Cloud Native

CNCF Launches a One-Stop Hub for Kubernetes Packages

11 Mar 2020 1:07pm, by

As it is right now, if a Kubernetes user is looking for a Helm chart, the Helm Hub is the place to visit. Similarly, operators can be found at the OperatorHub, and Falco configurations, Open Policy Agent (OPA) policies, and other cloud native-related applications and configurations can be found at other locations still.

Now, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) is looking to address this sprawl with the development of the CNCF Hub, a new project still in a “pre-alpha state” that hopes to enable “finding, installing, and publishing packages and configurations for CNCF projects,” according to a message by CNCF Technical Oversight Committee (TOC) contributor Matt Farina.

“Discovering artifacts to use with CNCF projects can be difficult,” explains the CNCF Hub README file on GitHub. “If every CNCF project that needs to share artifacts creates its own Hub this creates a fair amount of repeat work for each project and a fractured experience for those trying to find the artifacts to consume. The CNCF Hub attempts to solve that by providing a single experience for consumers that any CNCF project can leverage.”

A CNCF document written by Farina after an early meeting concerning the creation of such a hub after last November’s KubeCon further describes the aspirations for the hub as a web application that “enables people to discover applications they can install into Kubernetes clusters that are enabled by CNCF projects,” citing Helm Hub, OperatorHub, and Packagist as sources of inspiration. The document goes on to layout eight specific requirement criteria for the CNCF Hub’s development, including availability under the Apache 2 license, the need to collect user contact information in the case of a problem, and a need to “be designed to run within Kubernetes and no specific public cloud vendor APIs should be assumed.” In addition, the Hub will have a public facing search API, and Helm Charts and Falco rules are explicitly called out for inclusion, with other types such as Operator Framework and KUDO slated for inclusion in the future.

Along with the projects “pre-alpha” status, there is currently discussion around whether or not it will attempt to join the CNCF as a member project in the sandbox stage or be provided by the CNCF itself as a service. That discussion is currently being slated for a future TOC meeting, and the project README further describes that “pull requests, especially those to support other CNCF projects, are welcome.”

In its current incarnation, the Hub has a front page listing packages recently added and updated, with a search bar. According to Farina’s outline document, although not stated explicitly, it seems that the CNCF Hub is meant to host metadata about the packages, not the packages themselves, so each individual package page includes various versions of the package, installation instructions, a description, and prerequisites for installation, among other information.

At the time of this writing, the Hub lists 1,052 packages and 18,597 releases.

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation is a sponsor of The New Stack.

Feature image by Erich Westendarp from Pixabay.

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