alliance backing the DC/OS, Martin Cooper, international director of systems engineering at SolidFire, a NetApp company, told CBR: "Containerisation is the natural evolution of virtualisation within a data centre environment.

"It offers greater flexibility in deploying new services and capabilities, alongside increased portability of services. This allows for simple intra-cloud movement of containers, rather than migration of virtual machines (VMs)."

Cooper also said that adoption rates of containerised systems will be high "with a containerised approach offering a relatively simple adoption path with a quick return on investment".

"We should consider the automation or orchestration layer as the OS of the software defined, next-generation data centre – containerisation of the virtualisation layer," he said.

Companies like Verizon are already using DC/OS to manage its data centres, while others like Twitter, Cisco, eBay, Uber and Apple use Mesosphere’s original software Mesos designed in 2009 and the backbone for DC/OS.

With the release of DC/OS, Microsoft has also said that the general availability of Azure Container Service, an open-source-based, production-ready container service, includes now support for DC/OS.

Mark Russinovich, Microsoft Azure’s CTO, said: "DC/OS takes an open source approach ideally suited for applications that will define the next decade of business.

"Microsoft selected DC/OS for the Azure Container Service so our customers can easily build, deploy and manage modern applications on our enterprise-ready Azure cloud platform, as well as in private and hybrid cloud environments."

Russinovich has previously told CBR that his vision for Azure, is one where Microsoft creates a unique platform "where we are going to address all scenarios in a very consistent way, where just like other Microsoft services, there is commonality and integration across all of them".

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