JFrog has made available a free repository for Helm Charts that many IT teams rely on to deploy applications on Kubernetes clusters.
Jagan Subramanian, vice president of solution engineering at JFrog, says the ChartCenter repository will make it easier for DevOps to keep track of which Helm Charts have been vetted. Built in collaboration with Rimas Mocevicius, a co-creator of Helm, ChartCenter aggregates all major Helm charts currently available today. It also provides security information and access to metadata concerning versions, dependencies and licensing restrictions.
Subramanian says IT teams can also add their own Charts to a repository that makes it easier to find Helm Charts using a built-in search engine. JFrog is also looking at providing a repository for Operator software that is increasingly used to manage applications running on Kubernetes clusters, he adds.
Helm is an application package manager for Kubernetes that simplifies the process of defining, storing and managing applications through Helm Charts. A Helm Chart eliminates the need to manually configure YAML files to deploy containerized software.
IT teams often wind up creating multiple Helm Charts for different application deployment projects. However, it’s not uncommon for there to be redundant Helm Charts for the same application. ChartCenter enables IT teams to bring some order to the management of their Helm Charts, he says.
ChartCenter is the latest addition to a series of repositories that JFrog makes available to track immutable software artifacts. Each of those repositories are based on Artifactory, which JFrog created to provide a repository that could be applied to multiples classes of software artifacts. The goal is to make it easier to deploy applications using best DevOps practices that are enabled by a continuous delivery platform such as the one JFrog provides.
As DevOps evolves in the age of Kubernetes, the way applications are deployed is starting to evolve. Instead of using a CD platform to push applications on to a platform, many organizations are starting to employ Kubernetes to automatically pull application code from a CD platform. That approach enables IT teams to further automate the application delivery process whenever a software update is made available on a CD platform.
Subramanian says at this juncture it’s clear Kubernetes is becoming a mainstream enterprise IT platform. The challenge IT teams will face is acquiring the skills needed to manage Kubernetes. In some cases, those clusters will be managed by traditional IT administrators while in other cases organizations will appoint site reliability engineers (SREs) to automate the management of fleets of Kubernetes clusters.
Regardless of the approach, it’s apparent Helm Charts will play a major role in the management of containerized applications. There may still be a few IT teams that for one reason or another may decide to work directly with YAML files to package a custom application. However, as abstractions such as Helm Charts become more widely employed, there will be a lot fewer IT teams relying on low-level YAML files to do much of anything.