Advanced Computing in the Age of AI|Monday, August 10, 2020
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Kubernetes Tools Keep Coming 

The Kubernetes ecosystem continues to expand with the launch of a new open source project to develop tools for running and managing native workflows and applications on the de facto standard cluster orchestrator.

Elsewhere, a cloud-based platform rolled out this week is intended to automate development and security for DevOps teams struggling with complex Kubernetes provisioning.

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) said it has accepted Project Argo as a hosted incubator project, the interim step toward “graduation.” Argo was launched in 2017 by the Bay Area startup Applatix, which had been developing a “DevOps in a box” application. Intuit NASDAQ: INTU), the financial software specialist, acquired Applatix in 2018.

“Our goal with Argo is to empower organizations to declaratively build and run cloud-native applications and workflows on Kubernetes using GitOps,” said Pratik Wadher, Intuit’s vice president of product development. GitOps is a framework for implementing continuous deployment of cloud-native applications.

Argo combines event-based computing with related services and workflows. The event-driven framework is a computing model in which programs perform work based on key steps in hardware or software development. Together, the trio of tools can be used to create cloud-native applications based on Kubernetes.

The toolkit also includes a container-native workflow engine for Kubernetes, an events-driven dependency manager for the cluster orchestrator, support for continuous deployment of Kubernetes resources based on the GitOps framework and a “rollout” tool for delivering applications.

The Argo tools also integrates with other CNCF projects, including CloudEvents, Helm and Prometheus, the machine data storage and monitoring platform for cloud-native deployments.

Argo is being used in production by over 100 companies, including Adobe, Alibaba Cloud, Data Dog, Datastax, Google, GitHub, IBM, Nvidia, SAP, Tesla, Ticketmaster and Volvo, CNCF said on Tuesday (April 7).

As the project transitions to incubator status, the Argo development team said it would focus on capabilities such as continuous delivery of machine learning applications and micro-services via Kubernetes.

With the open source community doubling down on Kubernetes and other cloud-native tools, DevOps startups are also introducing new delivering platforms built around the cluster orchestrator. For example, London-based startup Appvia released a platform this week aimed at taking some of the pain out of complicated Kubernetes rollouts.

The goal is making “Kubernetes self-service for developer teams,” the startup said.

Those self-service features include steps such as automating the provisioning of developer resources. Among the manual steps in the provisioning those resources are triggering automation pipelines and security steps like establishing permission controls. Those processes create bottlenecks that often delay the start of development projects.

Appvia’s Kore platform is billed as automating and tailoring security requirements for Kubernetes clusters. Currently, individual clusters must be configured manually, increasing the chances of human error and resulting stability the security issues, the company said.

“We built Kore to tackle all of these issues at once and bring Kubernetes closer to developers without compromising on security and best practice,” said Jonathan Shanks, Appvia’s CEO and co-founder.

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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