Kubernetes really is the project that everyone wants to be a part of. If Kubernetes was a high school student, it would be the sports jock who also aced every academic subject AND was chosen to every leadership opportunity on offer – the sort of student that one simply can’t help but like. Since it’s creation by Google, and as a direct descendant of Google’s own internal operating system, Borg, Kubernetes wouldn’t seem to have put a foot wrong.

And so it is with the announcement today of Kubernetes’ first 2018 release aimed at advancing the maturity, extensibility, and pluggability of the core Kubernetes product. This release is focused on three key areas: storage, security, and networking.

A community on a roll

Before looking at the details of this release, it is worth taking stock of the momentum that Kubernetes has. This is doubly important since one of the potential risks with an open source project that is growing so fast is a correspondent splintering and Balkanization of the various different initiatives. It seems the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, the open-source organization behind Kubernetes, is mindful of this issue and has done much to balance vibrancy of the ecosystem with strong governance. in particular, the CNCF is focusing hard on project stability and tracking that through the relative number of issues logged across time and as the number of contributors increases. CNCF points to the fact that, with 75,000+ comments, Kubernetes remains one of the most actively discussed projects on GitHub.

Some big-name users

Kubernetes is getting uptake across the globe and CNCF calls out Huawei, Jinjiang Travel, Haufe Group and BlackRock in particular as four cutting-edge organizations that are deeply embedding Kubernetes into the way they work. All these examples point to the increases in velocity that organizations enjoy when they move from traditional virtualized applications to Kubernetes-based container ones.

As an example of this, Haufe Group, the Germany-based media, and software company, utilized Kubernetes to deliver a new release in half an hour instead of days. The company is also able to scale down to around half the capacity at night, saving 30 percent on hardware costs.

What’s in this release?

Some key features of 1.10 for your perusal:

  • Storage – the Container Storage Interface and Local Storage move to beta while Durable (non-shared) local storage management has been progressed to beta in this release. Finally, Kubernetes can automatically prevent deletion of Persistent Volume Claims that are in use by a pod (Beta) and prevent deletion of a Persistent Volume that is bound to a Persistent Volume Claim (Beta).
  • Security – Kubernetes gains another extension point in 1.10 with external kubectl credential providers (alpha in 1.10). Cloud providers, vendors, and other platform developers can now release binary plugins which handle authentication for specific cloud-provider IAM services, or which integrate with in-house authentication systems not supported in-tree such as Active Directory.
  • Networking – CoreDNS as a DNS provider is now in beta feature status

Cross-cloud interoperability project

It stands to reason given the large number of different vendors offering Kubernetes services, that interoperability would be top of mind of the CNCF. Indeed, the OpenStack project was long criticized for not sufficiently driving distro interoperability. No so CNCF which is released I new cross-cloud dashboard which, on a daily basis, publishes statistics with real-time integration and deployment tests for different projects within he CNCF ecosystem.

The Cross-cloud CI project consists of a cross-cloud testing system, status repository server, and a dashboard. The cross-cloud testing system has 3 components (build, cross-cloud, cross-project) that continually validate the interoperability of each CNCF project for any commit on stable and head across all supported cloud providers.

The dashboard, which shows the daily status of builds and deployments across all public, bare metal, and private clouds, also includes projects beyond CNCF, including the Linux Foundation Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) project, are also displayed on the Dashboard Overview at cncf.ci.

Kubernetes is here to stay

Finally an insider’s word from Bich Le, chief architect and co-founder of Platform9. Commenting on this release in particular, and Kubernetes continued momentum in general, he has this to say:

…a year ago we didn’t know how Kubernetes would fare in the container wars, but it’s now clear it’s here to stay. This release and the CNCF’s recent decision to make it the first project to graduate out of incubation stage confirms that Kubernetes has matured and reached mass adoption. Enterprise IT relies on Kubernetes as a critical piece of its infrastructure for its ability to scale, support a multi-cloud approach, and keep pace with the requirements of modern cloud infrastructure. Recent Kubernetes releases have not been dominated by any single, large feature — instead they’ve built from steady improvements across a wide range of functional areas. This is a trend I expect will continue, signaling stability of the platform as an increasing number of enterprises adopt it.

MyPOV

This release, and the attendant attention, momentum, and adjacent projects aimed at increasing Kubernetes’ stability and interoperability give a taste for just how well this project is progressing. A copybook example of building an open source community and project.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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