April 29, 2017

Aiming to make its distribution of the Kubernetes container orchestration engine more accessible, CoreOS announced that CoreOS Tectonic soon also will be available on OpenStack and the Microsoft Azure cloud.

In addition, CoreOS revealed that its container image registry, dubbed Quay, can now manage and store complete Kubernetes-based applications. To provide that capability CoreOS has extended Helm, the Kubernetes package manager, to enable it to push, pull and search for Charts from an App Registry. Via a registry plugin, Helm can interact directly with Quay to pull an application definition, retrieve the necessary images and apply the configurations to ensure the application is successfully deployed. That integration is accomplished using an App Registry application programming interface (API), dubbed App Registry, that is widely used to create deployment pipelines.

Mackenzie Burnett, product lead for Tectonic at CoreOS, says CoreOS is making it easier for organization to deploy and manage Kubernetes using the same set of self-managing and healing technologies that CoreOS applies to its distribution of Linux. The idea is to automate the management of the entire Kubernetes life cycle in a way that makes it feasible to scale application deployments using Kubernetes, says Burnett.

As part of that effort, CoreOS has decided to share with the rest of the Kubernetes community the Tectonic Installer it developed as an open-source project. That installer can be used to create a custom set of repeatable installations of Kubernetes to enable IT organizations to provision Kubernetes more rapidly.

Specific attributes of the Tectonic Installer include an installer script that includes options for customizing networks and virtual private clouds in addition to custom tagging resources on Amazon Web Services (AWS). IT organizations also now can deploy a Kubernetes cluster with multiworker, multicontroller and multinode instances of the etcd key-value store on AWS or a bare-metal server.

Meanwhile, the Tectonic Console now sports enhancements such as displays for node selectors in addition to an editing mode and views of channel statuses and error messages.

The Tectonic Console, Dex access control and Flannel network overlay now can be invoked via the Operators applications that CoreOS has developed to simplify the management of Kubernetes environments.

CoreOS has been at the forefront of a Google Infrastructure For Everyone Else (GIFEE) initiative, which aims to make technologies developed by Google engineers more accessible to the average enterprise. The IT environment in these companies often are managed by IT administrators who often don’t have advanced degrees in programming, rather than software engineers. And while Kubernetes has gained wide vendor support as an open platform for managing and deploying containers, it has a reputation for being difficult to deploy. In fact, Docker Inc. is betting that a rival Docker Swarm container orchestration platform will prove to be more accessible to the average IT administrator.

Whatever the outcome of that contest, IT organizations soon will find themselves managing a lot more container clusters in the months ahead, which means finding the simplest way to manage those clusters at scale is about to become a much higher priority.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.