January 19, 2018

In a few short months Helm has emerged as a primary mechanism for installing and updating applications running on top of a Kubernetes cluster. Curated application definitions for Helm are created using a tool dubbed Helm Charts. Now Codefresh, a provider of a continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) software, is moving to make Helm a natural extension of an application development pipeline.

Codefresh CEO Raziel Tabib says one of the primary benefits derived from integrating Helm Charts is instead of developers pushing software changes to a staging server and running tests, the Codefresh pipeline can automatically load up the full application on a Kubernetes cluster for testing. That eliminates the need for developers to continually make requests of the IT operations teams to load applications and tests, says Tabib.

As more responsibility for testing applications continues to “shift left” onto the shoulders of the developers, Tabib says it behooves the IT operations teams to find ways to enable self-service testing. Otherwise, IT ops becomes a bottleneck in the DevOps process. To make it easier to build a CI/CD pipeline incorporating Helm Charts, Codefresh has outlined the required steps within its platform.

The Codefresh CI/CD platform is built on a microservices architecture that is based on containers. As such, Tabib says Codefresh has extensive experience deploying a CI/CD platform directly on top of Kubernetes, rather than requiring IT organizations to deploy a CI/CD platform in another environment to manage the development of containerized applications that are intended to run somewhere else.

Codefresh has been working on integrating Helm Charts into the platform and expects to make the results of that effort generally available in the next few months.

Now that Kubernetes has become easier to spin up and manage, much of the focus on the platform is shifting to the tooling that surrounds it. Recent surveys suggest adoption of Kubernetes platforms is accelerating. But IT organizations now need tools ranging from management and security to entire CI/CD pipelines that run natively on Kubernetes.

Codefresh has been making the case for a cloud-native CI/CD platform that can more readily scale up and down to support the development of microservices projects occurring in parallel. One of the challenges the company faces is that most organizations are still coming to terms with DevOps, much less how to apply that concept to the development of containerized applications.
However, it’s only a matter of time before containers finally force the DevOps issue inside most organizations.

In the meantime, IT organizations should expect to see increasingly sophisticated tooling becoming available for Kubernetes as both the open source community that supports it continues to expand and more commercial vendors become interested in the opportunity. There’s clearly a lot of excitement about all things Kubernetes these days. But all that interest doesn’t necessarily translate into a commitment to wanting to manually manage Kubernetes clusters as they increasingly proliferate across the enterprise.

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.