Puppet Taps KOTS to Simplify Software Delivery

Puppet has partnered with Replicated to take advantage of a platform based on Kubernetes that makes it easier to deploy IT automation from Puppet in any IT environment.

The Kubernetes Off-The-Shelf (KOTS) platform from Replicated provides a set of tools on top of a distribution of Kubernetes to simplify the distribution and management of software. This enables software vendors to ease the deployment of software for customers by packaging applications as Kubernetes applications or alternatively employing Helm Charts or Operators. A KOTS command-line interface (CLI) that plugs into the Kubectl CLI that comes with Kubernetes provides the client-side binary for configuring and building dynamic Kubernetes manifests.

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Puppet CTO Abby Kearns says that IT organizations look to more aggressively automate IT, the need to provide a way to accelerate the mean time to deployment in both on-premises IT environments and on public clouds has become more pronounced. IT organizations that are being asked to do more with less in the wake of the economic downturn brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic require faster time to value, she notes, adding IT teams are going to be more resistant to adopting enterprise applications that take a lot of time and effort to deploy.

At the same time, it doesn’t make economic sense for software vendors to spend time on optimizing a part of their application stack that doesn’t provide differentiated value when Kubernetes makes it easier to consistently deploy software anywhere, she says.

Replicated CEO Grant Miller says KOTS makes it possible to incorporate deployment of enterprise applications within the same DevOps workflows that many IT organizations are already applying to custom applications. The result is a streamlining of the overall software delivery process that can even be applied to “airgap” IT environments that are now connected to the internet, he says.

Independent software vendors (ISVs) are taking advantage of the Kubernetes application programming interfaces (APIs) to provide an abstraction that masks the underlying complexity of any IT environment from their applications, adds Miller. As a result, the ISV doesn’t have to spend time and effort optimizing its software for deployment on multiple platforms. The Technical Oversight Committee (TOC) for Kubernetes has long positioned the open source project as a platform on which other platforms can be built.

It may even turn out the first exposure to Kubernetes an IT organization might have is via packaged applications that embed the platform in its software. Once exposed to those instances of Kubernetes, it then becomes probable IT teams will begin to familiarize themselves with how to manage and optimize Kubernetes.

Of course, at a time when many organizations are starting to view themselves as software companies that manufacture something or deliver a service, the ability to simplify the distribution of the custom software they develop is becoming a more pressing issue. What’s good for the proverbial ISV gander in the form of KOTS might be just as equally good for the internal DevOps team goose.

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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