AWS Previews Raft of Updates for Kubernetes Services

During the AWS re:Invent conference this week, Amazon Web Services (AWS) previewed a series of forthcoming updates it plans for its Kubernetes-based services, including adding support for graphic processor units (GPUs) and bare metal servers to its Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) Anywhere offering that allows an IT team to deploy the same distribution of Kubernetes used by AWS in an on-premises IT environment.

Allan Naim, senior manager for product management for EKS at AWS, also told conference attendees that AWS is working toward adding support for IPv6 for Kubernetes pods in addition to announcing that Karpenter, an open source autoscaler for large numbers of Kubernetes clusters built by AWS, is now ready to be deployed in production environments.

AWS is also working to extend the AWS Controller for Kubernetes (ACK) that AWS created to enable IT teams that employ Amazon EKS to manage external AWS services. That tool currently supports AWS SageMaker, a service for building artificial intelligence (AI) models. It will be extended to add support for other ASW services such as S3 cloud storage and the DynamoDB NoSQL database.

Other planned additions include adding support for open source agent software being advanced via the OpenTelemetry project overseen by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) and support for Metrics Server, a tool for collecting metrics from containers.

At the same time, AWS plans to add support for Flux, an open source tool that enables code for provisioning infrastructure to be employed across a range of Kubernetes clusters as part of a GitOps workflow.

AWS is also working toward adding support for drivers that are compatible with the Container Storage Interface (CSI) defined by the Kubernetes community, a load balancer controller, cost management tools and a controller for service discovery based on AWS Cloud Maps and a multi-service application programming interface (API).

Finally, the AWS Cloud Development Kit (AWS CDK), an open source software development framework, and Amazon Guard Duty for K8s Audit Logs are now also generally available.

Kubernetes is simultaneously the most powerful yet complex IT platform to be deployed by enterprise IT teams in modern times. Each organization will need to determine to what degree they need to manage Kubernetes infrastructure versus devoting more resources to, for example, building and deploying more applications.

In the longer-term, the hope is that advances in automation will make it easier for IT teams to build and deploy applications on Kubernetes platforms that will drive a new era of hybrid cloud computing. In fact, Kubernetes is at the core of an evolving AWS hybrid cloud computing environment based on distributions of Kubernetes that come with default configurations for the operating system, container registry, logging, monitoring, networking and storage.

Regardless of the approach, however, the Kubernetes APIs should make it possible for IT teams to deploy applications anywhere no matter what distribution of Kubernetes is employed. The challenge now will be deciding whether it’s better to standardize on a single distribution of Kubernetes or employ a multi-cloud strategy spanning distributions curated by multiple platform providers.

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.

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