An open source project unveiled last month by Google (GOOG) at DockerCon 2014 is gaining support from other industry vendors, including Microsoft (MSFT), Red Hat (RHT) and IBM (IBM). The Kubernetes project is an open source container management project that is intended for use in public, private and hybrid cloud environments.

The idea behind Kubernetes is to provide users with the ability to deploy containers into a fleet of machines, provide health management and replication capabilities and make it easier for containers to connect to one another and "the outside world," according to Google.

A month after Kubernetes' unveiling, Google has attracted others in the industry, including technology partners and competitors. In addition to Microsoft, IBM and Red Hat, new to the Kubernetes community are Mesospehere, CoreOS, SaltStack and Docker. According to Google, the new members plan to actively contribute to the open source project.

"Microsoft will help contribute code to Kubernetes to enable customers to easily manage containers that can run anywhere. This will make it easier to build multi-cloud solutions including targeting Microsoft Azure," said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise Group, in a prepared statement.

It's one of those interesting cases in which competitors are teaming up to collaborate on a new open source project. It's not exactly dissimilar to other open source projects, of course, in which multiple vendors and partners end up both collaborating and competing with the same technologies.

"Our shared goal is to allow a broad range of developers to take advantage of container technologies," wrote Urs Hölzle, senior vice president at Google, in a blog. "Kubernetes was built from the ground up as a lean, extensible and portable framework for managing Docker workloads. It lets customers manage their applications the way that Google manages hyper-scale applications like Search and Gmail."