Google Extends Spinnaker Continuous Delivery Platform to Kubernetes

The team behind the open source Spinnaker continuous deployment platform have enhanced the level of support being provided for containerized applications deployed on top of Kubernetes clusters.

Originally developed by Google and Netflix, Spinnaker is designed to make it simpler to deploy applications primarily of Google Cloud Platform (GCP) in a way that can be integrated with any number of continuous integration (CI) frameworks.

Andrew Phillips, a product manager for GCP, says that now that more applications are being developed for deployment on Kubernetes clusters, Spinnaker 1.10 has deepened support for the Kubernetes runtime.

Specifically, the latest release of Spinnaker abstracts away much of the complexity of managing manifests in addition to providing tighter integration with the open source Helm package manager software, which was developed under the auspices of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF).

In addition, version 1.10 of Spinnaker adds support for Istio, a service mesh that Google, IBM and others have been advancing to simplify the integration and management of services on a Kubernetes cluster. Support for Istio promises to enable organizations that have embraced Spinnaker on a Kubernetes to better shape traffic across applications deployed on a cluster.

Phillips says Spinnaker’s primary function is enabling DevOps teams to deploy applications without having to manually manipulate and manage large numbers of YAML files. As the number of applications that get deployed in the cloud increases, all those YAML files wind up becoming a bottleneck, he says.

In general, Phillips says Google is trying to promote the concept of hiring site reliability engineers (SRE) as the primary individuals tasked with implementing a specific set of DevOps processes. While DevOps defines a set of best practices around a philosophic approach to managing IT, an SRE is responsible for defining how those practices will be implemented within an IT environment. In some ways, organizations can think of the SRE role as being an IT professional who is focused primarily on the bottom half of the DevOps abstraction, he says.

Google clearly views Spinnaker as a key element of its cloud computing strategy as it continues to battle Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. By providing an open source CD platform, Google is trying to attract more workloads to its platform. All too often, organizations start deploying applications to the cloud only to discover they need to modernize their processes. Spinnaker provides a mechanism to accomplish that goal as an extension of a CI framework that might be invoked as a cloud service or deployed in an on-premises IT environment.

Whatever the CI/CD platform chosen, the one thing that is for certain is that increased usage of containers running on Kubernetes soon will force a host of DevOps issues. Google is betting that Spinnaker will play a key role in helping IT organizations address those issues with the least amount of friction possible on the GCP platform.

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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