Inside Advanced Scale Challenges|Monday, July 16, 2018
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Kubernetes Services Expand as Complexity Increases 

The IT industry continues to coalesce around the de facto standard cluster and container orchestrator called Kubernetes. With an upgraded version of the cloud service expected to be released this week, key players such as VMware are embracing Kubernetes as application containers go mainstream.

In the much anticipated run-up to the second Kubernetes upgrade so far this year, VMware (NYSE: VMW) on Tuesday (June 26) announced the public beta version of its Kubernetes enginebilled as an enterprise-grade cloud service that will initially launch on Amazon Web Services (NASDAQ: AMZN). The software service will later run on Microsoft Azure (NASDAQ: MSFT) and other public clouds “as part of our multi-cloud strategy,” the company said in a blog post.

As more companies embrace cloud-native application delivery, many are confronting the deployment challenges associated with capable but complex runtime environments like Kubernetes. VMware and other service providers are betting there is growing customer demand for a Kubernetes service that delivers the efficiencies without the operational headaches.

According to VMware, “Many customers we have talked to see Kubernetes as a candidate to consume as a service where they get all the value of the growing ecosystem while maintaining focus on developing their applications.”

Others have taken similar approaches as teething problems are uncovered during the ramp-up of Kubernetes deployments. For example, Aqua Security recently added more than 100 security features to it container runtime security platform. The security vendor argued that container adopters “are looking for ways to leverage Kubernetes to automate deployments and accelerate application delivery, at scale, without compromising on security.”

Hence, a Kubernetes service ecosystem continues to expand as upstream development gathers momentum. Version 1.11 due out this week will, according to Kubernetes contributors such as Red Hat’s CoreOS unit, will include extendable APIs and other stability enhancements along with automation tools that allow users to focus on application development rather than IT operations. Among them is a CoreOS service for packaging, deploying and managing Kubernetes applications called Operators. As with the VMware cloud service, the tool seeks to simplify the installation and updating of Kubernetes applications, “without having to worry about the underlying platform.”

According to Red Hat (NYSE: RHT), which acquired early Kubernetes developer CoreOS in January, the new version of the cluster orchestrator also includes the ability to use CoreDNS, a server that connects plugins for a cluster.

Red Hat also said Kubernetes 1.11 would be available in a future release of its OpenShift container application platform.

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).

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