Red Hat, IBM Launch Konveyor to Aggregate Kubernetes Tools

At the online KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2021 event today Red Hat and IBM Research announced they are teaming up to create a Konveyor to advance adoption of a collection of tools for optimizing Kubernetes environments.

At the same time, Red Hat announced it is forming a community to invite contributors to participate in the ongoing development of the container security software it gained via its acquisition of StackRox earlier this year. Red Hat offers that platform now as Red Hat Advanced Cluster Security for Kubernetes.

James Labocki, senior director of product management for Red Hat, says the goal of the Konveyor project is to make it easier for contributors outside of Red Hat and IBM to participate in initiatives that might ultimately be donated to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) that oversees the development of Kubernetes.

Tools that are being made available as Konveyor subprojects include:

Crane: A tool that makes it easier to migrate applications between clusters running different versions of Kubernetes.

Forklift: A tool that makes it simpler and faster to migrate virtual machines to Kubernetes that would run on top of KubeVirt, a layer of software that enables legacy applications running on virtual machines to be deployed on top of a bare-metal instance of a Kubernetes cluster.

Move2Kube: A tool that translates existing artifacts into Kubernetes-native concepts. It was originally developed to replatform applications running on the Docker Swarm container engine or the Cloud Foundry platform-as-a-service (PaaS) environment to Kubernetes.

Tackle: A tool that help assess the viability of refactoring legacy applications into containers that also provides a common place to inventory applications.

Pelorus: A set of tools for measuring software delivery performance, including lead time for change, deployment frequency, mean time to restore and change failure rates.

Labocki says Red Hat and IBM have launched Konveyor to provide an additional level of confidence that these tools will be supported and maintained regardless of what entity ultimately owns them. Each of these tools is designed to be deployed using Kubernetes Operators that reduce the complexity of deploying additional modules on a Kubernetes cluster to the point where the task can be handled by a typical IT administrator. As Kubernetes clusters are deployed more widely, it’s now only a matter of time before more IT administrators assume responsibility for ongoing management tasks.

IT administrators and DevOps teams alike will be running mixed application environments for years to come, so tools that make it easier to migrate applications are especially crucial, notes Labocki. Red Hat and IBM are also hoping other open source projects that have overlapping capabilities will apply to become part of the Konveyor initiative to help reduce duplication of efforts, Labocki adds.

Ultimately, Red Hat and IBM are trying to reduce the fear factor associated with Kubernetes platforms while recognizing they are simultaneously the most powerful and complex IT platforms to ever be managed by an enterprise IT team. As IT organizations gain confidence in tools that enable them to manage Kubernetes at a higher level of abstraction, any sense of intimidation they might have should fade away.

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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