Top managed Kubernetes & Container services providers

cloud deployment models

In the ever-evolving landscape of cloud computing, container technologies and Kubernetes services have emerged as pivotal components for modern IT solutions. Containers, which encapsulate an application and its dependencies into a single, lightweight image, offer significant advantages in agility and scalability. Kubernetes, originally developed by Google and now an open-source project under the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), orchestrates these containers, automating their deployment, operation, and scaling. As businesses strive for more agile and efficient development practices, managed Kubernetes and container services have become indispensable, enabling companies to focus on innovation rather than infrastructure management.

Managed Kubernetes services refer to cloud-based solutions where a third-party provider handles the setup, management, and maintenance of Kubernetes clusters. Kubernetes itself is an open-source container orchestration platform that automates the deployment, scaling, and operation of containerized applications. Managed services simplify this process by offloading the operational complexity, allowing developers and IT teams to focus on building and deploying applications without worrying about the underlying infrastructure.

Container services involve the use of containerization technology, where applications and their dependencies are packaged together into containers. These containers are lightweight and can run consistently across different computing environments. Container services provide the tools and frameworks needed to create, manage, and scale these containers effectively.

Together, managed Kubernetes and container services offer a robust environment for developing, deploying, and maintaining microservices-based applications, ensuring high availability, scalability, and efficient resource utilization.

Key Players in Managed Kubernetes & Container Services

1. GiantSwarm

GiantSwarm stands out as a leading provider in the managed Kubernetes space. Since its inception in 2014, the company has demonstrated robust growth and community involvement, particularly in Germany. GiantSwarm offers a flexible solution, allowing container clusters to operate on its infrastructure or within public clouds like Microsoft Azure and AWS. This versatility has proven valuable in significant projects, including one with adidas, underscoring GiantSwarm’s capacity to meet diverse business needs.

2. Red Hat OpenShift

Red Hat’s OpenShift platform is a major player in the Kubernetes ecosystem. With a focus on providing a comprehensive container and Kubernetes environment, Red Hat leverages its acquisition of CoreOS to enhance its offerings. OpenShift supports a wide range of enterprise requirements, offering extensive services and integration capabilities, making it a key driver of container technology adoption, particularly in Germany.

3. Pivotal

Pivotal, known for its Cloud Foundry-based Kubernetes service, offers a robust platform with a suite of additional services to support an entire IT stack. The open platform approach and extensive technological focus position Pivotal as a significant provider, although its primary strength lies more in technology than service provision.

4. Platform9

Platform9 specializes in Managed Hybrid Cloud and SaaS services, with a strong emphasis on Kubernetes. Known for its expertise in the open-source arena, Platform9 offers a managed Kubernetes environment that caters to complex deployment scenarios, despite having limited visibility in the German market.

5. Mesosphere (now D2iQ)

Mesosphere, recognized for its DC/OS operating system, has quickly gained traction in the container orchestration market. Its early entry and strong presence in the open-source community have enabled it to establish a robust managed Kubernetes service, catering to a variety of enterprise needs.

6. Loodse (Kubermatic)

Hamburg-based Loodse, through its Kubermatic platform, has made significant strides in the Kubernetes space. Exiting beta in the previous year, Kubermatic is now operational with several high-profile customers. Partnerships with companies like SysEleven enhance Loodse’s capabilities, making it a noteworthy contender in the market.

7. Claranet

Claranet, a prominent Managed Cloud provider, extends its comprehensive enterprise IT operations to include container orchestration services. While container clusters are not its primary focus, Claranet’s contributions to the Kubernetes community and extensive service offerings make it a significant player.

8. Rackspace

Rackspace, with its extensive Managed Cloud portfolio, has incorporated Kubernetes-based container services into its offerings. The company’s long-standing infrastructure management experience and recent expansion into open services position it well in the managed Kubernetes market.

9. PlusServer

PlusServer, bolstered by its acquisition of Nexinto, actively participates in the Kubernetes environment. Offering services for Hybrid Cloud and container clusters, PlusServer provides valuable expertise and a solid range of solutions for enterprise clients.

10. SUSE

German Linux pioneer SUSE has established a strong position with its Kubernetes-based container platform. Recent changes in ownership have not hindered its progress; instead, SUSE continues to build on its reputation and service offerings, ensuring a competitive stance in the managed Kubernetes market.

11. Canonical

Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, offers a robust managed Kubernetes service. Its platform-independent approach, backed by extensive open-source experience and a skilled team, provides a versatile solution for many businesses.

12. Joyent

Joyent’s Kubernetes service, built on its Triton foundation, offers a platform-independent solution distinct from major cloud providers like AWS, Microsoft, and Google. This flexibility makes Joyent a valuable player in the container orchestration field.

13. Weaveworks

Weaveworks provides an integrated platform for managing container clusters and microservices, primarily on major cloud platforms such as AWS, Google Cloud, and Azure. In addition to enterprise support and training, Weaveworks offers a comprehensive suite of tools for container orchestration.

14. Tencent Cloud

Tencent Cloud, an emerging player from Asia, is making inroads into the European market with its Kubernetes management platform. Although relatively new, Tencent Cloud’s strategic initiatives and regional support capabilities position it as a potential competitor in the managed Kubernetes space.

15. DXC Technology

DXC Technology, one of the world’s largest IT services providers, offers Kubernetes and container services as part of its extensive portfolio. Despite its broad range of services, DXC’s focus on differentiation within the Kubernetes space is limited, positioning it as a challenger rather than a leader.

16. IBM

IBM offers managed Kubernetes services within its comprehensive cloud portfolio. Leveraging its vast resources and global reach, IBM provides robust container orchestration solutions, though its offerings lack the focused differentiation seen in some specialized providers.

17. Oracle

Oracle has integrated managed Kubernetes services into its cloud offerings, allowing use on its cloud platform or third-party environments. This flexibility, combined with Oracle’s extensive enterprise experience, makes it a notable player in the market.

18. Samsung SDS

Samsung SDS, part of the larger Samsung Group, provides Kubernetes services as part of its global IT solutions. Although currently a smaller operation within Samsung, SDS has potential for significant expansion and integration across its regional operations.

Emerging Players

Several emerging players, including spotinst, Teutostack, Kinvolk, Nimata,, and Kublr, offer innovative solutions in the container management space. While not yet at the forefront, these startups are developing highly automated and efficient container cluster management services, showing potential for future growth. Mirantis, known for its OpenStack expertise, has recently ventured into the Kubernetes space, building broader capabilities.


The managed Kubernetes and container services market is vibrant and rapidly evolving. With a mix of established leaders and promising newcomers, companies have a variety of options to choose from, each offering unique strengths and capabilities. As the demand for agile, scalable, and efficient IT solutions continues to grow, these providers will play a crucial role in shaping the future of cloud computing and enterprise IT infrastructure.