April 25, 2018

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) today at the Open Networking Summit conference unveiled a Cross-cloud Continuous Integration (CI) capability that enables staging servers running Kubernetes to be automatically upgraded.

In addition, CNCF demonstrated how the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) running on top of Kubernetes can automatically be distributed using the same CI platform. ONAP is a set of open source networking services being developed under the auspices of The Linux Foundation, which is the parent organization of the CNCF. Previously, ONAP was limited to supporting a limited number of deployment options.

Supporters of the ONAP project include Amdocs, AT&T, Bell, China Mobile, China Telecom, Cisco, Ericsson, Cloudify, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Jio, Nokia, Orange, Tech Mahindra, Verizon, VMware, Vodafone and ZTE. Comcast and AT&T are using Kubernetes to deliver virtual network services, and Vodafone has reported it is seeing around a 40 percent improvement in resource usage after deciding to rely more on containers than virtual machines.

Dan Kohn, executive director of the CNCF, says the free Cross-cloud CI platform will accelerate the adoption of Kubernetes clusters as the foundation for building hybrid clouds spanning public clouds and on-premises IT environments.

Longer term, Kohn says the goal is to enable any type of network service to be delivered on top of Kubernetes, which in turn could then make use of a free Cross-cloud CI platform to be deployed in both public and private clouds.

The Cross-cloud CI project consists of a testing system, status repository server and a dashboard. The cross-cloud testing system has three components spanning build, cross-cloud, cross-project functions that collectively can be employed to continually validate the interoperability of each CNCF project for any commit.

Kohn says that capability means that each time a project such as Kubernetes or ONAP is updated an organization can quickly identify any interoperability issues that may have occurred between updates.

The cross-cloud testing system is also designed to be able to reuse existing artifacts from a project’s preferred CI system or generate new build artifacts. The status repository server collects the test results and the dashboard displays them. IT organizations can download version 1.2 of a CI Dashboard that the CNCF is making available under an Apache 2.0 open source license.

Kohn says the underlying CI integration technology employed in Cross-cloud CI was contributed by Gitab, which the CNCF combined with the Terraform configuration management tools developed by HashiCorp.

The CNCF, adds Kohn, expects to see widespread adoption of Cross-cloud CI because continuous integration is the foundation on which most agile development initiatives are based. Rising interest in all things related to digital business transformation requires organizations to create hybrid cloud computing applications as rates that can be sustained only by using a CI platform, says Kohn.

It’s not clear what impact a CI platform from the CNCF will have on use of other CI platforms. But as more CI platforms become readily available, the reasons for not making use of a CI platform will undoubtedly start to fall away within a lot more organizations.

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.