API Management / Kubernetes / Technology

Kubermatic Assumes More Kubernetes-Management Heavy Lifting

23 Feb 2022 3:00am, by

The recent general availability releases of KubeOne 1.4 and Kubermatic Kubernetes Platform (KKP) 2.19 reflect Kubermatic’s ongoing push — based largely on feedback from the open source community — to continue its support for DevOps teams by expanding the automation of Kubernetes-cluster management.

Kubermatic — originally called Loodse until the company changed its name in 2020 — has sought to offer DevOps teams a centralized and simplified way to create and manage Kubernetes clusters, especially at scale. Designed to manage many of the enormously complex tasks for Kubernetes deployment and management, automation that runs underneath the hood has been a key component. Kubermatic platforms and tools assume many of the complex commands and processes that DevOps teams might otherwise would have to configure themselves.

Kubermatic KubeOne was created to automate cluster operations management through APIs across cloud, on-premises, edge and IoT environments. KubeOne 1.4 features the introduction of a new KubeOneCluster API version. Kubermatic representatives described how the previous release provided users with a new Addons API, managed support for encryption providers and automated Docker-to-containerd migration.

KubeOne 1.4

KubeOne 1.4, among other things, offers a new version of its KubeOneCluster API solves a number of issues users were experiencing for cluster-configuration management, Marko Mudrinić, software engineer at Kubermatic and a Kubernetes contributor and release manager, told The New Stack. One of these problems consisted of users requiring a ContainerRuntime feature for configuring registry mirrors, private registries and other configuration tasks users previously had to run manually.

Users often expressed a need for these ContainerRuntime features “to run out of the box and that wasn’t possible before,” Mudrinić told The New Stack.

The open source community offered a significant amount of input for the development of Cilium CNI support for the KubeOne 1.4 release. As a CNCF (Cloud Native Computing Foundation) incubating project for network-connectivity between container workloads in cloud native environments, Cilium has been integrated with KubeOne so users can take advantage of the Hubble add-on, which is built on top of Cilium. Hubble offers KubeOne users network and security observability with Cilium through a dashboard, enabling “deep visibility into the communication and behavior of services as well as the networking infrastructure in a completely transparent manner;” according to the Hubble add-on documentation.

Other new features KubeOne 1.4 offers that Kubermatic communicated include:

  • Greater control over hybrid and edge deployments with “experimental” support for the  Operating System Manager (OSM) used to create and manage configurations for worker nodes in a Kubernetes cluster.
  • Added support for external cloud controller managers (CCMs) and CSI drivers.

KKP 2.19

The Kubermatic Kubernetes Platform (KKP) 2.19 release is especially geared to offer improvements for KKP’s edge and hybrid cloud capabilities and networking performance.

“This release is focused on improving the user experience, advancing networking performance and paving the way forward for air-gapped environments which are in high demand for edge use cases, Mita Bhattacharya, a product manager for Kubermatic told The New Stack. “Organizations that already run a couple of distributed Kubernetes deployments, need to access multiple dashboards to get a comprehensive status overview,” Bhattacharya said. “To help these  organizations streamline their Kubernetes operations without having to throw away existing clusters, KKP users can manage and upgrade external clusters directly from the KKP dashboard.”

With the 2.19 release, Bhattacharya said it is now possible to import existing AKS, EKS and GKE clusters and manage their lifecycle with the KKP dashboard. “This has been achieved using APIs only,” Bhattacharya said. “Moreover, we now provide experimental support for Operating System Manager (OSM) that gives users better control over their OS in hybrid cloud and edge environments. We will leverage this for the upcoming air-gapped environments that are in high demand for advanced edge use cases.”

Like the KubeOne 1.4, there is a lot of emphasis on Cilium CNI support. KKP users can now “choose between the two most popular CNIs Canal and Cilium, or simply add and manage a CNI of their choice — regardless of whether it’s supported by KKP or not, Bhattacharya said.

“By adding support for Cilium CNI, we are offering our users not only the two CNI best options, but we also provide them with the option to choose what they are comfortable with. For example, KKP users can select their choice of default CNI from the UI itself,” Bhattacharya said. “We have provided the option of Canal and Cilium, or they could choose to bring their own CNI. In the future, our goal will be to continue to provide this flexibility for all our features.”

The New Stack is a wholly owned subsidiary of Insight Partners, an investor in the following companies mentioned in this article: Docker.