With the rise of Kubernetes as the de facto standard for container orchestration, it’s no surprise that there’s now a whole ecosystem of companies springing up around this open source project. Heptio is one of the most interesting ones, in no small part due to the fact that it was founded by Kubernetes co-founders Joe Beda and Craig McLuckie. Today, Heptio announced that it is teaming up with Microsoft on its Heptio Ark project, which it launched earlier this year.

Heptio Ark is a utility for managing backups and disaster recovery that helps you bring your Kubernetes clusters and volumes back up after your run into a major issue in your data center.

The plan is for Microsoft and Heptio to work together on strengthening Ark’s core capabilities, but also on making it a tool for moving Kubernetes applications across on-premise environments and — unsurprisingly — Microsoft Azure and the Azure Container Service (AKS — because Microsoft hasn’t come around to renaming it to ‘Azure Kubernetes Service’ just yet).

“Few real-world companies live solely in the public cloud,” said Heptio CEO Craig McLuckie. “It is incredibly important that the tools and practices they adopt when selecting their public cloud services work on-premises as well. Microsoft’s commitment to working with the open source community will not only benefit Azure customers, but strengthens the Kubernetes community.”

What’s also interesting about this move is that it brings the three Kubernetes co-founders together, with Beda and McLuckie at Heptio, and Microsoft’s Brendan Burns, who worked with the Heptio founders at Google when they launched the Kubernetes project into open source (and who was the lead engineer for Kubernetes at Google).

“I’m excited to see Heptio and Microsoft deliver a compelling solution that satisfies an important and unmet need in the Kubernetes ecosystem,” said Burns. “We’re working with Heptio to ensure that the integration of Ark and Azure is a best-of-breed solution for backing up on-premise Kubernetes clusters into the cloud.”

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