Microsoft acquires Kinvolk to accelerate container-optimized innovation


Written by Brendan Burns, Corporate Vice President, Azure Compute


The ability to run Kubernetes anywhere, whether in the cloud or on-premises, has been a high priority for Azure customers looking to rapidly innovate, with increasing customer focus on the benefits of container-optimized workloads and operating systems, lean application modernization, easier operations, and platform resiliency.


To support this rapid evolution, we’re announcing that Microsoft has acquired Kinvolk GmbH.

Kinvolk’s founding mission statement is “to build and promote an enterprise-grade open cloud-native stack”—we think this fits perfectly with our growing customer needs and our ongoing investments in open source and Kubernetes.


Kinvolk has a rich, innovative history in open source cloud-native distributed computing, including Kubernetes, eBPF, community building, and container-optimized Linux, as well as critical early work with CoreOS (the company) on the rkt container runtime. Kinvolk ultimately went on to create Flatcar Container Linux, a popular alternative to CoreOS Container Linux, as well as the Lokomotive and Inspektor Gadget projects.


Microsoft is excited to bring the expertise of the Kinvolk team to Azure, where they will be key contributors to the engineering development of Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), Azure Arc, and future projects that will expand Azure’s hybrid container platform capabilities and increase Microsoft’s upstream open source contributions in the Kubernetes and container space. Stay tuned for more technical details soon.


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