IBM Kabanero Melds Multiple Open Source Kubernetes Projects

At the Open Source and Software Development (OSCON) conference, IBM today announced it is combining a variety of container technologies together to create a single integrated platform dubbed Kabanero.

Nate Ziemann, senior product manager for developer technologies for IBM Cloud, says Kabanero brings together open source software from projects including Knative, Istio, Tekton, Codewind, Appsody and Razee into a curated environment that makes it easier to architect, build, deploy and manage Kubernetes-based applications.

IT organizations today are being asked to stitch all these independent open source projects together to create an IT environment based on Kubernetes. Rather than force customers to devote time to that integration effort, IBM has validated the integration of different versions of these open source projects so organizations can spend more time building applications, he says.

Specific elements of Kabanero include:

  • Appsody: An open source project that simplifies the creation of cloud-native applications in containers using pre-configured stacks and templates for a specific set of open source runtimes and frameworks.
  • Codewind: Provides extensions from The Eclispe Foundation to popular integrated development environments (IDEs) such as VS Code, Eclipse and Eclipse Che that allow developers to build containerized applications without having to master another container development tool.
  • Istio: A service mesh developed by Google, IBM and Lyft.
  • Knative: An extension to Kubernetes that provides integration with a variety of open source serverless computing frameworks.
  • Razee: Developed by IBM and provides continuous delivery tooling for multiple Kubernetes clusters.
  • Tektron: Provides a framework for building continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) platforms on top of Kubernetes.

Ziemann says IBM is trying to reduce the level of infrastructure skill required to build and deploy modern containerized applications. Kabanero integrates runtimes and frameworks such as Node.js, Java, Swift with a DevOps toolchain optimized for Kubernetes environments pre-built using a set of best practices defined by IBM.

There are about 2 million developers today using containers to build applications, and the total pool of enterprise-class developers today is roughly more than 12 million. That shows the bar associated with building containerized applications for most enterprise developers is still too high, Ziemann says. Of course, Kabanero won’t solve that issue entirely on its own. It will, however, enable developers to spend less time on building the platform those containerized applications will run on.

Kabanero via Appsody will also help ensure the frameworks and runtimes deployed on those platforms have been validated in a way that will enhance container security, notes Ziemann.

Naturally, it remains to be seen how much traction IBM can gain with Kabanero. Not every open source project included in this larger framework enjoys the same level of support among developers. Many organizations may decide to mix and match other open source projects to create a framework that is less influenced by the opinion of IBM. Whatever the path chosen forward, however, most enterprise IT organizations are going to want to spend as little time as possible integrating components that most of them view as means to a much larger agile IT end.

Mike Vizard

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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