The number of independent software vendors (ISVs) that have embraced the Kubernetes Operator Framework for managing applications deployed on top of Kubernetes clusters is growing dramatically.
Red Hat, which assumed primary responsibility for the ongoing development of Operators after acquiring CoreOS, says there are more than 65 companies committed to building Operators for their containerized applications running on Kubernetes, including:
- Aqua Security
- Avi Networks
- Avocado Systems
- Banzai Cloud
- Black Duck Software
- CA Technologies
- Cockroach Labs
- Layered Insight
- New Relic
- Outcold Solutions
- Pure Storage
- Redis Labs
- ScaleOut Software
- SL Corporation
- Tremolo Security
Developed by CoreOS, the core Operators code is being widely embraced as open source code for managing applications deployed on top of Kubernetes clusters that can be easily extended. Red Hat unveiled the Kubernetes Operator Framework earlier in May to ease the integration of multiple Operators to create a workflow for a Kubernetes environment.
Ashesh Badani, vice president and general manager for OpenShift at Red Hat, says Red Hat has been pleasantly surprised by the number of ISVs that have embraced Operators. The company has committed to providing future enhancements that will enable software partners to test and validate their Operators for Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform against the Red Hat OpenShift platform-as-service (PaaS) environment built on top of Kubernetes. It also plans to extend Red Hat Container Certification to include support for Operators as validated Kubernetes applications running on Red Hat OpenShift.
While Kubernetes has become much easier to provision, Red Hat, in the wake of acquiring CoreOS, is now focusing on providing management tools on top of the Kubernetes application programming interface (API) that are more accessible to the average IT administrator.
Kubernetes traces its lineage back to Google, which developed it to unify the management of compute, storage and networking for engineers. Most enterprise IT organizations are managed by IT administrators who prefer to manage applications and platforms via graphical user interfaces (GUIs) rather than APIs. Given Red Hat’s longtime focus on IT operations staffs, Operators are emerging as a critical component of Red Hat’s overall effort to make the framework more appealing to IT operations teams.
That effort even extends to a technology preview of its Cloud-Native Virtualization utility for converting legacy applications running on hypervisors such as VMware into an instance of a Kernel-based virtual machine (KVM), which then can be embedded into a container.
It still may be a while before IT administrators are as comfortable with the new technology as they are with the VMware portfolio of management tools. But it’s apparent that expanding the reach of Kubernetes into traditional enterprise IT environments hinges on making that platform a lot more appealing to the IT administrators tasked with managing it.