Microsoft announced today that it’s working with Heptio to back up multi-container clusters managed by its Azure Kubernetes Service. AKS will use Ark, Heptio’s open source utility for managing disaster recovery and backup of Kubernetes cluster resources.

It’s a big win for Heptio, a Seattle-based startup founded by two of the co-creators of Kubernetes, a system for managing multi-container applications. Heptio’s mission is to make the creation and management of distributed systems with Kubernetes easier for enterprises and other businesses. Ark was created to help with the recovery and data transfer of Kubernetes applications in any environment.

Microsoft will be operating the Ark service in AKS and providing support to its customers. Businesses that want to run their own instances of Ark and Kubernetes on non-managed infrastructure can turn to Heptio for service and support, as well as other software for managing container environments.

One of the key capabilities in Ark — that’s useful for both Heptio and Microsoft — is the ability to use the backup system to migrate applications between on-premises environments and the cloud, or between different cloud regions.

This news is part of Microsoft’s continuing embrace of Kubernetes, an open source tool for building applications that consist of code running across multiple software containers. While the project originated at Google, it’s now supported by all of the major cloud providers.

Looking toward the future, Heptio CEO Craig McLuckie told VentureBeat in an interview that the company is open to working with other cloud providers on making Kubernetes work better with their environments. Heptio is already working with AWS on an Authenticator project that lets customers bring their identity and access management controls into a Kubernetes cluster.

Disclosure: The Cloud Native Computing Foundation paid for me to travel to KubeCon + CloudNativeCon in Austin, where this news was announced. Our coverage, as always, remains objective.