Canonical is moving to make it easier to deploy Kubernetes clusters using the Snap packaging software the company developed to deploy software across multiple distributions of Linux in an offering for Kubernetes dubbed MicroK8s.
At the same time, Canonical is making available an instance of Kubernetes running on Arm processors and has partnered with Dell EMC and Super Micro to deliver instances of Kubernetes curated by Canonical.
Finally, Canonical is also now providing commercial support for kubeadm, a set of tools developed under the auspices of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation that makes it easier to troubleshoot Kubernetes deployments.
Carmine Rimi, product manager for Kubernetes at Canonical, says MicroK8s is a natural extension of the portfolio of tools Canonical provides to simplify deployments of Linux in public cloud or on-premises IT environments. For example, Canonical has already extended the juju framework it created for automating IT operations to include support for Kubernetes, he says.
MicroK8s takes that focus on IT automation a step further and makes it easier by delivering instances that not only are automatically updated, but also consume much less disk space and memory, says Rimi. In some instances, that level of automation will make it practical for IT organizations to consider spinning up Kubernetes clusters that only need to run for a short period of time, he adds.
In general, Rimi says Canonical is trying to make the management of Kubernetes a much more elegant experience. The Kubernetes community is already developing a broad range of tools. But Canonical sees a need to leverage those efforts to provide an experience that is more consumable by either a developer or the average IT administrator. In fact, Rimi notes that most Kubernetes clusters are going to be spun up alongside instances of Linux and the applications that run on them. That means there’s a need to provide a more holistic approach to managing not just Kubernetes, but also the entire stack of software surrounding Kubernetes, says Rimi.
As Kubernetes and the microservices that will inevitably be deployed on these platforms continue to proliferate, Rimi says many organizations will need to either develop or revisit DevOps processes. The goal should be to leverage tools to create a set of symbiotic processes that foster rapid changes to IT environments that are becoming more dynamic with each passing day, he says Rimi, adding those symbiotic process also need to extend to hardware platforms from vendors such as Dell EMC and Super Micro.
Of course, re-engineering IT processes is one of those classic chicken-and-egg” dilemmas. In an ideal world, processes would be adopted before tools are acquired. But it’s often too difficult to imagine how processes could evolve without some firsthand experience with the tools that enable those processes. Most IT organizations acquire new tools that over time end up driving a best DevOps practice. The challenge most organizations have to overcome is being open to new possibilities that inevitably will change to one degree or another their existing IT culture.